Monday, August 08, 2011


I haven't noticed this phenomenon on such a scale before: these past few weeks, beermats in Beijing have been dissolving after just 10 or 15 minutes.

It's not spillage; it's just condensation. The humidity has been so extreme that the dew on the side of the glass has been pouring off in rivulets. And destroying beermats.

It probably doesn't help that we're using eco-friendly recycled cardboard now - fluffy, flimsy, super-absorbent. Not good for flipping (even before they've been soaked). Whatever happened to those stiff, shiny beermats of yore?

But the amount of water dripping on to them off the glass has been quite exceptional in this obscenely humid summer we've been suffering. Even the sturdiest beermats would struggle to cope, I think.

It's reached the point where I question whether there's any point in using them at all - since they're not preventing moisture from getting on to the bar; and in fact, as they crumble and disintegrate (often well before the end of the first pint), fragments of the mat sometimes start to adhere to the bar. It's an anal-retentive landlord's worst nightmare (well, one of the many).

Yet another thing to hate about Beijing's summer.  Roll on, Autumn!

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