bar stories

I don’t drink much at bars, even more rarely do I go back to the same bars, so each bar in my memory has a special story that defines it –

the bar a boy tried to make a move on me but I realised it too late and ended up watching him kiss another boy,
the bar I barfed in front of my prof,
the bar I had one of the most personal chats with S (haram on many levels),
the bar I met my first and only Tinder date and the second one we went to where we kissed,
the bar someone got me roses from the tissue uncle…

Today’s bar hop in Shanghai’s French Concession adds to that list. They’re D’s fav drinking places in this hometown of his. We had a very long conversation that spanned the topics of cultural anthropologists in SOAS thinking about jellyfishes, Big Brother and NGO survival in China, living the sustainable lifestyle off grid (both admiring and mocking people who do it), Shangri-La Hotel vs Shangri-La Garden Hotel etc etc etc. That was fun.

Trio

An unassuming bar opened by D’s friend. Cocktails on the menu are some of the best I’ve tasted – real solid bartenders they’ve got there – and they come in endearing names (“淘气的小Gaby”). Scored two free shots from the owners! Bespoke drinks available.

Kartel

A rooftop bar with a 360 degree view of Shanghai’s towering buildings minus the out-of-control crowd and overrated Bund scenery. Hot favourite among “local foreigners”. Recommended drinks: their wines. I imagine it’s beautiful at sunset too.

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