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 (??)
???? (sh?zú q?ngnián) Problem Kids. Or better put, kids slipping off the edge onto the sticky floors of the 88 dance club.
????? (zài xiào dàxuésh?ng) College Kids. Straight out of high school, still getting milk money from moms and spending it on fake Chivas.
????? (zh?o cìj? báil?ng) 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) ??J?ngjiè? ?? C?ihóng (Rainbow)? ????? Gébìzi Ji?b? (The Next Door Bar)
30???????? (30 suì y?shàng zh?ng nián g? l?o gu?n) 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.
???? (K? b? báil?ng) 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) ??? (MGM)????? (Lingdian)
????????? (S?nxiàn chéngshì du?n tu? ?i cu? 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??? (L?o ch?o g?) 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.
??? (bái fùm?i) white-skinned, rich and beautiful
??? (g?ofù 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) ?? Báiyè (White Nights)????? (Kuan Zhai Alleys), ?? (Jinli Street)
?????? (xíngwéi yìshù sh?rén) Performance artists
?????? (wényì zhu?ng b? sh?rén) Wannabe Artists
????? (shèy?ng àihào zh?) Amateur filmmakers
?????? (bùmíng zh?nxiàng 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) ??? (Little Bar)
?????? (yáog?n zhu?ng b? fàn er) Wannabe Rockers
?????? (wényì zhu?ng b? fàn er) Wannabe Artists
????????? (wú chù xu?nxiè q?ngch?n 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) ?? (Hemp House)??? (Jah Bar)?Lantown
??? (f?ixíngyuán) Pilots. Cuz they stay high.
????? (pòch?n x?píshì) Broke Hippies. Trying to stay high.
???? (liànd?n dàoshi) Taoist Alchemists. Getting everybody high.
??? (chán xiù zh?) Zen Masters. Looking down from on high.
??? (k?xíngs?ng) Starving Masters. Looking up from down low.
???? (bi?nyuán q?ngnián) Cutting Edge Youth. Watching everyone be high.
???? (xi?nrén b?n b?n) … 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. ???? 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.
????? (guówài t?o k?uzi) Broke Foreigners
35?????? (35 suì y?shàng y?ngy? j?) Over 35 English-language prostitutes. Does “me love you short time?” qualify as “English-language”?
?????? (y?ngy? zhu?nyè xuésh?ng) 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
??? (nòngcháo’ér) Hipsters
??? (h?i mù’?r) Black Tree Fungus … refers to a vagina that has been penetrated so often, the labia resemble … black tree fungus. (See “wizard sleeves“)
?? (diào s?) Hobos … all the cool kids now refer to themselves as hobos. Is this a global phenomenon?
?????? (x? h? zhu?ng b? shàonián) Wannabe Hip-hoppers
?? (h?igu?) Chinese Students Returned from Abroad
???? (guójì y?urén) Friendly Foreigners, like my man Big Mountain.
?? (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.
???? (wài x?ng sh?ngwù) 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