On Tuesday night after finals, everyone wanted to go out to celebrate, so we decided to go to Houhai district to celebrate. I’m not going to tell you all the details, but if you ever want to go out drinking and dancing, Houhai is not a bad place to do that. The area consists of dozens of small bars that line the edges of a lake. At night it is a sea of flashing lights and blaring music.
Our group consisted of about 20 Italians, four Spaniards, one Greek (Konstantina, my one and only Greek friend), one Irish guy and one American. We ended up outside a place called Reggae Bar, and that night there happened to be a couple guitarists playing flamenco inside. Upon hearing the music, the Spaniards set to dancing in the street. The Italians sat down on the couches that were outside the bar’s door, not quite yet ready to dance.
It was a pretty fun evening, and by the time we left at 3am, every other bar on the lake was closed. We had shut the entire district down! Walking out to the main road to catch a cab, I was surprised by how calm the place was.... It was quite a contrast to the carnival-like atmosphere that had greeted us upon our arrival.
When I got back to my room it was nearly 4am. I stepped off the elevator to find my room door wide open and the lights on. What the…? I walked into the room to find a guy packing his suitcases—at four in the morning. I said hello and introduced myself. He told me his name was Ali and he was from Kazakhstan. The mystery of the missing roommate had been solved! Ali had studied at BLCU the past year and had gone home for a month on summer vacation. He planned to leave 24 hours later, flying to Shenyang in Liaoning province where he is going study economics for the next four years. Ali seemed like a very friendly guy and I think we would have hit it off well had we been roommates for very long. I don’t even think my late-night writing would have been a problem. When I went to bed at five, he was still down the hall hanging out with his friends. Twenty-four hours later, at 5am on Thursday morning, Ali left for good. I agreed to look him up on Facebook and we bid each other farewell. Have a good year Ali.