Chrimbo Chaos & Comradery
I was fortunate enough to get a last minute invite to a friend's for Christmas Day. The invitation, from one of the fashion world's most promising young talents (Percy), was gratefully received and duly accepted.
Xmas Eve I was initially planning to stay in. After a little alcoholic bribery I hit the town with two of the loveliest people I've met in Beijing. The nutty Norwegians Magnus and Kristie, showed me around some of the coolest and seediest bars in the capital; our lengthy night of bar crawls finished around 7am in the Den and keeping it classy we sloped off for some rest.
Chrimbo day arrived and I headed out to get my secret Santa pressie for Percy's bash. Rolling up at his PIMP pad around 4pm I was rather impressed. As opposed to my council-house style bedsit, his luscious apartment has immense views of Beijing's central business district and, more vitally, comes equipped with a bath. You know you've made it when you have a bath in Beijing.
After the essential booze run, we got back and cracked on with the warm mulled wine. Heated with meticulous precision from Mercedes man of the moment, Ross, who also handled a heady mix of Christmas carols for our soundtrack.
Here's me Ross and Percy who, by the way, randomly all have connections to Worthing in Sussex. And no, we're not drinking English teas. This almost definitely, unofficially makes us Worthing's greatest population in exile outside of Brighton. And yes, we are collectively the Beijing Worthing Massive now. Pretty soon we were joined by a specially selected mix of the city's coolest movers and shakers.
As we all sunk more and more festive drinks; snowballs, bottles of bubbly and the Russian classic vodka (and perhaps the odd cuppa cha), the British hire-a-chef's arrival was highly anticipated.
'Roger the chef' turned out to be a bit of a legend. He rocked up with our deluxe three course meals and got busy preparing. I opted for the vintage prawn cocktail as a starter, with lamb as the main - and yes, it was fully covered by gravy and an amazing selection of veg - followed by chocolate fudge cake for desert. It was lurrrvly.
After a few Chrimbo-inspired movies, we had quite possibly the Asian premiere of controversial movie The Interview. Filled with smutty toilet humour, I thought it was pretty good but I can see why the North Korean regime wouldn't want it released. Poor old Kim Jong-un.
I crawled home not long after 4.30am at the end of an exceptionally superb Xmas day. It's friends like these that really make life abroad so amazing. Being so far from your nearest and dearest can be tricky at this time of the year but, with life-sized party legends like Magnus, Kristie and Percy et al to kick about with: I partied like it was 1999.
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