As the weather gets warmer this spring, city dwellers in China are joining in on more outdoor night time activities and staying out later. Many foreigners, however, prefer going to clubs, bars or parties for their nightlife. The Global Times recently interviewed some foreigners in Shanghai about their experiences and opinions toward partying in Shanghai, the city that never sleeps.
Shanghai never sleeps
Stefan Schmidtg from Germany thinks Chinese parties must be very funny because Chinese people do not do drugs and only drink beer.
When asked the difference between Chinese and foreign parties, Jenny from Australia said that she has never been to a Chinese party but expects Chinese people would get very dressed up for a night out on the town, whereas foreigners tend to dress casually.
Ana Cristina Encalada from Ecuador, however, said the biggest difference is the music. She found that Chinese clubs and parties
mostly play generic electronica and techno whereas foreigners in Shanghai prefer to listen to Spanish and Latin American music.
Margaux Janin from France said that what she noticed was special about Shanghai nightclubs is that Chinese and foreigners sit and dance separately, with all the foreigners up front. Foreigners are also given free entry and free alcohol by local clubs whereas Chinese must pay.
Sanaz from the Netherlands said that she has seen people dancing in Shanghai parks at night, which she has never seen anywhere else in the world. “That was very unique, very beautiful." Sanaz said.
Schmidtg said that when Germans have parties outside, neighsbors complain and call the police, but he has never seen an outdoor party in Shanghai.
In Ecuador of South America, Encalada said that clubs close around 2 or 3 am according to law. “But it doesn’t really happen. Sometimes they’re still open and there is a lot of noise,” Encalada told the Global Times. Jenny said that in Australia she will close her window if a neighbor is having an outdoor party, but Amanda, who is also from Australia, said she would call the police after 11 pm. “But the police will just tell them to turn down the music; you can still continue the party,” Rose from Australia added. When asked whose parties are more noisy, Chinese or foreigners, our interviewees gave different opinions. “Compared to Chinese, our parties are more noisy,” German citizen Schmidtg said. But Sanaz thinks Chinese and foreign parties are more or less the same. “All people make noise when they are happy,” Sanaz said. Janin thinks Chinese parties are noisier, because their music is turned up louder. “After stepping out of a club [in China], it was like my ears are like super [uncomfortable]. They are too noisy,” Janin said.
Encalada agreed. “Because when I’m at Chinese parties, the sound is so loud. It is extremely loud. After I leave the place I can still hear the noise in my head, like the boom boom boom.
“But at a foreign party, the music is turned down, more controlled,” Encalada said.
Our foreign interviewees also shared ways to deal with conflicts with Chinese neighbors when having a house party.
“When they’re knocking at the door, it’s understandable without any language,” Yaroslav from Russia said.
Sanaz said she would tell her Chinese neighbors just to relax. But Encalada, who once lived in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province, said the locals there used to call the police on her a lot. “They always tell us to be quiet,” Encalada said.
Janin said that because she cannot speak Chinese, she guessed it would be a problem if her party was complained about by neighbors.
Which leads to the last question: which is more fun, a Chinese or foreign party?
Schmidtg said that, in Latin America, everyone dances together, even strangers. “But here in Shanghai there is more drinking and less dancing.”
Janin went to a party thrown by some Norwegians and thought it was fun because everyone was drunk, which is different compared with parties in her home country, France. Sanaz thinks Chinese parties are definitely more fun. Rose agreed, saying if she can go to a Chinese party, maybe she would find it to be more fun, but it would depend on the occasion.
“Brazilians do BBQ without any reason, and always next to the beach. But there are not many beaches in China, so you can just celebrate on your rooftop here. Just have a BBQ and have fun,” Schmidtg said.
“I know foreigners here who throw parties every weekend,” Encalada said. Yaroslav confirmed this, saying he will host a party for any kind of situation. “I am always looking for situations to do some fun things with others,” Sanaz agreed.
“For any reason, like if I’m feeling happy, I’ll have a party,” Janin said.
Ana Cristina Encalada Sanaz
From left: Rose; Amanda; Jenny