'alcohol plays almost no role in society here'. Every convenience shop sells a variety of alcohol. Most restaurants too. Business dinners, weddings etc involve extreme binge drinking. In every city on every night of the week there are groups of people playing drinking games until they can barely stand, you will see people legless and vomiting at as early as 8pm. All this in the south of China which has a far smaller drinking culture. Go to a northern city and tell me alcohol plays no role in society.
While relatively few people here drink in bars that are visible from the street, this can create a misimpression that alcohol plays less of a role in society than it actually does. A lot of drinking takes place in cloistered spaces like private dining rooms in the back of / on the second floor of restaurants, private KTV rooms, etc.
I believe that was sarcasm
After writing the sentence that Haali quoted, dukeisme expounded on the same point in two further posts. Do you think all 3 posts are sarcasm?
So who knew that there are perhaps half a billion alcoholics in a secret Chinese drinking society, making opium look like child's play?
Where- as I don't drink, seems as though most of China should seek therapy with the Original Poster..