December has been a busy month for Lusaka’s PR Girl Media with #TheTravelSeries. I started a Travel Series Journal with Zanzibar at Latitude, but we had an unfortunate break in transmission with Jamaica at Zebra Crossing because I caught the kinda flu that has you feeling like you’re going to cough up a lung. I was quite sad about missing destination number two because anyone that attended all three events stands a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to one of these amazing locations, as long as you have proof of attendance of all three destinations (i.e your passport/ticket). So good luck to whoever wins that, if you need a plus one I am down 😉
So I was left with heavy FOMO for Jamaica because I had seen what the DJ setlist and menus had to offer, plus we all know when it comes to the music Jamaica is turn up central! And because no one felt like it was essential to tell us about their Jamaica experience (the way I like to share 😁) my imagination of what it was like still runs wild. This was all the motivation I needed not to miss the final destination, which was Beijing at The Retreat in Roma.
I was racking my brain trying to decide what to wear. I finally decided I was going to go as a millennial Asian kid in all my casual grey sweatpant glory but with a twist, the Origami Samurai hat! Yeah, but that dream died a slow death as I started to realize how hard it was to find one of those. This might have been a blessing in disguise because apparently that’s more Japanese culture than Chinese, and I wasn’t about to offend the Asians like that 👀. So in the end (two hours to event, because sometimes procrastination is my literal best friend) I decided to rock up in my egghead swag, sun glasses in tow, white tee tucked into pants minus belt, channeling a new age monk 😎
My time of arrival was 4PM and as soon as I walked in I saw how China Town had invaded The Retreat. Everyone was handed a little Chinese good luck charm in the form of red knot tassels, a good sign we were in for a proper Chinese treat.
Being a family event, I saw plenty kids swimming in the pool in the center of all the Beijing beauty. This was the sort of scenery I’ve seen in many a ZNBC Chinese flick, with the kids in the dirty pool (this one wasn’t dirty) as the adults go about their business. Their business here being ALL THE CHOW! There was a variety of food stands, all catering to a range of culinary palates. From chicken feet, to sweet and sour pork (that I absolutely loved!), to the yummiest buckets of dumplings in soy sauce, Chinese food IS the business!
I was hype to try out the Chinese liquor too, but after hearing what was in it and its effects I humbly settled with Lemonade 👀 THAT was not the kind of night I was about to have, if you catch my drift.
I loved the oriental decor, with all the Reds and beautiful Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the trees in the backyard.
It made you feel like you were in one of those Jackie Chan movies, with the gorgeous market scene in which because he is working so hard at being a hero and protecting his people from villains a huge fight blows out right in there and they mess it all up. That didn’t happen here, (un)fortunately 😅. The closest we got to an open market fight was a display of martial arts by several groups. I was so close to the action, and this was not even strategic, but at some point I thought I would be caught in the cross fire and one of their martial art stick thingamajigs would fly in my direction.
The dragon dancers were in formation and brought the fire (lol, no they really were dressed in fiery colors) as they displayed a choreographed version of martial arts and didn’t skip a beat. Every kick and stomp was on point! Again all this was happening 3 meters from where I sat, a beautiful scenery.
We were also entertained by a Chinese B Boy. Apparently there is a growing presence of Hip Hop dance in China and I loved that we got a glimpse of what that’s like. This kid did a break dance to a set of Hip Hop tunes, breaking and bopping and spinning to precision. One of my friends asked “Do you think they flew him in from China?”, and I chuckled because WHAT? We don’t have B Boys in Zambia? 😅
To close off the night, the Bombay Lounge (VIP, for adults only) was opened at around 7PM. With El Mukuka, resident DJ for #TheTravelSeries, on the ones and twos. I would have loved to hear some Chinese tunes because I was curious about what their music scene is like, but El kept us entertained as we chatted the night away in the lounge so I was good with that too.
This one was a delightful experience and now I can’t wait to feel the presence of Beijing in real time. I wasn’t really a fan of Asia before but that’s one more destination added to my bucket list.
Kudos to PR Girl for The Travel Series 👏🏾
Photo Credit: PR Girl Media.