Saturday, March 01, 2008

The incredible disappearing party

I was saved from an evening of possibly terminal liver damage on Friday by the fact that the advertised all-you-can-drink event failed to materialize.

I had had my doubts about it all along. It was not advertised in any of the listings magazines, I don't think (even in City Weekend, which comes out fortnightly rather than monthly). No-one seemed to have heard anything about it (even people who use that bar quite a lot). Thus, there was no general confidence that the event would go ahead, and I couldn't persuade any of my usual drinking buddies to come and join me. Even the flyer advertising the event that I'd picked up last weekend worryingly omitted to include any details of the proposed starting time for the party. On Friday, I tried several times to call the bar's phone number to try to check what was going on, but there was no answer (at least it was an accurate phone number.... there was a very high-end bar [a dismal failure, now deceased] here a year or two ago called the Icehouse, which for a long time had an out-of-service phone number on all its business cards and its website - really).

It seemed a little sad to be going to such a party on my own, but..... well, I had arranged to have dinner nearby with an East Side friend, and since I was in the neighbourhood I felt I might as well at least check the place out. Arriving just before 9pm, I found absolutely no sign - inside or out - of any special promotion that night. Moreover, there were no customers: absolutely NONE. I turned on my heel and left again.

Such miscarried plans, cancelled or unfindable parties, etc. are all too common in China. We get used to it. Most of the time, it is more risible than annoying.

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