I don’t know about everyone else, but Friday night, I had some of the most fun that I’ve yet had on this trip.
Before the evening even began, a group of us watched a >$1 copy of “The Hangover” - hilarious! To everyone who had been telling me to see it all summer: thanks, and you were totally right! Yes, I’ll admit: I was a bit skeptical of its merits before watching, but it really was quite funny. I now understand a lot more of the jokes that people have been making
I hurriedly showered, changed, and got ready to go out with everyone. Fourteen of us (nine from FiC, two former Furman students-turned-Suzhou-profs, our Mexican friend from our hall, a random Swede living downstairs, and one of our Indian friends) went via various taxis to the Industrial Park (SIP) to see the laser/water show that we saw last year. It was no less amazing nor any less beautiful the second time! It reminds me of Burkowski’s Christmas lights in Vienna each year - water, fire, and lights squirt and burn and shine on and off over Jinju Lake to different songs for 30 minutes each Friday and Saturday night. If you ever come to Suzhou, check it out - just be careful not to sit too close, or you will get soaked (as we did)! I’ve included a 30-second video clip of it - it’s rather poor quality, and you can’t get the true experience by just watching it onscreen, but it’s a start.
In our haste to change gears from relaxing movie time to “hurry-up-and-get-to-the-show-on-time” time, many of us had neglected to eat dinner, so we opted for some faux-Mexican at Zapata’s, in a huge shopping center just beside the lake. Andreina and I ordered an appetizer plate of nachos to share, as we thought we weren’t that hungry: THEY WERE THE BEST NACHOS I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Man, they were good. All it was was beans, cheese, peppers, olives, and tomatoes on top with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa on the side, so even now, I’m not sure what was so good about them, but we absolutely dug into them to the point that we were scraping cheese off the plate after we had eaten every single crumb - and then, we ordered another plate! (They were pricey by Chinese standards, but still cheap for Americans.)
After our dinner, we split up into two groups, one of which returned to our dorms, and one of which decided to check out a popular disco in the area called Club Scarlet. (Guess which one I was in!) I had hoped that there would be a bigger group to go dancing, but the six of us who went - Yonathan, Allu, Geena, Staci, Andreina, and I - had a good time, anyway! At least, I did: when we first got there, it seemed loud and crowded (well, it WAS loud and crowded), but once I got used to that and could appreciate the classy decor and fun atmosphere, I realized that there was live music going on. First a girl and then a guy were singing and moving from platform to platform about the club. After that, the club put on a mix of American songs, including, but not limited to: “Low,” “Right Round,” “I Know You Want Me,” AND “COUNTRY ROADS” - the techno version! It was at this point that I jumped up onto the platform and rocked out myself. (Unbeknownst to me, Geena caught this on video - I will post this in a later, once she uploads it for me.) Alas, after one last song - the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” - it was time to leave. Sweaty, thirsty, smoky, partially deaf, and exhausted, we quickly hailed taxis and headed back to SuDa to make our curfew.