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How the Shanghainese celebrate the World Cup Pt2

CHINA | Saturday, 5 July 2014 | Views [345]

The giant TV screen couldn't have chosen a better time to start lagging crackling and blacking out than at the ripe time of midnight (at kickoff!). And in the classic Chinese chaotic mannerisms, the audience started shouting out "fix the screen!" "play the game!" "REFUND REFUND REFUND" before the poor AV crew had to turn off the TV screen and spend a few minutes fixing the screen. This of course, was all after we missed Brazil's first goal, instead being treated to a 30 second freeze frame of a wide blurry shot of the green football field. A few notes to make about watching a live stream in Shanghai:

- The TV hosts were still 'hosting' when the game started. This consisted of all 4 hosts, microphones in hand, blabbering (I do believe blabbering is justifiably correctly in this context) over each other about the betting app, about previous games that Brazil and Chile have played, about forecasted teams for the semi finals and finals; they shouted over each other about everything under the sun other than the actual game at hand. This was additionally on top of the actual CCTV5 commentary as well- I think more energy was spent trying to block out the noise than watching the ball.

- Maybe people did not seem to be there for the game itself. TV hosts from different channels were busy mingling and lots of ass kissing was seen from the general bar manager. 

^ One couple next to us at Table 9 left before the game started! Maybe they were just super keen for beer and popcorn, and had an extra 2k in their pockets. Ahhh I suppose we'll never understand the mindset of the 1%.

 

After a while the many waiters sweating in suits who were just milling around with little to do informed us that the the actual BBQ finally started! The line was however unfortunately long, but my aunt toughed it out and lined up a good while for plates of chicken and lamb kebabs, chicken wings and corn on the cob. The corn on the cob was a standout- grilled and smoky, and flavoured with some sort of Chinese spice. The kebabs were an adventure as well! There was one skewer with perfectly shaped chicken pieces, chewy and juicy and really surprisingly chicken-y. I quickly gobbled down a few pieces, and then went to pick off a funky white piece of skin off the next piece of chicken. Upon closer inspection, I was not picking off a piece of white skin, but rather a piece of vena cava superior. That was a pleasant surprise, to say the least!

 

At half time, the talk show hosts excitedly announced that it was time to draw the lucky dip prizes! The basic process was all the collected ticket stubs to the event were held in a large perspex box, and the host would draw out 10 3rd prize winners, 5 2nd prizes and 2 first prize winners. I don't recall what the 2nd and 1st prize was, though my aunt won a 3rd prize prize! (the odds were definitely in our favour as about half the attendees won a prize). Our prize? 10 $10 Scratchies equivalent to an $100 prize. Thus we began our Scratchie Scratching and by the end of half time, we proudly collected our winnings of $50. Such is the bureaucratic process of winning and then claiming cash. 

 

​I look back at the night as a whole with mixed feelings. Was it luxurious, abundant in food and drinks and over-excessive? Definitely yes. Did I enjoy myself? Also definitely yes. Would I go again? Probably not. There was little to be gained from the night other than an exercise in how to trivialise a night of watching football. Oh well. Maybe they'll fix the screen by the time Russia rolls around. 

 

Stay tuned

 

- Amy​

Tags: bbq, excess, superior vena cava, world cup

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