Weeklyish Challengey Thingie: Leave the House

February 20, 2012

Hold on to your pants, everyone.

I’m starting a new series.

I know what you’re thinking.

And I’m not really sure what you did to deserve this either.

In addition to my semi-regular installments of Stuff I Really Kind of Like About My Life in China, I will also be writing about challengey stuff that I make myself do every week (or so… because you can’t really expect me to challenge myself every week. That would just be crazy-talk).

As I mentioned before, I’ve decided 2012 is totally the year I’m going to challenge myself. Unfortunately, I tend to be the type of person who only challenges herself when there is some kind of incentive – like cash prizes or cake or the promise of public humiliation on my blog.

(Yes, I do consider humiliating myself on the Internet a suitable motivational technique. In the years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve done tons of things I totally didn’t want to do because I was pretty sure it was going to make me look like a a total idiot and, hence, make for a really good blog post. It’s a good thing I can’t afford therapy as I’m sure this is a sign of my crazy.)

I’m calling this new series Weeklyish Challengey Thingie. Because I am not really into using words that exist.

This week’s challengey thingie: leaving the house.

Trust me, it’s trickier than it sounds.

At one point in my life I used to be the type of girl who went out on the weekends. Like on a regular basis. To places where other people gathered. And I’m not just talking about going to the grocery store.

I would wear fancy going out clothes and fancy going out shoes. I’d even carry a fancy going out purse – you know, the kind of purse that’s too small to make sense during the daylight hours.

Me. Only fahhhncy.

I don’t know what happened to that girl. She went missing right about the time I moved to China with a collection of sensible black shoes and a purse large enough to carry stuff.

I suspect she slipped through the cracks of my couch cushions.

She's probably under the middle cushion... hanging out with the spare change and potato chip crumbs.

Sometimes, I miss that girl.

Especially her shoes.

One of the many challenges I set out for myself this year is to get out of my apartment more. And, again, I’m not just talking about going to the grocery store.

So when my Italian colleague announced she wanted to go dancing for her birthday this past weekend, I went along.

Not that I had much choice in the matter, really.

I mean, it was her birthday. Who am I to refuse someone’s birthday wish?

Besides, I really, really, really like dancing — especially in Asia as this is pretty much the only continent in the world where I am considered a good dancer.

You see, I lack the basic qualities needed to be a good dancer, like grace and coordination and rhythm and, say, any ability to stay upright while drinking.

Once while I was in a dance club in Canada, a beautiful, willowy, blonde woman marched up to me and informed me that I danced “like a drunken bunny.”

At the time, I figured she was jealous because I happened to be dancing with the guy that she liked.

Or she meant it as a compliment. Because, seriously, I can’t think of anything cuter than a drunken, dancing bunny, can you?

But, since this incident, it’s been brought to my attention that I do, in fact, dance like a drunken bunny.

Breaking it down.... drunken bunny style.

It has also been brought to my attention that in most parts of the world dancing like a drunken bunny is, in fact, not a good thing.

At all.

Not even a tiny bit.

(I know. I don’t even know how that makes sense either.)

Luckily in Asia, especially Japan and China where I have spent most of the last five years of my life, people tend to be a bit shy about dancing. And, well, it’s pretty easy to be the best dancer in the room, when you happen to be the only dancer in the room.

One of the only times I’ve gone dancing in Wuxi, my friends and I ended up in a smoky nightclub where our fellow club-goers stood around drinking and playing dice games. Every once in a while someone would sway a bit to the music, but this didn’t happen often.

Meanwhile, I was raising the roof, as the kids say these days.

Mind you, this wasn’t entirely easy to do when the selection of music included a techno version of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.

But, hey, I was determined to dance, and dance I did. Even if that meant bogeying it to Disney.

Luckily, when I went out dancing with my friend for her birthday this past weekend, the music selection was much better. In fact, we ended up in a club with a live band from the States.

And, much to my surprise, there was a big huge group of Chinese people dancing.

Including this guy, who hopped up on stage and started shimmying with the band.

He was so entirely adorable and awesome that I tried to dance with him later but he would have nothing to do with me.

His loss, really.

And then there was this guy whose entire dance repertoire involved waving his hands around in front of his body like a slow motion hulu dancer. Which must have been really exhausting because by midnight he was passed out.

After I’d shown off all my dance moves (including the one where I move my hands and the one where I move my feet and then the one where I move my hands and feet at the same time and try not to fall over), I was ready to pass out myself.

But then, one of the musicians came up to me and told me that I was a really good dancer. We chatted for a little bit, and he informed me that he was from Boston.

I think this was maybe the first time in my life that a fellow American called me a good dancer.

I took that as a sign that I should keep on dancing. Because, obviously, I’m getting better with practice.

It’s probably also a sign that I should really, probably move to Boston already. You know, because, apparently, those Beantown boys are into drunken bunnies.

