No announcement yet.

Doc Journal: China/Shaolin, August 2003

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Doc Journal: China/Shaolin, August 2003

    It was a hot day in Beijing, hovering around a very sweaty 40 degrees centigrade. It was early afternoon, and I was in the back of a small Chinese taxi cab, scrunched up next to two little Chinese woman that I've known as friends for about a year. OK, maybe one of them, not exactly just friends, but, that's another story. Sitting tightly next to Linda was not all that much of a hardship; she was incredibly cute, young, pure and simple (and just a friend), just simply a sweetheart if there ever was one. No, it just wasn't going to be that bad of a cab ride.

    As we buffeted around in noisy traffic, Linda's small head full of luscious black hair slowly but surely crept over my shoulder to touch mine. Her right firm yet ample atypical Chinese breast touched my left arm as she leaned ever so tightly against me. Her little mouth, oh so close to my ear, whispered just a few broken English words, words that I could barely understand, in an oh so sultry yet innocent way.

    "Do you eat Beijing pussy?"

    The inquisitive smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye only added to the shock that no doubt was written all over my sweaty face. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that. Few things throw me, but this did. Now, I'm not going to say that I've never heard anyone ask me of this before, and I'm not going to say what answer was spinning around in my head, but, no, I've never had anyone ask me that before, and, no, I'm not going to say what my first reflexive response was going to be. Fortunately, the shock of the question was enough to stop my mouth from blurting out an enthusiastic answer.

    Thoughts of this relatively young girl being so forward with me started erupting, a young girl, though obvious to me, flirtatious and interested, as I was in her, was, in my impression, just a pure and simple art student from a remote farming town in China. I was actually closer friends with her roommate, and present fellow travel companion, Layla, for Layla spoke far more English in a far more comprehensible manner than Linda did. I thought about how I first met Linda, about two years ago, on a cold wintry day on WangFuJing street. Linda had basically come out of veritable nowhere, or so it seemed, and just appeared suddenly in front of me, blocking my passage. A quick question in very broken English, "I am art student, you want to look at art?", with a curious smile, and beautiful appearance, and I was stopped dead in my tracks. Normally I just ignored these Beijing art students, but, for some reason, I decided to stop and talk to Linda. I soon discovered that any discussion was going to be short lived, for Linda knew very few words of English. Layla, her constantly chatty companion, soon trounced upon me and entrapped me with long conversations, all in an effort to drag me up to their student art gallery, to sell me some relatively poorly done paintings. I went with it, and eventually, we became friends. Layla was quite the girl, but I felt like I was falling for Linda. Just something about her. Pure, simple, sweet. And, she had great breasts, but, well, you know, that's not important.

    In the back of the taxi, as it roared in and out of noisy traffic, Linda was giving me that sullen look, that women seem to do so well. She slowly but surely leaned over again, and whispered into my ear, this time, a little more firmly, indicative to me that she was getting tired of waiting for an answer.

    "Do you eat Beijing pussy?"

    "Er, I'm not sure I heard you correctly. Can you repeat the question?"

    True, I wasn't sure I did hear that correctly, and, if I did, I certainly wanted to hear it again. Oh yes, it's the simple pleasures in life that make it all worth while.

    "Do you eat Beijing pussy? Beijing pussy are so rude."

    Well, improper behavior was certainly not going to get in the way of my getting to know Beijing pussy better. Rude pussy or polite pussy, hell, I could tolerate anything. I started to think of all things related, something witty and noncommittal that I could respond with, something that Linda would find highly entertaining, something that Linda would find humorous, something that would impress her with my superior intellect and comedic wit, something like, "Rude pussy? I never met a pussy I didn't like", or, "A pussy savored is a pussy earned", or, "A pussy a day keeps the urologist away", or, "I like my pussy shaken, not stirred", or, my favorite, "Hell hath no fury like a pussy scorned". It's true you know, I've learned that. Never, ever, scorn a pussy. Or its owner.

    Well, maybe, on second thought, I'd be better off if I didn't try to impress her.

    But I still didn't know quite what to say. I started to think of my options here. A negative answer would no doubt instill all sorts of doubts in her mind as to the manliness of the big bald guy sitting next to her. And, no doubt, would probably be a deterrent to some future "improvement" in our relationship, something which I certainly didn't encourage, but, which I certainly didn't discourage. Well, I tried to encourage it, maybe, a little. An affirmative answer might bring a smile to her face, which, subsequently, no doubt, would have brought a smile to mine, but then I started to think of the complications that would erupt in my relationship with Linda, and my relationship with Layla, and Linda's relationship with Layla, and everybody's relationship with everybody else. What a ****ing headache this was going to be. And then I thought of the last time I had Chinese food, and how the MSG gave me one hell of a damn headache. And a hypertensive crisis. No, didn't want to go through that again. Did Beijing pussy have MSG? Who knew? Oh, all those years of medical school, all to waste. I wondered. And I wondered. What to do...

