Sunday, February 07, 2010

How not to throw a party...

Ah, well, the housewarming party has come and gone. People came, people had fun - so I suppose I shouldn't fret about it too much.

It's just that.... well, it was - by some margin - the most disappointing party I've thrown.

Amongst the reasons....

1) A much smaller apartment
(The old Froog Towers was Party Central because it was f***ing huge. I could accommodate 50 or 60 people in the living room, without spilling over into any of the three bedrooms! The new place definitely feels a bit cramped by comparison.)

2) The proximity of the Spring Festival holiday
(A lot of people have left town already. Others discovered [only in the last day or two - ah, last-minute China!] that they were expected to work this weekend, to lessen the impact of the upcoming long holiday on the nation's productivity.)

3) The curse of Marley Day
(It SNOWED! Snow is a further major discouragement to people coming out. The last time I had a Marley Day party [three years ago], it also snowed [though at least not until midnight; during the day it merely pissed with rain] - even though I was having it four weeks late, at the beginning of March. I think God hates me. Or He hates Bob Marley. God has no taste.)

4) An early start
(People don't deal well with 'early starts' in this town, apparently. I thought the logic was sound: enjoy drinking while it's still daylight; clear out early, so as not to annoy the neighbours too much; leave people room to go on to something else - dinner, gigs, other parties, whatever - in the mid-evening. But no-one wanted to show up until 7pm. And a lot of people were threatening to come at 9.30 or 10pm - long after we were supposed to have finished.)

5) The most unreliable friends in the world
(I think I may have elaborated before [though I can't now find the post] on my 60% Rule: only two-thirds of people you invite to a party reply at all, two thirds of those reply in the affirmative, and two thirds of the affirmatives actually show up - which means you can budget for about a third of your total invitation list. I think that ratio would be higher - at least 70%, maybe even 80% - in most other environments; but in expat Beijing you're lucky if you hit 65%. You just have to accept it and deal with it. However, I think yesterday my percentage was even lower than that. And that was particularly galling since, because of the limited space in my new flat, I'd largely restricted the invitations to good friends - rather than inviting everyone I've ever met, as I'd typically done in the past at Froog Towers. Of my closest friends..... one showed up 4 or 5 hours late, half a dozen more suddenly had "something better to do", and.... well, several others just vanished without trace. Heartbreaking.)

On the plus side, though, one guy came all the way from Shanghai especially for this!

Also, it was quite a "United Nations" kind of affair: in addition to the inevitable British, Americans and Chinese.... Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland and the Phillipines were represented (Germany, Greece, Canada, Taiwan, Holland and Mexico amongst the no-shows!).

And the food - if I do say so myself - was AWESOME!

And I have enough beer (and RUM) left over to keep me wrecked throughout Spring Festival!!


The Weeble said...

I thought it was a very successful party -- and come on, surely you didn't really expect people to show up in the afternoon! The food was excellent, and if I ever do make good on my threats to use the kitchen in my new apartment, I will be hitting you up for recipes.

Also, you don't need all that rum, surely. Perhaps you will want to invite people over to help you drink it over the Spring Festival. You can't just leave it sitting around, you know; rum goes bad if you do that.

Froog said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Weebs.

I was particularly grateful that, given your notoriously sketchy sense of time, you managed to make it only an hour or so late. All the more grateful because, amongst my best beloved, you were about the only one to come at all. The Chairman, The Poet, The Bengali, Dishy Debs, The Man In Black - let us never speak of them again.

Froog said...

I think rum starts off bad and just keeps getting worse. It is an evil drink. You should come round and help to save me from it.

Froog said...

Mind you, I am getting through it quite nicely on my own - just made myself a pint of Cuba Libre for 'breakfast'!

Froog said...

Cooking is a very zen activity; you should give it a try.

Not much to the recipes, though - most of the barbecue rub came out of a jar.

My proudest moment was the homemade ginger beer.

Oh, and the cheese-and-scallion 'Johnny Cakes' (I think you missed those) - but mainly because they forced me to confront my fear of DOUGH rather than because they were anything amazing to eat.

The Weeble said...

The ginger beer was a definite hit -- unfortunately I got there fairly late in the bowl.

Work continues to suffocate, but I will be up for rum disposal duty immediately upon completion. Doing anything tomorrow afternoon?

Froog said...

I had reserved the last of the jerk beef ribs for my tea today. Damn, that was good!

Froog said...

Tomorrow afternoon I expect to be sleeping off my Superbowl hangover. I may be up again in the evening.