And, seriously, who could blame them?

I mean, can you think of anything cuter than a drunken, dancing bunny. Can you? I didn’t think so?

You have to admit, the likeness is uncanny.

Are you a good dancer or a bad dancer or a drunken bunny dancer?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On February 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm Heather said:

    Give me something choreographed to dance to (Zumba, country line dancing, the jazz routines I performed on stage when I was younger), and I’m fine! Anything else? I’m okay.

    Congrats on impressing the American — maybe the drunken bunny slipped through the couch cushions!
    Heather recently posted..At Home in Berlin

  2. On February 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm Erik said:

    I dance only when trying to make people laugh by completely humiliating myself, which some people are funny.

    After watching me dance the comments I often hear are “You are hysterical” or “It’s good to see you let your hair down” or “You move pretty well for a big (aka fat) guy”, none of which are compliments.

    It’s rare that I dance at all unless alcohol is involved. Not to say I need to be hammered every time I dance, but I am certainly less inhibited when I’ve had a couple.

    After going to a few weddings with me while we were engaged, my wife thought it would be ‘fun’ to take a dance class. In her diplomatic way, she was making sure I didn’t embarrass her during our first dance at our wedding. Needless to say, I left our poor instructor shaking his head more often than not, asking “Are you trying to do that?” and “Is this a stand-up comedy class to you?”

    In the end, we got the dance down, with lots and lots of practice, but she had to count the steps out through the whole dance to keep me stepping the right way. Few people noticed, but fortunately some of my best friends did and gave me a lot of good-natured ribbing after that.
    Erik recently posted..Ode to Detroit, My Hometown

    • On February 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm Sally said:

      I love “Is this a stand-up comedy class to you?” Ha ha ha. It’s always nice when people think you’re trying to be funny… when you’re being dead serious.

  3. On February 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm SAM SUM said:

    I can’t dance at all. There is no coordination between my body and music….. When I went to the dancing club, i would normally sit down and watch people dance…And Eventually I will fall into sleep, My friend would eventually wake me up and go home…LOL

  4. On February 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm Don said:


    I wanted to bring to your attention that in this post you also talked to a man wihtout embarassing yourself. Seems to me you are also working on talking to boys. A job well done.

  5. On February 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm Diana said:

    This post hits way too close for me. For the record, I would happily take “drunken bunny dancer” over the pointing-laughing combo I’m used to. Hmmmm….I’m starting to think you’re good (and not just in Asia!).

  6. On February 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm Sabrina said:

    Yes, pretty bad dancer myself. Years of Zumba have only marginally improved that, so… I tend not to go dancing much. Also, there’s way too much rubbing, booty-shaking, sandwich-type-dancing involved for my taste in the American discos I’ve stepped foot it. Or maybe I’m just old. Either way, I think being called a drunken bunny would have to be compliment! Bunnies are supercute 🙂
    Sabrina recently posted..Lubbock Prairie Dog Town in Pictures

  7. On February 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    So excited about this new series, by the way, we’ll be going out in HK next week right??????
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..My Father’s Beautiful Misadventures

  8. On February 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm Jaime said:

    Ahhh how I love ya!!! I so wanna go out with ya one night… I think we would have a blast. As for what type of dancer I am… it all depends. I would say I am a pretty good dancer. I did take 13 years of Tap, Jazz & Ballet… and well my parents are Mexican so yeah I know salsa, cumbias, tejano and bachata. Oh man we’d have a blast… I hope our paths cross soon!
    Jaime recently posted..Music Monday – One Moment in Time

  9. On February 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm Whitney said:

    I’ve been told that I dance with the kind of awkwardness that can’t be faked, which is why I too LOVE dancing in Asia. Living in Vietnam for a year was so good for my self esteem. It also turns out that I’m amazing at singing outside of America (I think Vietnamese karaoke machines score based on volume, not pitch or rhythm). Sadly, all this music glory fades as soon as you leave. Enjoy it!
    Whitney recently posted..Jaguars and Mnemonics

  10. On February 21, 2012 at 12:58 am James in Phnom Penh said:

    Sally. I see in the picture that you are snapping your fingers. Do NOT do that. Repeat. Do NOT do that. (If I could electronically slap you a la Hitch, I would.) That’s a “White People Thang”. Also, by the creases in your shirt, it looks as if you are high-stepping. Again. NO.

    That being said, what was that cheesy song back in the 90s? “I hope you’ll dance?” So, good on you (!) for getting out on the dance floor.

    Really? You fell for a guy FROM THE BAND telling you you were a good dancer? Lemme guess. Were you the only white chick there? Sigh. So much to teach you… Email me. haha. j/k. Great blog post.

