Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Advice from some officials

The TFC fellows at my school had a meeting with a few education officials yesterday, and they had three pieces of advice for me (specifically): talk more with people, listen to more classes, and drink more. They then proceeded to expound on that last piece of wisdom, and started asking me about my alcohol tolerance (speculating that it would be high because I'm tall) and telling me that they're looking forward to seeing what kind of person I am when drunk. It constantly surprises me how much drinking is an accepted part of guy culture, and this activity that is openly endorsed by everyone--my principal, education officials, as well as my superiors.

On that note, I've figured out part of what I'm supposed to do when I have zhizhou--apparently it involves sitting in a guardhouse and drinking baijiu with chain-smoking Chinese men till 11:30 at night. I've decided that from now on, when I'm in doubt about what I'm supposed to be doing in a given situation, I will find the nearest Chinese men and start drinking baijiu with them.

Sorry for the discussion of drinking on this blog--I'm trying to make it as family friendly as possible, but it's such a part of men's culture here, as well as part of my job (I'm the designated “酒代表/drinking representative" for the fellows at this school) that it just comes up a lot.


  1. What's the best defense? A good offense. Here's Mom's advice: Expressing the real spirit of amity, make it known that you would like to make better friends with the guys, and the way it's done in the States is through arduous, testing, sweaty, bruising, competitive, physical exercise. Then take them out and show them. In the morning. And perhaps teach them the useful English phrase, "Put up or shut up." Or, "Cheers!!!" (And of course, true American style, you're allowed to sit around with your feet up having beers afterward. And beers only, hard liquor and cigarettes being for men who can't...well...keep up.)

  2. hahahha, that sounds ideal. I think I might just have to resign myself to the fact that I won't be able to make good friends with the teachers here.

  3. Not to be a troublemaker, but I wonder exactly what the wives are doing while their husbands are out drinking (not that you'd dare ask the question, but...!)? This sort of thing is why Carrie Nation threw rocks through saloon windows and liked to buried an ax in a bar now and again. I guess Chinese men find the tea ceremony boring--I suppose even a color changing frog is only entertaining for so long. (I'm sorry you're the #!@!$drinking representative!)