Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bloody Vikings!!

A month or two ago (I lose track slightly... I haven't been in much since the weather started getting cold), Xiao Shuai, the affable proprietor (and, usually, sole staff member) of El Nido, the 'dive spot of the year' on Fangjia Hutong, was imprudent enough to get into a big drinking session with a bunch of his Chinese mates.... while running the bar.  He collapsed comatose on one of the tables outside - resting face down on his folded arms, in the classic pose of Chinese students during morning classes.  And his drinking buddies seemingly ran away and left him there.  (Hm, I wonder if the Chinese concept of 'friendship' is somewhat lacking in certain respects?)

I would hope that the customers who were there then, or came in subsequently, most of whom would probably like to think of themselves as Xiao Shuai's 'regulars', observed an honour system by leaving money on the bar for him or coming back to pay a day or two later; or, at the very least, exercised some sort of restraint in facing up to the temptation that thus confronted them.  However, I heard from a number of sources that, er, some people did NOT behave in such an honourable or restrained fashion, and that some of his stocks were heavily depleted.  I was mightily relieved to see that he had not been put out of business by the episode.

If I had been there, I would like to think that I would have taken charge of the situation - closing the bar up for him, or at least manning the counter to collect money for the drinks; and trying to sober him up enough to get him home.  I'm disappointed that - from rumours of the incident that have reached me - no-one, whether Chinese or foreign, friend or casual punter, appears to have done this for him.

I hope Xiao Shuai's learned a lesson from this.  A bar owner really can't afford to get wrecked (not THAT wrecked!) while he's working.  Or, in the immortal words of Tony Montana"Never get high on your own supply."


Hopfrog said...

"No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low."

Isn't this story a sad commentary on how self serving (literally here) the world has become. Its a shame that you weren't there and that more people aren't in your tree.

Froog said...

A depressing little tale, to be sure, HF. But I still haven't got the full story. Both the bar and the man appeared fully recovered when I looked in a few days later, so it can't have been that bad. At least some of the customers that night must have exercised some kind of restraining influence on the threatened 'plague of locusts'.