Tales From a Bar Stool: Chinatown

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The following was written by the gals over at Tales From a Bar Stool
Another Friday night and WT and I weren’t looking for another night out at the same bars we usually go to. There is only so much time a girl can spend at the same old bars before she feels the need to expand her horizons, move on to greener pastures and find new hombres to tease.

What we needed was an action plan without wanting to move far from our humble abode – we’d had a long week, cut us some slack. We decided to map it out at the Lamplighter in Gastown. We hadn’t visited this pub much since it changed hands to the Donnelly Group and it was time to give it a chance, and what better way than with a couple of mojitos on a patio.
Words of advice: don’t order the mojito. I’m not sure that the watered down cocktail with just a few small springs of mint could really qualify for a mojito. Disappointment hit. Not a good start to anyone’s evening. We knocked back the drinks and quickly made our exit. I must admit, I preferred the dirty dive the Lamplighter used to be. But maybe I just like things a little dirty.
Time to try something a little different and add some spice (the oriental kind) to our evening… the Chinatown Night Market.
If you haven’t wandered over to this neck of the woods before because you’re a) scared, b) lazy or c) clueless, get over it and make the trek. Entertaining is an understatement.
We could hear the ruckus as we walked down Keefer Street – drums, applause and really bad singing. We weren’t really expecting the huge crowd we saw when we rounded the corner. It’s not often that I feel like I’m in another city when I’m actually walking the streets of Vancouver, but this was one of those moments. There were people of all ages, race, height, status, tax bracket… ok you get the picture… it was a diverse crowd. We weren’t in Kansas.
As you approach the market from Columbia Street, the first thing you’ll notice is the stage with people bellydancing, singing karoake and, you know what, I can’t even justly describe what else goes on on that stage, you really have to see it to believe it.
After getting mesmerized by the performers on stage (it’s like a car accident – you can’t look away), we roamed through the stalls and took in all the delights of the market. Did you know that the Chinatown Night Market is jammed packed with stalls selling underwear? Next time you’re facing an underwear crisis, you’ll know where to go. Get your undies over here! Cheap undies for sale! In addition to the piles of panties, there are some fantastic cheap fashion sunnies. Everyone needs these for those boating days when you lose your sunglasses while cannonballing into the water, or for those weekends in Vegas when you can forget finding those lost sunglasses when you can’t even find your dignity. Do you like jewelry? There’s lots of that too. Pretty turquoise necklaces next to the Hello Kitty bracelets. There’s something for everyone. They’ve got you covered.
We were in need of a drink… there was too much stimulation happening in our brains. We had two options: Bao Bei and the Keefer Bar, and we wanted to try both of them out.
Bao Bei was up first, and we sidled up to the bar and locked our eyes on the Ryan Gosling look-a-like behind the bar. I love cute bartenders, in case you haven’t caught on yet. They really do make for a more pleasant night, especially when in addition to good looks, they come replete with charm. This one was oozing both like honeycomb does honey (yes, I’m aware of my cheese factor).
The bar was full but everyone was coupled up and deep in conversation, leaving us to fend for ourselves. One delicious Pina Colada and Goodbye Shanghai later, we needed a change of scenery… one that wasn’t packed with twosomes. We will certainly be back shortly to drink in more cocktails… and the handsome bartender. Hmmm… I wonder if he’s single…
Next up: The Keefer… It was about time we checked out this hot new spot. Plus, you know there’s a glass bottom pool on that rooftop, right? Where’s the harm in befriending some hotel guests in order to get an invite to the pool? Last time I checked, this was standard practice.
The Keefer wasn’t too busy when we arrived and we were able to pull up two stools at the bar. After deciding on a couple of beverages, a man pulled up next to us. And as you do with any friendly looking man sitting by himself, we engaged him in conversation. We soon came to learn that he worked in Vancouver 4 days out of the week and was based in LA for the rest of the week, with occasional trips to Antigua. What a life. Imagine commuting that often, never staying settled, living out of a hotel for days on end. I suppose there are both positives and negatives to that situation. I am focusing on the positives…
The guy seemed lonely and eager to have a conversation with someone. He made reference to eating alone and wanting to see the sights of Vancouver but had no one to do it with. I wish we had been quicker on the uptake and had offered up our free time to spend with him. Being a bit of an introvert himself, he didn’t ask.
Later, WT reflected that she wanted to give him her number, not as a girl interested in a date, but as a person who wanted to get to know another person. Her biggest concern was in leading the man on. She was in no way attracted to the man but found him fun and great company. How do you become friends with a man without there being something else lingering in the air? We have both encountered this recently and have come up clueless. This needs further investigation… and maybe some more bar stools.
Our Lessons from a Bar Stool:
Lessons for the Women:
1. Ladies, maybe just maybe, all men do not want in your pants. Give him your card, extend the olive branch for friendship. What’s the worst that can happen? You have caller ID for a reason.
2. Be open to new adventures with new people in new areas. You never know what you will learn or where it will lead you.
3. Don’t go to the same watering hole, mix it up and keep life fresh. Make it a rule to try new venues at least once a month.
Lessons for the Men:
1. If you’re a bartender in the city, give girls at the bar some extra treats. Build customer loyalty all the way.
2. Try to be just friends with a girl. No expectations, no sexual tension. Friendship.
3. Alone in a city? Don’t be afraid to ask someone to hang out. You’ll be surprised at the positive results.
-SA & WT

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