    "Do you? Eat Beijing pussy? I don't like. Beijing pussy are rude."

    Oh. Well thanks for that tidbit of information. That really helped me here. I looked at Linda, and then I looked at Layla, and then I looked at Linda again. I wondered. But something was becoming very clear to me. Beijing pussy was rude. I thought about that for a while, and decided, that regardless of what becomes of Linda and I, or Layla and I, or, Linda and Layla, that I was just going to have to do some more research on this "rude pussy" phenomenon of Beijing.

    "I eat Beijing pussy. Eat, eat, eat. Eat Beijing pussy. Rude. Very rude."

    Her voice was starting to get a little louder, as she started to be slightly more emphatic about this issue. I wondered if the taxi driver understood English. I wondered if he ate rude Beijing pussy. Linda started to look at me, with those little warm inquiring brown eyes, eyes which spurt out a demand for a response to her initial question. I was dumbfounded. Just didn't know what to say. There were a few rare moments in my life when I was absolutely speechless, and this was one of them. So many thoughts running around my mind, so many pictures. Images of Linda, images of Layla, images of Linda and Layla, images of some rude Chinese pussy running around Beijing. I looked out the window of the taxi to see if any were following us. And that's when it got worse. As I looked around, I noticed Layla looking inquisitively at me also. She wanted to know what my answer was. She had been listening all along.

    I was doomed. I certainly didn't want Layla to know that I was interested in Linda's you know what, regardless of how rude it was, even though I was, well, you know what I mean, interested. For the last thing I wanted to do was to get into some sort of sexual love lust competition with another girl. It's bad enough when you fight with a guy for a girl, but, hell, fighting with a girl for a girl was just not a good thing for a guy to get involved in. You know, when girls like girls, sometimes they like girls because they don't like guys, or, they don't like guys as much as they like girls, or, they used to like guys a lot, but guys hurt them as guys always do so they start to like girls, but they still have some sort of like for guys, maybe not as much as they like girls, or, maybe just a little more than they like girls, but they still feel comfortable with girls, more so than guys, so they hang out with girls more than they hang out with guys, though, they still hang out with guys, because they like to hang out with guys, but, not as much as they like to hang out with girls. Besides, girls know how to please girls better than guys know how to please girls, or, at least, that's what some girls who like girls, and, who like guys, but like girls better, have told me.

    I know these things.

    Guys don't do well in these situations, yes, I understood that completely, it was all so very clear, all so very simple. And I didn't want Linda to know that I wasn't interested in Linda's you know what, because I was interested in Linda's you know what, even though the damn thing was rude; hell, Linda was purely a babe, I would have educated the ****ing thing and made it more respectful, just like the fat nuns in my Catholic grammar school, who by the way, also liked girls, did to me. Yes, I would have beat and punished that thing until it smiled and shined, constantly, just like I did in the sixth grade. Hey, I was going to be the rude pussy teacher, the professor of the uncouth cooty, the tutor of the bad-mannered booty, the coach of the discourteous dumpster, the trainer of the vulgar vagina. I assured myself, if anybody could do it, it was I. I'm not known as the great bald one for nothing you know. OK, well, maybe you didn't know.

    What was I thinking. I was speechless. Just had no idea what to say. I was doomed.

    Speechless. Yes, utterly speechless. Linda was getting annoyed at my lack of response to her poorly emoted questions. . Layla, ever the verbose one, with the far better command of the English language, decided to push me. For an answer. She had to know.

    "Why don't you answer Linda? What is your answer? Do you like Beijing people? Linda hates Beijing people, they are so rude..."

    Oh. Yes, of course.

    I'm back. In Beijing. Again.

    Nothing has changed. And everything changes....
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  • #2
    More on Beijing, more broken hearts...

    Beijing. What a city. How things change in only a matter of months.

    There is construction everywhere. The city has been working very hard, tearing up streets, relaying them, building new parks, tearing down hutongs, putting up new apartments and office buildings. The streets are clean, with an ever present army of orange clad workers constantly walking up and down sweeping trash up in their little collection containers. Less and less people spit on the sidewalks, you rarely see someone spitting in the restaurants anymore. More and more, you find western dress, and western electronics, and western food and clothing shops. Everyone has a cell phone. Or two. They're nuts about instant messaging each other.

