Sunday, April 1, 2018

Ain't No Party Like A (Zhangjiagang) House Party

"Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came..."

If you go off to teach in a foreign land, sooner or later (usually sooner), you'll find out about the local expat bars. In Zhangjiagang, everybody's favorite seems to be the House Bar.

In my first month here, I've been there three times. It's a nice, comfortable hang and a pretty cozy atmosphere. From the dozen or so foreign flags hanging on the wall, it's easy to figure out the clientele they're trying to attract... and it works!

The crowd tends to filter in a little late, but once people get there, it's like the United Nations. For a city as small as ours, I was surprised to see the diversity of expats in town. A lot of Brits there, which -- being the Anglophile I am -- I enjoy. (They usually get my "Inbetweeners" or "The IT Crowd" references.) Plenty of other Europeans, too... Irish, Scottish, German. One of the first people I met there, Blu, is from South Africa. 

The two ladies in the photos below are from (if I'm remembering correctly after a few drinks) Tunisia and Russia.

And there are some Americans, too. First night there, I even ran into a couple of Cubs fans! (I guess we should check and see if they've got the MLB TV package there, then meet up for some games, right?)

That's the co-owner, Icha, in the middle.
They like to keep it fun with theme nights... so far, I've been there on a beer pong tournament night, a pub quiz night (my team won!), and their first anniversary party.

And yes, it's nice to go to a place where they know your name. From the very first time I went in there, the owners (Icha and Fefe) were calling me by name.

When you're 6000 miles away from "home," it's always nice to find a place where you'll always get a friendly greeting. Cheers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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