I used to stroke my ego a lot when I first came to China. I thought I was some amazing adventuress for having flown this far from home. I used to think of all the basic bitches who complained about culture shock when I studied abroad in – the nicest place ever – Southern France. I’d think about how they’d shrivel up and die in China, but how I’m not, because I am so daring and brave. Then I went to India.
Practically speaking, you can read my feature about Indo-Chinese food on page 56 of this month's issue. Philosophically speaking, I’ve come to the realization that us China expats are a bunch of damn pansies. I’ve always suspected that the term ‘China rage’ was a load of crap, and Mumbai was proof – an entire teeming megacity, also of smog and of traffic, that was significantly harder to live in than Beijing.
Let me reiterate: We are lucky, and Beijing is livable, and nothing exemplifies this more than our bars and restaurants, our city’s own purveyors of international-standard joie de vivre. Don’t believe me? We have not one, but two vermouth bars. The negroni-making Vesuvio, of course, opened this fall; hutong favorite rummery Cuju is now the vermouth-slinging Gulu Bazz. We have a ton of burgers, and Hatchery just added some more with its new concept, Common Burger (pictured above).
Best yet, we not only have a tiki bar, but one that’s doubled in size. Visit the Tiki Bungalow’s new Iguana Room this March and order a coconut highball and a snack off the new menu to go along with it. There’s hardly a better place to toast to the (Beijing) good life.