    And, English is becoming far more prevalent.

    The Beijing airport is an amazing exercise in efficient security. They put our US airports to shame. Hundreds of people are moved through the system every hour, all with amazing efficiency. All luggage is x rayed, by x ray machines right behind each check in person. You put your luggage down to check in, the attendant gives you your ticket, your luggage is scanned, and then sent on its merry way to your plane. Security checks are done in a quick and thorough fashion. And, to make things easier, everything is also in English. English is rapidly becoming a second language in China, in fact, many many students are either taking English language in their college or high school curriculums, or, they're teaching it to themselves. The reason? The impending 2008 Olympics represents to everyone a huge potential to make money with foreigners. It's all about making money, and the Chinese all realize, that to make money, one needs to be able to communicate with foreigners. English is hot now.

    Layla speaks English, actually, fairly well. Linda, from my past experiences with her over the year, spoke very little. Needless to say, a relationship had formed with Layla over the year, because of our ability to communicate, and, because, well, she's kind of cute. Big American guys fascinate these girls, and I certainly was no exception. But, all the time, I had wished that Linda spoke better English, as she was the one that I had found to be most attractive. Linda was terribly cute, with a very distinctive look that almost appeared to be non-Chinese. In fact, she and Layla had almost no similarities in appearance at all, which, when you consider the usual look of a young Chinese woman, was pretty striking. They looked so different that at times, I wondered how they became so close. It was as if Linda was from some other country, and not from China. There was just something about her that snagged me. But without being able to communicate, developing a relationhip with Linda was going to be tough. Especially with Layla constantly being around, always taking over the conversation. It was all about to change...

    But first, some interesting tidbits about China this time around. The hot topic at this time in the news, is the whole North Korea mess, with NK claiming that they were close to have nuclear weapon capability, and some even claiming that their nuclear weapon program was successful. Needless to say, this has put the rest of the region into quite a tizzy, including the US. I had asked about this before, last March, and the general consensus at that time leaned more towards a Chinese attitude of not really caring, and a general desire for a peaceful end to the problem between the US and NK. At that time, from what I gathered, China wasn't all too concerned with NK having nuclear weapons; hell, they weren't that concerned with the US having nuclear weapons aimed at them during the fifty years of the cold war. China was more concerned with all the damn refugees from NK, streaming over their border, into Dongbei province, which, is problem enough to Beijing right now (about 80% of Beijing's prostitutes and homeless come from northern Dongbei province, supposedly about 10% come from Anhui and other areas, and 10% are local Beijingers). More refugees from NK into the very poor northern provinces would cause nothing but more problems in the rest of the country. In March, it appeared that China was more concerned with this problem than NK having nuclear weapons. But, things seem to have changed.

    NK being a nuclear power is a major concern for the Chinese it seems. The issue seems to be less that of NK being a nuclear threat to China, for the Chinese realize that NK probably wouldn't attack them (they appear to be close allies, with NK being the one realizing "where it stands" in the situation), and more one of the local balance of power being terribly disturbed. China at this point, from the people that I've spoken with, just does not want NK to have any nuclear weapons at all. There seems to be two reasons behind this. For one, NK's inclusion into the nuclear weapons club would no doubt increase the chances of South Korea and Japan rapidly entering the same club. The balance of power would alter, and the region would become very unstable and dangerous. Taiwan no doubt would enter the fray, Taiwan being a big issue in this country at this time. China just does not want this situation right next to its door. But the other reason is a little more compelling.

    China does not seem to trust North Korea. At all. Despite the relatively close ties with that country, and the consistent advances that NK makes to China to "demonstrate friendship", the Chinese don't trust the North Koreans. They find them to be very unpredictable, and very capable of making decisions that are not based upon any factual data or, for that matter, any sort of reason. No, China does not want NK to be nuclear armed, because, they are just so unpredictable. It's a frightening scenario, maybe more so for China, than it is for us in the US, worrying about NK sales of nuclear weapons to terrorists. The Chinese, because of their modest and humble nature, certainly are not terribly verbal about NK's advances recently, but underneath that quiet uncaring exterior, there is sincere concern. No, the general feeling is that North Korea would never start any sort of confrontation with China. But, then again, who knows...

