Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Table at The St. Regis Beijing

Christmas table, or "julebord", is a very near and dear tradition among Norwegians. 

This is the annual event where you usually get together with your colleagues binge on food and get really drunk and stupid.

This year other fellow Norwegians in Beijing and I had the opportunity to attend the Christmas table hosted by "Club Norway" at St. Regis Hotel.

At 400 Yuan per person, most of the Norwegian students thought it was too expensive, considering that we're in China. But considering the location and the FOOD, I thought it was well worth it. Normally even having brunch at this hotel costs more than 500 Yuan, and at the Christmas table they even served imported traditional Norwegian booze, "aquavit", and traditional Norwegian christmas food like pinnekjøtt ("stick meat" - dried and smoked lamb/mutton cutlets), ribbe (roasted pork belly), turkey, pickled herring , raw reindeer meat, smoked salmon etc, etc. They also had a separate pastry room with traditional Norwegian Christmas dessert and other traditional dessert like riskrem (rice cream), tilslørte bondepiker ("veiled peasant girls"), marzipan cake, cheese cake, and so on. As much beer and wine as you wanted was also included.




Of course it turned out to be a charity dinner, collecting donations for kids in Mongolia, filled with "important" business people. 

I think among most of the students from the University of Oslo, not being used to this "oh, we're so rich, lets have spend a bunch of money at these charity events so that we can feel better and also so that other people can see how god-hearted we are"-spirit, took turn in rolling our eyes a few times during the evening.

This might seem overly critical, it's just that we're not used to attending fancy charity events like these, and the whole "spend 20 000 Yuan on auction for a dinner for eight at the best restaurant in Beijing to buy coal for the poor kids in Mongolia"-thing seem a little.. American? 

Oh, God, and some of the "important business people" that was there were so boring. People were ceremonially handing out business card left and right, and I could see in the corner of my eye classmates receiving them, and I could practically hear them thinking "what the hell am I supposed to do with this?". 

Oh, and the mingling. Snooze, snooze, magooze. These people don't know how to talk with people without reciting their entire resumé, making me want to repeatedly bang my head against the table. Luckily I had my friends there.

Soon everyone got too drunk to be bothered to try to seem smart and successful, and of course started to show their true colors.

Ugh, I hate that. I hate people who (think they) are "smart and successful" when sober, turn into complete asses when they're drunk. It's like they've got so much suppressed idiocity bottled up inside from always keeping an appearance that they completely switch personalities when they're drunk. Ugh

I'm mean and crazy both sober and drunk, at least there's no surprises.

Like this guy, for instance. Probably think he's a big shot with and up and coming future, being a trainee at the embassy and everything, but then turning into a complete fool when he's drunk.

Get a grip! (- and not of my ass, I'll kick you in the face). Being drunk is no excuse for acting like an idiot.

This lovely photo series was shot by Lotte.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Great post. And I fully agree with your feelings on those charity things -- or any other place that rich and over-privileged (and typically emotionally neglected and stunted) gather. So basically, any formal social event in Asia. I hate those events.

Great last photo series. That guy is lucky he walked away with his hand still attached. lol