Friday, January 07, 2011

HBH 216

Lonely blows the wind
Down empty streets, past locked front doors.
Winter doldrum days.

I nipped out on Wednesday to see if anything was going on around my usual neighbourhood.  There were only a handful of people to be seen on Nanluoguxiang.  Several bars and cafés - including my best beloved 12 Square Metres - had decided they couldn't be bothered to open on such a raw night.  My favourite restaurant down that street, usually packed at 7.30pm, had only two small groups in - one of whom was just about to leave.  Returning past Salud a couple of hours later, I found the place about as dead as I've ever seen it - only about half a dozen people in, and no sign of the promised music show.  Stephen and Stephanie down at MaoMaoChong, anticipating how dead business is likely to be at this time of year, have decided to take the whole month off for a trip home to Oz - but at least their pal Sean is keeping the bar open for them.  That provided the one familiar haven in the 'hood on this night; but I had feared I might get trapped there all night by a guilty impulse to keep the barman company - luckily, after an hour and a half or so, someone else finally showed up.

I suppose a lot of laowai aren't yet back from their Christmas/New Year holidays.  And the wind has been particularly brutal over the past couple of weeks, enough to keep even the hardiest of us indoors for days at a time.  But gosh, I don't remember things being quite this QUIET in January ever before.  And we're still four weeks away from the Chinese Spring Festival - things will really be dead around then.  I wouldn't be a bar/restaurant owner at this time of year...

[By the way, I am aware of the syllable count offence in the second line; but I happen to think that, in this instance, the extra syllable sounds better.  So there.]

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