Your Travel Stories:

Karaoke & SHENANIGANS IN CHINA

Written by:

Steve Frazier 

Sometimes, adventures can get out of hand, especially when drinking is involved. This is a story about how friends, both old and new, can get into a bit of trouble abroad, creating a homebrewed legend in the process.

The four of us look at each other while someone mutters “Are we really doing this?"

We stare at the computer screen and looking back at us is the price of a roundtrip ticket to Shanghai. As college students, our travel budget is less than ideal. However, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel halfway around the globe and see a world we have only dreamt about was too good an opportunity to pass up. This would be my first true vacation as an adult and my first time out of the country. With beer-fueled excitement, we gleefully bought the tickets. The price was right and we were headed to China!

Me and my pals singing (shouting) our best karaoke songs

I take a moment

to fully absorb what’s become of our night as the massively uncoordinated ruckus begins a new song. I am surrounded by friends, some old and some new, all dressed up in our brand-new custom suits made from the market a week earlier. We are celebrating a birthday at at a Teppanyaki restaurant where sushi, sake, and beer flows until we say otherwise. It’s going to be a long night.

Our gracious host, Big Jim, leads us all in a fan-favorite karaoke song, “Hey Jude”. Big Jim is 30 years our senior,  yet he is showing us a thing or two about what it means to party in Shanghai. On top of that, he’s giving us a place to stay for free!

We belt out our best (worst) rendition of the Beatles’ hit, although an equally rowdy French group is giving us a run for our money. When we’re finally done with karaoke, we stumble out and end up join forces with our singing rivals. Language barrier forgotten, we bond quickly with our new friends.

Big Jim doesn’t seem like a party animal does he?

The energetic mood escalates

as two from our party begins a mock-fight which climaxes on the hood of a nearby taxi. The driver irately exits his vehicle, confronting us in a language we don’t understand. Not fully understanding the severity of the situation, the majority of the group finds another taxi and continues on. Two of us hang back to stay with Big Jim as he casually chats with the driver. Jim speaks nearly fluent Chinese and is attempting to remedy the situation. He tells us to find a cab and wait for him to finish up. He hurriedly walks over to us as we are entering our new cab and provides the new driver our heading. Something isn’t right as first driver stands in our way stopping us from going. Two police officers show up and immediately, Big Jim knows the game is over. He tells us to head to the next spot and he’ll sort this out. The ride passes in a stunned silence. Our host was just arrested and now we’re traveling blindly through an unfamiliar country.

Trying to figure out what to do with Big Jim’s predicament

Accusations fly at Scoreboards,

an unsuspecting bar tucked away on the 6th floor of an appliance store. Big Jim’s son is primarily at fault and his sister is laying into him for being reckless. Tears fill her eyes as she thinks the worst is in store for her father. We settle in for a pitcher of beer and a game of pool to ease the tension. It’s decided that the night should come to an end since there has been no word about Big Jim’s predicament.  At this point, it might be best to wait it out at the apartment. As emotions level out and our night seems to be coming to an end, an aura seems to emanate from the elevator. As we collectively turn to look, the doors open and a golden light illuminates a lone silhouette. We all know who it is before any features are distinguishable.

Big Jim steps towards us with the biggest shit-eating grin I will ever see and cheekily says, “I think someone owes me a beer.” 

Sometimes, travel with friends can get a bit out of hand. That being said, the stories that come out of the resulting shenanigans can become a homebrewed legend. 

STEVE FRAZIER

Always looking for the next adventure. In the meantime you can find me at the beach.

What’d you think of STEVE’s story?

As someone who’s had his fair-share of beer-fueled travel adventures, the manic hilarity of Steve’s story brings back plenty of nostalgic memories. Do you have a similar experience? Comment below and let me know! 

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