A little ironic given the topic of this post, but I’m trying not to drink at least these first three weeks of the program, seeing as I did a lot of it in the past month. I’ve of course had to drink a little bit, it is China and booze is a part of politeness here, so I figured I’d talk about Chinese alcohol culture and some cool booze quotes I’ve come across recently.
First of all, alcohol is politeness here. Anytime you’re entertaining someone, you toast them, and make sure their cup is always full. This is more true in the northeast than down here, but it still exists. Secondly, when toasting you always want to get the rim of your glass lower than the other person’s when you clink, it’s a further show of respect. This has lead me numerous times to almost touch my glass to the floor trying to outdo another friend who’s also too into this custom. Last fun fact, a lot of Chinese people, mostly women, don’t drink at all. Somewhat schizophrenic that way. Or if they do drink, it’s only to be polite, a little ironic don’t you think? Quotes below, I’ll make a post about different types of Chinese booze for those of you unfamiliar with it later.
今朝有酒今朝醉 Jinzhao you jiu jinzhao zui
Translation: We have booze this morning, (therefore) we’ll be drunk this morning. Aside from the wonderful logic of such a statement, it really says that we should take opportunities where we have them. For me, that means trying to take the most advantage of my time here in Xi’an, going to all the little random activities and whatnot. Tomorrow planning to run by the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is super beautiful in the daytime allegedly, pics to come.
酒逢知己千杯少 Jiufeng zhiji qian bei shao
Translation: When the opportunity to drink with you most intimate friend (generally of the opposite sex) a thousand cups is too few. I like this one mostly for the word 知己, a close friend of the opposite sex who really knows who you are, something about it just stuck for me. I also agree with the message when my liver is up to it.
酒发心腹之言，酒后吐直言 Jiu fa xin fu zhi yan, jiu hou yu zhi yan
This one I may have written down wrong in retrospect, but translation as far as I’m aware is basically booze makes you speak your heart, which I completely agree with.
插刀断水水更流，举杯消愁愁更愁 Cha dao duan shui shui geng liu, ju bei xiao chou chou geng chou
Translation: Take a knife to dam water and the water will only flow faster, raise a glass (of booze) to get rid of melancholy and the mood will only deepen. This is from a poem by Li Bai, possibly the most famous poet in China and a resident of Tang Dynasty Xi’an.