    Sonme other interesting tidbits about Beijing. Did you know that there are thirty million people living in the Beijing area? That there are 100,000 taxi cabs in Beijing? And that every year, there are people that spend their time rating these cabs, for cleanliness, driver's ability, and so on, so that, on a yearly basis, one taxi is chosen as the best? That special taxi gets to paint a red star on its roof.

    Someone needs to tell these people that all the taxi's in Beijing are painted red.

    Western toilets are becoming more and more common in China. The Chinese actually like them more so than the porcelain holes in the floor, objects of fascination for me, as I could never figure out how to aim that well, to make them work the way they're supposed to work. Now, if they could only make some advances with their toilet paper, doc would be a happy puppy.

    Paper is a rare commodity in China. China just does not have enough trees to support a paper making industry. So, China gets its pulp supply from an interesting source: recycled paper from the US. Yes, recycled paper from the US is sold to China, who then reworks the material into new paper. The paper just is not of the same quality as that found back home.

    But, enough of this. Back to the love life.

    It was a relatively nice time with Linda and Layla. Layla, as usual, made the usual advances upon my first return to Beijing, but, it had become obvious, over the next few days, that Linda was just as interested in me as I was in her. I had told her last year to learn English, so that I could talk to her, and, quite surprisingly, over the past few months, she had worked quite hard, to the point where she and I could start having conversations. It really changed things for both of us. The natural attraction that we both seemed to have had for each other over the past year was starting to flourish. It was good, it really was.

    And then again, it was bad. Layla just didn't want to have anything to do with it.

    I just wasn't sure what I was thinking. Here I was having a relationship with one girl, who, I constantly reminded myself, had made the effort to make that so, and now, I was drifting to her best friend, who, I might add, was drifting to me. But, it couldn't be stopped. Linda and I got closer and closer, Layla got angrier and angrier. I knew it wasn't the nicest thing in the world, and, I must admit, I've never done this before, as, in the past, I've had what you might call "scruples", but, you reach an age where you start to realize that you've got to find happiness where you can find it, and, people will get hurt. That's life. And, I might add, that's the nice way of saying it. Linda and I started spending more time together, without Layla. And Layla was getting pissed.

    It all came to a head one day, actually, the day I was to leave for Shaolin, when Linda came up to my room to visit. Layla was at work. We discussed plans for her to come down to Shaolin to visit for a while, which, Linda readily agreed to. But, it was obvious that Linda was also upset with this whole scenario. "Layla is angry with me", she would say. Well, I explained to her, the best way that I could, that sometimes people sometimes get involved with their best friend's companions, and that it wasn't the best of situations, but, you just have to go where your heart leads you sometimes. Nobody said this was going to be painless. Linda understood this, but stated that she and Layla were close, and that they were from the same town.

    Best friends and neighbors too. They've been friends for a long time. I again reiterated what I had said before, that these things can be unfortunate, but that you never know where life is going to lead you. I then made sure, that before I left for the airport, that I had Linda's email address. That's when I noticed something very interesting about Linda. Her last name was Fu.

    Layla's last name was Fu.

    I thought that kind of humorous, so I mentioned it to Linda. I told her that there must be a lot of "Fu's" in Anhui province. Hell, most of the damn country was named "Chen". In fact, the majority of people's last names in China, are one of five common names. Chen and Lee were two of those five. Fu was not.

    She replied that there were a lot of "Fu's" in her smalll village where she grew up. In fact, a good deal of the village was named Fu. It was a close knit community. I had wondered just how "close" that community really was in the past.

    I reiterated my desire for her to take the train down to Shaolin to visit me sometime next week, which, she appeared to want to do, but, ever so slowly, she started to get more and more anxious about the whole thing. Eventually, she just broke down. I thought to myself, that this just was bad timing. I was supposed to leave for the airport; any long conversations about relationships with a woman was just not going to happen at this time. I had minutes to spare.

    But Linda required more than a few minutes. She was terribly upset. Again, the "taking a best friend's boyfriend" issue.

    I wondered how I could pull off the "don't worry, it will work out, she'll get over it" conversation in a few minutes. With someone who spoke little English. I gave her the abridged version. I just couldn't miss my flight. And she listened. And she seemed to have calmed down a bit. I thought to myself, this was going easier than I had expected.

    Then she gave me her response. The abridged version. One I hadn't heard before. Layla was her older sister.

    Doc does it again. Well, at least I was leaning towards the proper age group.

    The saga continues...
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)


    • #3
      Shopping in Dengfeng...

      I just love to go shopping in Dengfeng.

