The Inner Mongolian China Brog

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Banana Proves Spicier Than Anticipated

True to my word, I return to tell the tale of opening night at "Banana," Tongliao's newest nighttime hotspot, and spicy it was indeed! The very thought of it makes me blush.

Before making our appearance at Banana, we all went out to dinner with none other than the tailor (Liu Kai) who fitted us for our uniforms and his girlfriend. He's an adorable little guy who obviously wants desperately to improve his English, so he has jumped at the chance to hang out with us. But who wouldn't? So far, his English abilities are broken, at best, though dinner was filled with repeated choruses of "We are friends" - his favorite phrase, it would appear. His girlfriend didn't say much, though I have a feeling her English is nearly as good as his.

On to Banana - it was a little smaller than our regular disco, having only one level instead of two, and felt more like a lounge than a full-blown club. When we arrived, the guy relaxing on the nice leather furniture was quickly shooed away by the management to make room for us (we're VIP 24/7, if you recall). The beers were in our hands faster than you could say "pijiu." The entertainment going on when we got there consisted of a guy on stage by himself attempting to rock the crowd with his soprano sax. I'm guessing they're not familiar with Kenny G's reputation. To his credit, everyone seemed to enjoy him, even when the power blew out (multiple times). We were then treated to 3 dancers in beads and feathered headdresses who proceeded to perform some kind of mangled Indian dance...I think (give me a break, this is about 5 beers into the evening for me). Following that nonsense, another woman strutted out onto stage wearing a man's dress shirt, necktie and ::gasp:: a thong. The boys squealed with delight and the 3 of us girls stood there like deer in headlights. I'm quite sure I'm too young to describe what the young lady on stage did next. I'll let you try to make out what she looked like by the end of her dance from the photo. At least more will be left to your imagination than was to mine.

With that image burned into my retinas, we retired to the VIP room behind the stage and were ecstatic to find a full menu of cocktails and licquors we recognized in ENGLISH! Compared to the pijiu, they were expensive (a whopping $3 each, on average), but I have to admit, I was feeling pretty good with that Singapore Sling in my hand. After sampling probably half of what was on the menu between all of us, we took a spin on the dance floor, which was littered with glow sticks and crazy-head-shaking Chinese people. The handful of us who had ventured onto the stage there were immediately shoved into the middle. I guess our moneymakers were deemed worth the shaking by this particular crowd. After what seemed like less than an hour, however, the amount of people on the dance floor, which was packed at first, had thinned to less than 20, a phenomenon of the Chinese club I have yet to understand. The evenings peak fast and die even faster, which is a pattern us Americans could do without. I don't think they're ready for this jelly. We'll fix that, though.


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