Charlie makes his living as a DJ which allows him to have a more flexible schedule than your average suit. As a result, he’s a big time night owl, staying up until 3…4…5am and not rising the next day until around 4pm. I tend to adapt the habits of the people I’m staying with so it wasn’t long before I was on his night-oriented schedule.
A little before midnight on the evening I had consumed gizzards for the first time, he suggested we dine on some food from the street vendors outside his apartment complex. These guys often have their whole setup running on the back of a modified tricycle. It’s quite amazing, and Charlie said they can earn A LOT of money given there isn’t the kind of overhead restaurants assume. Besides our late night feast, it’s common to see locals walking down the street with a variety of food items on a skewer, meats, pineapple, etc. (but still no scorpions).
So we picked out a variety of skewers from one vendor, ordered fried rice from another, and sat down at a make shift table to eat it all. As anyone to Asia can attest, little plastic stools are part of the restaurant and street culture. I know us Westerners can be taller on average than Asians, however I saw what had to be the tiniest plastic stool ever! I snapped the photo with it near a teapot to help give you a sense of scale.
After our meal, we headed to The Hemp House which was quiet given they yield to Cafe Panam(e) (aka the French cafe) on Friday nights. Charlie’s old roommate (” coffee”?) bartends there, and he was friendly with the owners (a nice Chinese couple). We hung out there for a bit, and eventually Eli and ” Softy”? arrived with a few other English guys. Eli is another American living in Chengdu, trying to earn a living as a Hip Hop artist. He had a paid gig with Softy earlier in the night, and apparently it went quite well. All of the guys were English teachers, a more common vocation for Westerners in China.