Friday, November 20, 2009

To stop a fight or not to stop a fight?

After attending the Ad:Tech Internet & Social Media conference in Beijing the attendees ended up at the Park Hyatt's Xiu Bar. With four tables smashed to the ground and the commotion ploughing into me, I decided to stop the larger guy who was repeatedly punching the smaller guy about the head.

But bouncers are as blind as Justice--all 10 of them--I ended up being headlocked and forcibly removed. Pleading my case, I quickly became a witness, not a suspect. Minutes later I was washing someone else's blood off my face in the police station's sink next to a sleepy cop who was simultaneously brushing his teeth and horking, his bedtime dormitory routine.

Ironically, the bouncer who translated for me at the police station had spent 6 years in Cyprus--notable because a Canadian founded UN Peacekeeping, yet even after 45 years, the Cyprus UN Peacekeeping mission, among others, is still on-going.

In the cab home, my driver shook his head saying I shouldn't have been involved. But then he thought to himself and asked "Zhong bu zhong?". "Serious," I replied, as the smaller guy has been hospitalized. He nodded and said I had done well.

I went back to the Xiu bar last night, now front-of-the-line access as all the bouncers know me. I retold the story to an American running the one of BJ's oldest and best known watering holes (names withheld), and he strongly urged me never to get involved in any fights in China.

He should know: a few years back he punched a guy who stole his cab and quickly earned the nickname "laoshi" (teacher) from spending five days in jail teaching English to his cellmates.