Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pabst Blue Ribbon Alive and Well in China

When most other expats took leave and escaped to the nether regions of Asia during the holidays, I was always greedy and worked. I could work for one or two weeks and make the same money I would have earned in four weeks, so that's what I did. One summer I had the opportunity to go to a new place in Guangdong province (where I lived; just above Hong Kong)and not only make some money, but enjoy some new scenery.

a billboard in Zhaoqing, advertising it's factory there.

Zhaoqing is a minor tourist area of the province, known for its fresh fish and mountain scenery. I worked for ten days, then had the apartment provided by my school to myself rent free for another week. I called my girlfriend and told her to catch the train and enjoy the week with me.

Once she arrived, we went about the area, touring and window shopping and eating. Every area of China has its own cuisine, and Zhaoqing was no exception. Also many areas of China have their own distinct beer; the Germans have been a presence in China for over 400 years, so beer became prevalent because of the Jesuit priests that settled throughout the country.

We asked for and found a restaurant serving local food and settled in. I asked my girlfriend to tell the waitress for the local beer. I had only been "in- country" about 14 months so my language skills were still limited. My girlfriend placed our drink order and then we continued to chat for a bit when the waitress returned and set two one liter bottle of...Pabst Blue Ribbon beer on our table. It's not uncommon for a Chinese entrepreneur to try to not only impress a foreigner with their imported goods, but to also make more money off the said foreigner. I told my girlfriend to tell the waitress that although I appreciated the import beer, I preferred to have the local variety. She proceeded to explain to the waitress, a discussion ensued, a few questioning eyebrow movements and wide eyes later, the waitress left, not taking the PBR with her.

My girlfriend than began to tell me "It seems that there is a large brewery located on the river in the area and it produces and ships PBR all over China!"

I was shocked, but nevertheless enjoyed my PBR in the middle of nowhere China, pondering how in the heck it ever arrived here in the first place.

No comments:

Post a Comment