Chengdu Bars and the People You’ll Meet There
I found this funny little post on Weibo earlier, which lists several bars and clubs in Chengdu along with the common patrons to be found at those clubs. The titles used for the clientele are great for people trying to stay up on the latest Chinese slang, and for those with an interest in contemporary Chinese culture and the Chengdu bar scene, the post has something for you too.
So with no further ado, here is the list:
1) 88, Muse, Babi, Suhe (苏荷)
失足青年 (shīzú qīngnián) Problem Kids. Or better put, kids slipping off the edge onto the sticky floors of the 88 dance club.
在校大学生 (zài xiào dàxuéshēng) College Kids. Straight out of high school, still getting milk money from moms and spending it on fake Chivas.
找刺激白领 (zhǎo cìjī báilǐng) White Collar Stiffs Looking for Thrills. Regular guys trying to pull a college girl, a problem girl, or a working girl … in that order.
2) 井介Jǐngjiè， 彩虹 Cǎihóng (Rainbow)， 隔壁子酒吧 Gébìzi Jiǔbā (The Next Door Bar)
30岁以上中年哥老关 (30 suì yǐshàng zhōng nián gē lǎo guān) 30-something bears. These guys aren’t bad, just older dudes without all of the issues that plague the white collars and the angry youth. They can look their Cultural Revolutionary past in the eye and not flinch.
苦逼白领 (Kǔ bī báilǐng) Long-Suffering White Collar Stiffs. These guys were once bears, but they got sucked into the Chinese Dream. Now they turn off their cellies at night and go home with heads hung low.
I have never been to these places, so I have nothing to say about the venues. Sound like your local dive bars in the US.
3) 美高美 (MGM)，零点酒吧 (Lingdian)
三线城市短腿矮撮穷 (Sānxiàn chéngshì duǎn tuǐ ǎi cuō qióng) Short-legged, ugly dudes from third-tier cities. My favorite dipshit. They can actually be fun, as long as you don’t step on their oh-so-delicate egos.
Local老超哥 (Lǎo chāo gē) local gangster dudes. Just a long pinky-fingernail away from being short-legged, ugly dudes from the campos.
MGM and Lingdian are “low-class” clubs and discos with ratty deco, old music, tired girls and the above listed men. Author of the post nailed it with this one.
白富美 (bái fùměi) white-skinned, rich and beautiful
高富帅 (gāofù shuài) tall, rich and handsome
The two groups above are the creme de la creme of Chinese nightlife society. It’s a step up, if you ask me, from the fat, balding guys and their entourages that once ruled the scene.
5) 白夜 Báiyè (White Nights)，宽债巷子 (Kuan Zhai Alleys), 锦里 (Jinli Street)
行为艺术诗人 (xíngwéi yìshù shīrén) Performance artists
文艺装逼诗人 (wényì zhuāng bī shīrén) Wannabe Artists
摄影爱好者 (shèyǐng àihào zhě) Amateur filmmakers
不明真相游客 (bùmíng zhēnxiàng yóukè) Clueless tourists
Not too sure if I agree with this one, especially since Jin Li Street is stacked with all kinds of locals, but the idea is to call out all those hacks that wander the so-called cultural areas peddling whatever it is they have to peddle. All of these guys get my sympathy because if I look myself in the mirror and speak truth, I find the word “wanna … ” coming out slow and inexorable.
6) 小酒馆 (Little Bar)
摇滚装逼范儿 (yáogǔn zhuāng bī fàn er) Wannabe Rockers
文艺装逼范儿 (wényì zhuāng bī fàn er) Wannabe Artists
无处宣泄青春痘少男 (wú chù xuānxiè qīngchūn dòu shàonán) Passionate pimple-faced young men
Again, have to disagree on this one. Sure, wannabes and angry young men do roll up on the Little Bar now and then, but it seems like the author of the post is a youngster who rarely rocks out at this bar.
7) 麻糖 (Hemp House)，家吧 (Jah Bar)，Lantown
飞行员 (fēixíngyuán) Pilots. Cuz they stay high.
破产嬉皮士 (pòchǎn xīpíshì) Broke Hippies. Trying to stay high.
炼丹道士 (liàndān dàoshi) Taoist Alchemists. Getting everybody high.
禅锈者 (chán xiù zhě) Zen Masters. Looking down from on high.
苦行僧 (kǔxíngsēng) Starving Masters. Looking up from down low.
边缘青年 (biānyuán qīngnián) Cutting Edge Youth. Watching everyone be high.
仙人扳板 (xiānrén bān bǎn) … this is a Sichuanese insult referring to the plaque above the mantle in many Chinese homes that houses the picture of one or many ancestors. 仙人扳板 is that plaque and it is common to threaten to perform offensive acts upon this plaque. Nowadays, the threat is implied and people just say “your ancestor’s plaque!” and then it’s on.
This list obviously refers to the mystic herbal remedies associated with the above listed establishments. I myself fall into every category save cutting edge youth. I lost both my edge and my youth in the unisex stalls of the MGM.
ABC Chinese born abroad.
国外讨口子 (guówài tǎo kǒuzi) Broke Foreigners
35岁以上英语鸡 (35 suì yǐshàng yīngyǔ jī) Over 35 English-language prostitutes. Does “me love you short time?” qualify as “English-language”?
英语专业学生 (yīngyǔ zhuānyè xuéshēng) English Majors. Awwww.
This list might reflect the recent (and enduring) local disdain for a certain type of liaison, but I can’t strongly disagree with the basic premise. There were many other types of people at the Paname before Madame X left the building. The description back then might have been more interesting than now … C’est la vie.
9) Xiong Mao
弄潮儿 (nòngcháo’ér) Hipsters
黑木耳 (hēi mù’ěr) Black Tree Fungus … refers to a vagina that has been penetrated so often, the labia resemble … black tree fungus. (See “wizard sleeves“)
吊丝 (diào sī) Hobos … all the cool kids now refer to themselves as hobos. Is this a global phenomenon?
嘻哈装逼少年 (xī hā zhuāng bī shàonián) Wannabe Hip-hoppers
海龟 (hǎiguī) Chinese Students Returned from Abroad
国际友人 (guójì yǒurén) Friendly Foreigners, like my man Big Mountain.
战士 (zhànshì) Warriors
GLBT Gay, Lesbian and Bi. The author’s list did not refer to transgender, but I figure any quick inspection of a Xiong Mao audience’s bits will reveal irregularities.
外星生物 (wài xīng shēngwù) Aliens
So now we know that the author of the post is a fan of Xiong Mao and there is nothing wrong with that. I might have to mosey on over there one of these weekends and get freaky with an alien. half alligator half shark-lady if you please …
Some of you may have noticed a few omissions in this list. The Bookworm, The Leg and Whistle and The Shamrock are all absent. Perhaps some of you would like to take up the torch and write a few lines about the clientele of these fine venues in the comment section? Also, feel free to dispute, improve on and/or support this young man’s descriptions of the few nightlife options we have here in Chengdu. Is there a group of people out there that we missed? Are you lonely? Is your establishment not on any list, yet yearning to be recognized? Please step forward and be heard. ChengduLiving welcomes all.
Featured image courtesy of Her Space Holiday