My new life in Fuzhou is slowly taking shape and after a difficult start, I finally feel like my time in China is going to be amazing. I can see myself living here for a while, learning what I have to learn, discovering and experiencing as much as I can.
I remind myself every day the reason why I came here and where it’s going to lead me. It makes me feel good.
I am eventually feeling what I love so much about my life: enjoying my freedom.
Fuzhou city, a night at the Life Club, 2 am.
The music is so loud that I have to shout in the ear of a guy who’s asking my name.
“My name is Juliiiie!!” He says something back but I cannot understand a word. I shout a very ungraceful: “Whaaat??”
That’s pretty much the only conversation you can have at the Life Club, the place where you lose your memory (or your consciousness) while having countless shots of vodka and feeling the vibes on the dance floor.
I’ve never really been a party girl but this place is probably the craziest club I’ve ever been to. Going to Life Club is like doing a triathlon of drinking, jumping and dancing. You need a full day to recover.
Clouds of mist and confetti spray on my face every ten minutes, huge balloons floating in the air, free bottles of vodka on every table, performers are diving into the crowd on inflatable boats and DJs are dressed up as pandas. It’s a fun madness. Jumping and dancing on the bouncing stage in front of the DJ booth has been the best exercise. I have to say it, Chinese people know how to party.
Fuzhou’s nightlife is quite lively and offers a diversity of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and pubs. Wherever you go, no matter what the time is, you will always find a place to entertain yourself. Chinese youths go out a lot and love hanging out to play games, to party, to have drinks or to eat a festive dinner with friends. There are many ways and places in Fuzhou to socialise and meet people. You just have to get out there.
One night, I randomly ended up in an underground club. A dance battle competition was on. I am not a dancer but I stayed all night. The Chinese dance scene is unbelievably good and it was interesting to observe something new. I’ve found the dancers to be crazy free, bold and really daring. Like they were freeing themselves from a strict and pressured everyday life.
It’s so easy to get carried away here. The Chinese hospitality when it comes to partying is limitless. Chinese people love making toasts shouting: “Gan bei!” (cheers) every 5 minutes, offering drinks and giving cigarettes to everyone. Not the best way to stay healthy but definitely the best way to bond.
I’ve been meeting more foreigners lately which has considerably diminished the feeling of isolation. I am feeling again what traveling and what being an expat is truly about. New encounters are such a huge part of it. It reminds me of when I left France to move to Australia 5 years ago. I was on my own, but I met along the way some amazing friends to share beautiful adventures with.
Moving to a new country and experiencing such a strong cultural shock really pushes you to open your mind in a big way and to accept different customs and habits. Adaptation and acceptance are fundamental.
Applying these principles are making my life in China way easier and because of that, I feel happier. Even if the language barrier is still omnipresent, I am finding my own way to create a new life and to fit in a completely new environment.