Many, if not most, Chinese males are smokers. You rarely see a Chinese woman smoker, unless you are in a big city. Now I am not a smoker, but I have learned to accept the offered cigarette and tuck it behind my ear. It is considered a sign of courtesy. Okay, every now and then (usually after a huge meal and some local beer) I have been known to light up.
Speaking of beer, there seems to be no definite legal age for drinking. When I first arrived, I was surprised to see beer being sold in the student cafeteria. Even more surprised one evening when beer was served to a six year old. He seemed to enjoy it, but really didn’t drink all that much.
In China, everything that is not beer is called wine. I have tried to explain the distinction, but to no avail. And they have some pretty strong “wine” here. It tastes nasty, but does the trick. Last year, Audraie and I discovered a Cabernet Sauvignon made by Great Wall. It is really pretty good. I have a small bottle of it on my shelf now. Right next to the bottle of Jim Beam, which is also sold locally.
Well, enough for now… Oh, by the way, HAPPY (2 days after) INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!