Sunday, July 05, 2009

From the Outside

Well, I'll just go ahead and say it: Happy Fourth of July. Ours is already over, but yours should just be beginning (not that I expect our American readers to just instantly read this once I post it).

M and I were reflecting on how different our last July 4th was. Last year, the rain seeding reached a peak on the Fourth, resulting in one of the worst rains we've ever been caught out in. After retreating back to our dorms, we decided to brave the rain with our friend to meet up with some of her friends, eventually ending up in a small Spanish-style bar in a hipsterized hutong, watching newfound acquaintances pound a couple racks of home-brewed tequila shots.

We weren't planning on doing anything too special this year, as I had to work and M and I both had some volunteering to do. However, somehow by accident, I bought mostly American today: 7-11 and Mcdonald's for breakfast and lunch.

So after I got off work, I kind of kept the streak going by heading to Lush (24 hour pancakes, burgers, beer, hookahs, you name it. It's like an always open ex-pat homesick remedy) for their discounted burgers. Plus, I'd heard through the grapevine that a couple of our friends were going to be playing some music, so we decided to stick around and check it out. Although the patriotism in the bar was often drunkenly over the top (three guys, arms linked, free hands raising beers toward the American flag, slurring the words to American Pie), it was surprisingly cheering. Despite all the crap She gets, America's a great place to have been born and raised. These days it just isn't that cool to be American, China not being an exception, so taking a day out for Freedom was refreshing. Especially when it involves rowdy singalongs of heartland favorites: the Star Spangled Banner, Sweet Home Alabama, American Pie, etc. Jason and Kanene are freaking rockstars.

But my ultimate favorite part? Marissa's awe-inspiring dramatic performance of the Presidential speech from Independence Day. Epictacular. Really makes me want to kick some alien butt.

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