Or: An American in China on the Most American Day of the Year

I expected to skip out on the red-white-blue this year — was almost looking forward to it, in fact. The explosion of zealous patriotism gets boring after so many years.

Ironically, my uncle got invited to an “American style Independence Day Party” hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce. Since it was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Shanghai, my uncle decided the token American in the family might like to check it out and brought us along.

Most of the attendees were, predictably, American expats and their families. The event, as motley and makeshift as any American summer fest, featured local and international fast food — and, for some reason, a lot of alcohol. At one stand, I got culture shock from watching a little girl exchanged a handful of drink tickets for beer…which she promptly opened and drank.

Happy Fourth of July to my Americans at home and abroad. I wish you all savory barbeques and brilliant fireworks tonight!



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