      There's this one supermarket off of the main intersection in Dengfeng, that kind of resembles a small US supermarket. A little atypical of the usual small one room "they live in the back" storefront with an assortment of unidentifiable junk. This supermarket has aisles, and even has some degree of organization to it.

      I had to buy soap.

      Not just ordinary soap mind you, but this really neat smelling orange soap, that they make from god knows what. But the soap is orange in color, and smells orange in nature, and comes in a little orange see through plastic container. And, unlike most soap that you find in Chinese hotels, these thick little half dollar size white things that do a better job of slipping out of your hands then they do cleaning your armpits, this orange stuff does suds up quite a bit. Whether it cleans well or not is really not an issue to me. I just like the smell. I can stand in the shower, rub this stuff all over me, and just sniff. It's awesome stuff.

      So off I went, to the Dengfeng supermarket, looking for two very essential items. Orange soap and chocolate muffins. The Chinese make these great little chocolate muffins, that come fresh in this sealed foil bag, with a little thing of something or other which absorbs moisture. Damn little muffins are so good and so fresh, that is, until you leave one on the desktop for a few hours or so. And the chocolate tastes fairly good too, quite the difference from the horrible chocolate taste of a few years ago. No, a few years ago, China and chocolate just did not mesh.

      Finding the muffins was no problem. I've got that memorized fairly well. But, finding my favorite little bar of orange soap was going to be an issue. I can't remember where I got it the last time I was here; my journey to this super duper market to find orange soap was a new thing to me. I decided to look in the best section for soap that there was. In the bathroom section. I cruised up and down the aisles, drawing puzzling looks from every supermarket girl there was (they post one on each aisle section, to help the Chinese find what they're looking for, and to watch the big ugly Americans to make sure that they're not stealing shit). Eventually, I came upon the famed toilet tissue section.

      Chinese toilet tissue is puzzling to me. The standard roll is slightly smaller in size than our much beloved American version, and the amount of sheets that they put on this roll is just slightly smaller than what you'd actually need after a good one. Especially if you ate corn the night before. But in the supermarkets, you can buy these rolls that are twice as long as the standard roll, something more on the order of paper towels. I think. Hell, maybe I'm using paper towels. But, no matter. Once I was in the toilet paper section, I knew I was close to my beloved orange soap. I started looking up and down the aisle for the famed little orange see through plastic container.

      There was none to be found. But I did accomplish something; right next to the toilet paper were solid little paper enclosed parcels, the size of soap, with nothing but unintelligible Chinese writing on them. But no little orange see through plastic containers. I figured that the Chinese had eventually discovered the high cost of plastic containers, versus the much easier paper wrap. Besides, this was going to be easy. Finding my beloved orange soap by smelling was going to be easier now that the soap was wrapped in paper. One really had to sniff long and hard to get a whiff of that much loved orange smell, through the plastic container.

      And off I went. Just started grabbing one little package after another, sniffing one here, sniffing another there. To speed things up, I stuck my head down by the shelf, and just sniffed, as I slowly walked up the aisle. And just when I thought I had smelled that beloved orange flavor, there was a noise behind me.

      The noise was the usual Chinese "Hello". Some young guy, with his wife and kid, had been watching me as I sniffed the shelf of little packages. There was a smile on his face, and a look of curiosity on his wife's that I had found amusing. They were entertained by my apparent use of superior intelligence, to find my much beloved orange soap. They must have known that I couldn't possibly read the writing on the package exteriors. I said hello back.

      They just stood there, just kind of looking at me.

      Well, I'm not one for just wasting time staring at people, so I took the initiative. I grabbed one of the small packages, put it to my nose, and sniffed long and hard. Then, I handed it over to the young man, and gesturing appropriately, suggested that he take a good long and hard sniff too.

      They didn't stay very long. They just walked away.

      How rude. Didn't want to help me find my orange soap. I put the small package down back on the shelf, which, was a good thing, as the ever-present little Chinese girl super market attendant, who, had not been there previously, now made it obvious that she was watching me. Never had I seen a slanted eye turn so wide. She just stared. And stared.

      I'm used to that I figured, these people always stare at me. But, I had no time for amusing her, so I continued back with my sniff patrol, from one shelf to the other, vowing to find my little bar of fragrant orange soap. Down and down I went, hunching over further and further, going from one low shelf to another, sniffing here and there, trying to find a whiff of that orange scent from all the other perfumed scents I was confronted with.

      And that's when I noticed the picture on that one bag.

      I was in the sanitary napkin section.

