We walked into the Max Pub in Shanghai on our return walk from the foreign bookstore, where we had gone to buy cookbooks and a gift for our translator’s graduation. It was around noon, and the place was empty. When we walked up the steps and crossed the threshold, Adam came out of the darkness of the bar and greeted us. As there was no one there, I asked if the pub was open. “Yes, of course,” Adam said. “We’re open. We have food. Come in.”
All we wanted that first day was a glass of beer to quench our thirst. We were just getting our Shanghai bearings, and this looked like a neat place. We had only had our drinks a few minutes before Adam came over and engaged us in conversation. He is from the north around Xian, home of the Terra-cotta Warriors.
Michael is from the same area also. Both young men have moved to Shanghai for jobs. It is a fairly common scenario in China for rural people to move to the city to find work. Neither Adam nor Michael have any advanced education. I got the impression that they liked their jobs (Adam has been with the company for four years), but future plans are undefined.
For our part, we truly enjoyed chatting with these guys. Michael got out his cell phone and brought up Google Maps and had me zoom right in to our house on Delaware Avenue. Even saw the top of the garage! It was a fun moment.