How A Story Can Bring Back Great Memories

“It’s not just a good beer, its good memories.”

Once I heard those words from film director, Fabrizio Azzellini, I could immediately relate to a specific memory of mine. When coming across a mini-documentary giving an overview of his time spent in China, I never expected to relate to his personal experience.

While an undergrad, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in China and Japan – unfortunately, I made the mistake of not doing so. However, Fabrizio details an experience that I can relate to concerning the pale lager known as Tsingtao.

Of course, consuming a high quantity of alcohol is not healthy, yet in moderation, alcohol can provide a great ancillary to a social gathering. My experience doesn’t originate in China, yet it does mirror how a beverage can play a key role in a memory which lasts a lifetime.

How Tsingtao Ended Up Playing A Role

“…We should definitely go to Ming Dynasty.”

My suggestion was a passing remark as two wanted to go to dinner that night. The three of us went to high school together – they were a grade behind me – then we would attend the same University. This would be our first-time eating dinner together, yet had seen each other at several parties, yes the typical college gathering locale.

They had never been to Ming Dynasty (my favorite restaurant in town), so they quickly agreed to try it out – since Chinese cuisine is delicious.

…No, you’re not allowed to argue with me about Chinese food for the sake of this story.

I always enjoy walking into the restaurant, dim lights set a calming mood and a variety of paintings and wall displays further create a specific ambiance. There is something about that place which is immediately relaxing and a major stress relief.

While we waited to order in my typical booth, a friendly waitress asked us if we would like anything to drink. I suggested we all try a Harbin during the first round while we waited for our meals to prepare.

Harbin is another pale lager from China. At the time, I was not a fan of lagers and this was all our first opportunity to try the beer. Each of us liked the beer and were eager to try another Chinese beer as our meals were close to finishing. Yes, the waitress was on point that day, she let us know when we had five minutes left before we would be served.

…She was tipped extremely well.

That’s when we found Tsingtao on the beverage menu and we all decided to give it a try when our plates were brought out. We decided to make an event at the dinner and made plans to be out for several hours, even indulging in dessert.

Luckily, I wasn’t the one driving so I ended up having two Tsingtao’s and an extremely interesting cocktail called a Singapore Sling. There was so much laughter, joking, reminiscing about high school, talking about the future, and enjoying each other’s company.

Due to the restaurant not being busy at the time, the hostess and wait staff spoke to us and were beyond pleasant. I fondly remember a couple of Tsingtao bottles being on the table throughout the night, playing the ancillary role which I mentioned earlier.

Did Tsingtao help the three of us relax that night? Probably.

Would I remember the night as fondly with Tsingtao? Sure.

However, the fact that I can remember us enjoying the beverage adds to the memory. Each of us wanted to taste a drink from China and being able to do so at a great restaurant is an important part of the memory.

Lessons Learned

When living life it’s extremely important to remember the moments when you were enjoying life. Stress is an unfortunate part of our current society, often leading us to forget the moments of laughter and pure joy.

I let this memory escape me, despite how great of a day it was. Being reminded shows me why it’s vital to never forget the good times as life will be full of challenges and stressful moments.

This is a toast to friends and quality drinks.

Thanks for the memories and to those that will follow.