      There's a lesson to be learned here, just as there's a lesson to be learned in everything that we do, every single day of our lives. And I learned a great lesson this very week, one which I will remember to the end of my days, and, if I'm fortunate enough, one which I will pass on to my children, and my children's children. It's something that I never ever realized, and something that I never ever would have figured. But, since the possibility of my having children draws ever so remote each year of my passing life, I'm going to pass this lesson on to you.

      They don't make orange scented tampons in China.

      Now, there's an idea. New, in the docstore....
      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

      (more comments in my User Profile)


      • #4
        I love to eat chinese people.
        "I'm like Tupac: Who can stop me?"


        • #5
          Miscomunications... whether it be a language barrier or just the male female conversions....
          source for 1) a lot of fights
          2) some hillarious stories
          3) some funny looks
          practice wu de


          • #6
            orange chicken, no orange tampon?


            • #7
              Porn shop

              My friend's dating a girl from Manila, she tells him she used to work in a porn shop back home.
              "I'm sorry where did you work?"
              "A porn shop."
              Cool, he thinks. "So you dealt with movies, toys, stuff like that that?"
              "Sure all the time."
              This is great; maybe she can open a message parlor for me!
              "Of course it's all second hand stuff."
              "Second hand?" Suddenly enlightenment strikes, "A PAWN shop!"
              "Yes that's what I said."


              • #8
                She was fairly cute, for a Chinese girl. I really didn't see her cruise on by, but somehow, she just ended up next to me in the crowd.

                "What is your name?" she asked me, in not so bad English. I could tell that her vocabulary was limited, but she knew enough to hold a basic conversation. I briefly told her, and went back to what I was doing. I was more interested in what was going on around me.

                Which reminds me. What was going on. It was August 15th, my mom's birthday, and, this year, for some strange reason that is completely beyond me, I didn't forget. Oh, and it was also the grand reopening of the Shaolin Temple Wushu Guan. Yes, after a year of reconstruction, they've finally reopened it.

                Hasn't changed much.

                I kind of miss the old dusty and moldy torn red rug that graced the demonstration pavillion of the old wushu guan. How the dust would leap up into the air with each performer's perfect landing. How some parts of the floor actually weren't really there. It took true skill to jump around in the old wushu guan, and not land in some hole somewhere hidden under the rug.

                She just wouldn't leave me alone. Asked me where I was staying, what hotel, why I didn't live at the hotel that she worked at, how many times I've been to China ("Fourteen". "That's long." "You got that right babe..."), if I had a translator, if I needed a translator, on and on, all throughout the opening ceremony. Oh, the opening ceremony.

                Yes, Shi YongXin was there. Didn't throw the usual and customary "That's him" dirty look at me. All the big wigs of the local Henan government was there. Mr. Guo was there, smoking a cigarette (I yelled at him, he smiled as usual). Lots of wushu guan people, and some old monk friends were there. A bunch of Chinese people that I had never met were there. Imagine that. And, most important, Neil Genge was there. With one of his students, whose name I can't remember.

                Now, that was a bit of a surprise, as I had corresponded with Neil a few times through the site, about helping him with something or other concerning his return visit this year. I was just walking around taking pictures, when some guy I had never met said, well, he said "Doc".

                I said, "Oh oh...." I hate when people recognize me.

                Yes, I do get recognized, but few people actually come up to me. I notice it in Shaolin a lot; I could be walking down the street, or hanging out in the temple, and a small group of non-Chinese looking people might walk nearby, with someone or another pointing at me. It's a bit bizarre. But for one of these people to actually come up and talk to me, well, that's special.

                Had a great time with Neil and his student (and yes, Neil, thanks again for saving me from the personal hell of the typical outdoor Chinese bathroom by letting me use yours; as I've said, I shall be forever indebted to you, in this life and the next). He's truly a great guy, and one hell of a Shaolin afficionado. Has quite a great school in England too. No doubt I'll be crossing paths with him again in the future.

                "Do you have girlfriend?" Oh, back to my wonton little honey next to me at the ceremony. That one kind of threw me, as I was totally ignoring the procedings, and concentrating on this little girl with pigtails who had been sitting on her father's shoulders. Couldn't get the kid to turn my way so I could get a picture of her.

                "Ummm, in this town, no.". She seemed to smile upon hearing the negative response. And with that, the little wheels started turning in my head. Take off her eyeglasses, dim the lights, and she could become a semi-babe. But, our conversations were limited, to say the least. I started thinking about all the damn Chinese language lessons that I had taken over the previous six years or so. Started taking personal tutor lessons, got through a few chapters, dropped out. