See also: Christmas and New Year’s in Beijing
I don’t know about you, but judging by my Facebook News Feed Halloween is most definitely on steroids this year! Or is it just me?
I love Halloween. If it’s not steroids, then maybe its me missing it too much. As well as having yet another reason to drink beyond my means, I go full out for Halloween no expenses spared ( although, I can’t remember last Halloween, must be the alcohol) Since I am living in Beijing now and government attempting to put a downer on all things Halloween isn’t helping. There were ridiculous restrictions imposed on Friday forbidding traveling on Beijing Subway in Halloween costumes, disobeying which could see you being arrested. Not to mention that the biggest Halloween party in Beijing has been shut down, for no legit reason apparently. Government has its reasons. We have a bigger holiday coming up for those living in Beijing – APEC Summit. Dubbed APEC Holiday – it’s a real one off holiday, but about that later. Halloween first!
So in general there was a word going around that there isn’t much going on in Beijing for Halloween. To be more specific, it’s not that big of a deal in Beijing, its a western holiday. It’s not that bad after all. According to TimeOut magazine, there’s plenty ways to celebrate Halloween in Beijing. If you’re willing to part ways with cash. Despite mixed suggestions, we headed out for an impromptu night out without much planning. It turned out to be one of the best nights I’ve had since arriving in Beijing.
Of course we have set out to the expat area, Sanlitun. The main bar street was absolutely packed. As well as all the bars. With a bit of shoving, pushing and scary faces jumping at you when you least expect it, it was a fun adventure. After a quick stop off in one of the bars, my coat has gone missing from a chair. Thankfully, I have emptied my pockets beforehand. I was gutted, but somewhat drunk and at peace with it since I had plans to go buy warmer coat the following day, but still..
We head out to the street where street vendors just sell booze just like that with a big 70cl bottle of beer costs just 5RMB (£0.50) what a bargain. With it there was a table where since there was a shortage of stools I sat on a make shift chair I built out of bricks. It’s normal. The street was buzzing, people passing by who made an effort and who just joined in the fun and we were sipping our drinks. Of course when you’re having fun, time just flies. So we rushed off to visit some of our usual hangouts and go dancing in the club before the dawn.
Little did I know, that in one of these clubs, 4 hours since my coat has been declared missing a true Halloween miracle happens. I bump into this group of people that we saw in the previous bar and in my true drunk friendly fashion I approach the guy stating “That’s my coat”. Turns out they just took it with them thinking it was theirs and held on to it. Thank god! I was over the moon! In a city of 20million people.. there’s always hope! Just like after trying 10 taxi drivers, one gave in and took 5 of us home in one go.
So from one holiday to another. We have a forced holiday here in Beijing starting end of next week for an APEC summit. They claim its the best thing to happen to Beijing since the Olympics in 2008. Schools and universities are closing as well as many businesses and restricted road traffic. I trust they will shut down Beijing factories to clear the air, we’ve been seeing more of clear blue sky lately. Personally can’t complain about some time off school even if we had a week off just a month ago!
I’m starting to like Chinese way of thinking. I’ve finally received my Residence Permit, you never know, I might even turn Chinese. In the meantime, I’ll just make the most of this holiday.
NB You may have noticed that I have changed the name of the blog to Alex and Beijing and its layout. I think a new name reflects more of who I am now since London and I are spending some time apart. The new layout is also more me, hope you like it.
Here’s a few more shots, Enjoy!