  11. On February 21, 2012 at 3:16 am Ross said:

    Good luck with your Weeklyish Challengy Thingie. Getting out is good. It must be easier to get out when you have a limited time to travel. I guess you settle in and find a routine when living and working abroad. Many years ago I spent a couple of summers in Taiwan. If I didn’t have anything to do (and I rarely did) I would go to the main bus station and get on a bus that was going somewhere I had never heard of. I called it getting lost. I wish I had the time to do that kind of stuff now.
    Ross recently posted..Heron Island – Singles Table

  12. On February 21, 2012 at 5:20 am Mira said:

    I’m liking this challenge!! Maybe I should do something similar to get me off MY sofa!
    Mira recently posted..Time Out – Beijing: Avoid culture clash with Jo Gan

    • On February 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm Sally said:

      Do it! The challenge even made me re-join the gym this weekend so I could have some gym posts to write. Now I just need to go do something stupid at the gym so I’ll have something to talk about… I’m sure that will happen very soon.

  13. On February 21, 2012 at 10:59 am Laurence said:

    My opinion of my dancing ability (and also my karaoke ability, oddly enough) is directly related to the amount of alcohol I have imbibed. So right now, sitting here stone cold sober, I would say that I cannot dance or sing at all. But in a few beers time, I’m practically Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire rolled into a giant bunny suit!
    Laurence recently posted..Travel blogging tips from the experts: Nomadic Samuel

  14. On February 21, 2012 at 11:49 am The World of Deej said:

    I don’t dance… Well let me rephrase…I don’t dance well. I used to enjoy dancing, until I was also told I looked like the male equivalent of a drunken bunny. So now I don’t dance. Such a shame too cause I really enjoyed what ever it was I was doing that apparently wasn’t dancing…
    The World of Deej recently posted..The Georgia Aquarium – A Whale Shark of a Good Time

    • On February 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm Sally said:

      Oh, this comment makes me sad. You shouldn’t let the haters stop you from getting your groove on. Maybe you just need to move to a country that appreciates your particular dancing style. Have you tried moving to Asia?

  15. On February 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm Patricia GW said:

    Alright, another series!! How awesome of you to go out of your way to do embarrassing/funny things for the sake of a blog post. I think you’re very brave to do it. From the pictures you don’t look like Elaine dancing from Seinfeld, so you must be better than you think 😉 I’m a shy dancer, but after a few (or more) glasses of wine I’m ready to bring it!
    Patricia GW recently posted..Snapshots: New York City Food

  16. On February 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm Ceri said:

    Sally the party girl! 😀 I always thought I was an OK dancer but was absolutely mortified in San Cristobal when the beautiful Latin American men started laughing at the fact that I have zero rhythm and tremble when they pull me up to dancefloor. I even stumbled like a jackass when they were leading me. This girl needs Salsa lessons … and fast!

  17. On February 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm Priya said:

    Who needs therapy when you got drunken bunny dance action going on? I love this “Weeklyish Challengey Thingie” you’ve got going on ( great way to get off your lovely couch, or um, stay on your couch depending on whether or not your weekly challenge is to see how long can watch TV until your eyes pop out). Wonderful post. I’d drunken bunny dance with you any day.
    Priya recently posted..Needing to learn how to celebrate–ish (my) life.

  18. On February 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm Vesta Vayne said:

    Aw, I used to LOVE to go out dancing. Did it every weekend. Then I married a two-left-feet-having-non-dancer, and thus ended my party girl phase. But you know what? I think you have inspired me. I’m going to tell my husband that he can just stand there while I drunk bunny circles around him 🙂
    Vesta Vayne recently posted..It’s Cocktail Time – Early Edition!

  19. On February 26, 2012 at 4:53 am Leah Travels said:

    I find that the amount of dancing I do directly correlates to the size of headache I will have the next morning.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Sugar Loaf: A Sweet View of Rio

  20. On February 27, 2012 at 8:51 am choi kum fook said:

    Miss Sally, great new post series! Really, I love very much in music, but I am a bad singer and dancer. Occasionally I had been in nightclub with friends when i was young, but, only enjoyed the performer’s singing and dancing. Only sometime might danced irregularly with friend after having some beer or wine like a drunken guy! From the photos, by right you are a good singer and dancer as well! Keep on going, if you have leisure and time. Such entertainments are good for reducing the pressure and stress.Do you think so? Miss Sally!

  21. On March 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm Sid said:

    You’ve inspired me to do more embarassing stuff and then blog about it. Thanks!
    Sid recently posted..Hunter S Thompson, The Rum Diary and Backstreet Boys

  22. On March 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm Jen Ryder said:

    I’ve noticed this phenomenon here in China too! I’m normally dance-shy, but my Chinese co-workers seem to really dig my spinny-circle-wave-my-arms-like-a-cowgirl moves, which is really all i’ve got going for me. They also think my boyfriend’s running man is the greatest thing since…jiaozi…not sure where i was going there. We even started a dance-off at the club last week. This is so out of character for us, but since people here think we have mad skills we just run with it! Love your blog by the way 🙂


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