Saturday night we had the opportunity to check out the local night life in Shanghai. Joe, our liaison in Shanghai, took us out to Sky Club on the west side of the river in Shanghai. I have noticed throughout the trip that the drinking culture is very different from the United States. When you go to a bar or club you usually put money down on a VIP table if you would like to sit and drink. The night usually starts with conversation and light drinking of mixed drinks as the venue begins to get busy later at night. Without a bar closing time of 1-2am the dancing on the floor usually doesn't get going until midnight. A lesson we learned at Sky Club was that you only have the VIP table so long as you are ordering drinks and if you go through your purchases quickly the staff will seat another paying group at the table.
A popular type of drinking activity is a dice game which involves a few simple rules and plays similar to poker as you attempt to bluff and call bluffs. This game is known by most locals and can lead to an entertaining evening of drinking, talking and having a good time. If less people go out on the town than planned for locals will sometimes transition to a very simple dice game to increase the rate of consumption. This game basically includes adding to the drink size, passing the drink to another, reversing the order of drinking and finishing the bottle. Often this game is played when individuals must leave early and they have a limited number of people at the table. Joe, Brian and I had a lot of fun playing the first type of dice game which plays similar to a quick game of poker with a cup and dice instead of cards.