Don’t Ruin All My Places

After finally finding your main spot, the place is overrun by people who like all music, drinks and fun. In other words, they probably like nothing at all.


Well, my readers, this month I’m going to be a little less saucy and a little more serious. Hope you’ll bear with me. I promise that I will still offend and upset at least some of you!

I want to ask all of you out there, why is it that we always ruin great places by making them popular? When I was in university, there was this really great coffee shop near my home that had a free reading library, reasonably priced drinks and catered to writers and artists. I loved hanging out there, talking with friends and meeting cool, new people.

Then somebody blogged about it. The article rapidly spread on Facebook and Twitter and within a week, their business more than quadrupled. Prices went up, the environment became noisy and crowded. I lost a place to hang out with friends. Ironically, the very things that had made it popular were destroyed by its growing popularity.

What’s this got to do with Dongguan? Batou.

Several years ago, Batou was a really cool place to spend time and take selfies. Mostly local Chinese were there with lots of artists and musicians. There were some expats, but not too many, and most of them could speak Chinese and enjoyed hanging out with the locals. It was an amazing place that had unique, traditional buildings and fascinating people.

“But wait,” I can already hear some of you saying, “aren’t you the one who was criticizing the people who complained that there’s nothing to do in Dongguan just two months ago?”

Today, Batou’s popularity has grown really fast. Too fast. The last time I went there, I saw more foreigners than Chinese. Places that used to be quiet and relaxing are now annoying with loud music coming from the places next door. Waiters stand outside each venue, trying to grab you to come inside.

“But wait,” I can already hear some of you saying, “aren’t you the one who was criticizing the people who complained that there’s nothing to do in Dongguan just two months ago?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still your dedicated party babe. I love loud music when I’m packed next to dancing, sweaty bodies as much as the next girl! But we already have enough of those places in the Dongcheng bar street. I like variety. I’m watching with sadness as one of my favorite places in Dongguan becomes just another generic bar district.

My Granny used to have a sign on her wall: “God grant me the Strength to change the things I can; the Patience to accept the things I cannot; and the Wisdom to know the difference.” I say screw patience and wisdom! Kim Kardashian & co. don’t have much of either, but look how much fun they have!

To all of you going to Batou, I wish you lots of fun, and great memories! There’s certainly lots to do there and it’s still got the special feeling that’s different from anywhere else in Dongguan. Go and enjoy it now before it is overrun by foreign popularity!

As for myself, you might spot me there from time to time, but I’ve found a new place that’s far from the growing tourist trap that Batou is becoming. I like the local musicians and artists better than tourists taking a thousand pictures they’ll never check again.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell you where’s my new favorite place, but you might eventually get there. Some Friday night, you’ll get invited and you’ll put on your underused leather jacket and black makeup to show your dark side. Remember, nobody believes you’re as hard as you think, but we do appreciate the fashion show!