Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Liaoyang Pub Crawl

Now anyone who has ever driven through, lived in, or even heard much about Liaoyang, will immediately think "that's impossible - unless you count going from Woodstock to that other one bar next door that isn't Woodstock" but, I have discovered (within 30 days of leaving this town for ever) that there may be as many as FIVE bars in Liaoyang. Sure, there all identical, kitschy as all hell, overpriced, and completely empty, but they exist, and I never knew.

The only reason I found out, was that I met a whole raft of new foreigners, who's presence I had been totally unaware of these long months. They work for Liaoning Petrochemical, a subsidy of China Petrochemical and are helping to build a new Polyester plant in Liaohua, an outer suburb of the town (I went there, remember?). They're all from the UK, and good blokes to a man. They all consider me something of a local legend for having survived almost 10 months in 'the yang' and I have been regaled with tales of how Liaoyang will one day be wiped from the map by a stray cloud of semi-intentionally leaked acetic acid (ohhh, that's what that valve does!). These guys have worked all over the world, 1st to 3rd, and have never seen safety standards as lax as Liaoning. With the flash frying of 3o or so people a little ways north a few months ago and a spattering of mining disasters from time to time, it certainly shows.

Also, one of the guys is a dead ringer for the 'this week I have mostly been eating' guy from the fast show. If anyone gets that reference please high five me in the comments.

anyway, we managed to perform a respectable tour of the Liaoyang's drinking establishments, leaving confused looks wherever we stopped for a warm bottle of Snow. However, it seems that what may potentially be Liaoyang's greatest drinking establishment of all, is yet to open:


Friday night. I will be there.

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