Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Crazy day

On my way home from work today, the taxi I was in was rear ended because no one here knows how to drive in the amount of ice and snow we currently have. Yantai hasn't seen this much snow in over 50 years and it is supposed to snow straight for another 5 days! The crash was not that bad and I was ok. That began one hell of a crazy evening.

I had dinner last night with a some friends of mine that I'll tell you about later. Anyway, I was picked up by my friend's driver in front of a hotel. We drove to another hotel to pick up som Germans who had flown in that day, and we headed to the French Romantic Restaurant were we met with my friend. On the way I spoke to our driver as best as I could considering I don't speak Mandarin fluently and he seemed like a really nice, funny guy. We arrived at the restaurant and ten minutes later as we are about to order, our driver comes running into the place with a mob of people after him. Around ten people force their way into the restaurant despite the staff's best efforts and proceed to beat the living hell out of our driver. The westerners at our table didn't realize it was him at first because there was so much commotion, but our Chinese friends did, and before you realized it half of our table was involved in a massive bar/restaurant brawl. I feel really bad for the driver... he didn't stand a chance. They'd have one guy hold his arms behind his back while another three worked on him. He finally broke away, ran upstairs (where I thought he was going to get thrown over the balcony onto our table), and got beaten some more.

The police came, a few people went to hospital... anyway, they arrested the guys that attacked him, although no ones seems to know what it was all about. We were given a shakey story about a fender bender, but I don't think anyone really believes that. Some of the attackers were arrested, and are going to be in a heap of trouble. One of the driver's best friends is apparently the Chief of Police for Yantai... I think I'd rather not know what they do to him in a closed room. Our driver is in the hospital still, and I don't know what his condition is, although I hope he is ok. He had split open the back of his head on something and at least had a few broken ribs.