I have a strange relationship with hangovers.
On the one hand, I’m never the guy who texts all of his friends about how much his head hurts the morning after. It’s not a surprise. Your liver can only stand so much of Jack and Morgan. So there’s a specific and well-practiced series of morning-after events that need to occur, with slight variations around what types of alcohol were consumed and whether or not there’s a girl in my bed.
The girl is always the crux of any hangover problem.
The other side of the coin is that I’m too used to having free time. The hardest part used to be getting the girl on her way to do something responsible and adult-like while I try my hardest to avoid doing anything that might force me to become too fully conscious to pass out again immediately after she’s gone. Now, more and more, I also have to throw on my big boy clothes and head off to meet someone or get some work done.
That’s my long way of saying that I went out last night and had to wake up early this morning.
I’m jotting this down in the thirty minutes I’ll have to write today so that you guys can vicariously experience China and Troy shenanigans on a regular basis. Also, I like writing.
Last night I was supposed to meet a friend of mine downtown. Generally how this works is I flag a taxi, ask in broken Chinese if they speak English, and when they inevitably don’t, I show them some magic symbols that one of my friends sent me to get where I need to go.
That’s not how it works at 5pm. At 5pm, if you can figure out how to get a taxi in Changsha, you could start a very profitable business. So after half an hour of futilely waving my lanky foreigner arms around to the delight and applause of small children, I decided to walk it.
Pro-tip: Don’t do this.
Forty-five minutes and many back-alleys later, I found the statue of Chairman Mao on Walking Street. The night was pretty tame: we got fried dumplings at a famous restaurant, got lost again, finally found my favourite foreigner bar (Hooligans), and drank with the owner and his partner until we couldn’t see straight.
Today I had to meet some friends at Hunan University. This turned out to be a little unfortunate since we ended up going to a restaurant across from my dad’s apartment, which I can see from my house.
Restaurant etiquette is much like the taxi example. “Ni hui shoe yingwen ma?” “Buhui.” “Dammit.” I then proceed to point at pictures and motion towards my mouth. This is why I bring local friends with me when I get food. Not only do I look less stupid, but I also get to try things that aren’t in pictures.
The restaurant we went to had a special style. When we sat down, the waitress placed a big bowl on an element hidden in our table. The bowl was divided down the middle, with a plain clear soup and a spicy red soup on either side. You order everything from noodles to exotic meats raw and then cook them in the boiling water. It was a pretty cool experience.
There’s no real story here, I’m just writing. But I have to run to an all-girls-school to hang out with a friend I met last week and some of her friends. If you’d like you can think of that as a cliff-hanger.
But I have to go catch a taxi :(
 Given the obscurity of some of the streets, I think I might have been the first Canadian to ever walk there.