There are precisely five foreigners resident in Baiyin and we all get together at very frequent intervals to have dinner, drink beer or sing KTV. It's all very good but, honestly, there's something about it that is just a little bit lacking. Something that's not quite right. Last night, however, was different. I called Carol but she had tonsillitis. Kelly was off in some fantasy world killing Orcs or whatever it is that she does in her Multi-Player, Online role-playing Gaming experience. Megan's phone was turned off.
That left me and Anthony. So we went to the bar. And we stayed in the bar from 8pm till 2 am drinking the pale yellow liquid that is is labelled as beer in these parts, in spite of bearing only a passing resemblance to anything I know by that name.
Over the course of those six hours the conversation was rambling, incoherent and very wide ranging. We touched upon Margaret Thatcher, educational theory, Marvel and DC comics, Indiana Jones, Australian vs Gaelic Football, Guinness around the world, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Prague, the Edinburgh festival, Big Bang Theory, amusing toilet anecdotes, the very large semi nude painting over he bar, the psychotic artwork adorning the toilet, North Korea, Chinese health and safety standards and whether Prince Philip is really a giant lizard from outer space.
And it made me suddenly think of something else that I miss about England. I miss Sunday afternoons. To be more precise I miss rambling, incoherent, wide-ranging pub conversations on a Sunday afternoon. I miss wittering on in the White Rose, talking bullshit in the Black Eagle and pontificating in the Post Office Vaults.
It was so precisely like a typical Sunday afternoon pub conversation that I almost started to hallucinate that the beer tasted good - if only that were true!