Don't Drink No Matter What!

Here in China drinking to excess is part of the business culture. In the Chinese mind, getting blasted with your new business partner is supposed to create a bond of trust. Thankfully this is slowly changing.

There have been a few occasions in the past where my not drinking and therefore my trustworthiness has been questioned by my Chinese host. "Not even beer?" they ask. With my Chinese wife's help I tell them that drinking, even a tiny bit, makes me deathly sick (and this is not a lie). Usually they back off.

We had a visitor in our meeting that told this story... "I was at a lavish banquet with my new Chinese business partners and immediately they began pouring small glasses of liquor for a toast. I told them that I didn't drink, but they kept insisting. I said that drinking alcohol makes me sick. Their response? "OK, next time we will pick a restaurant next door to the hospital!"

That I have been able to stay sober in China for all these years is not something that I did, but definitely the work of my higher power. I just try to stay willing to grow.

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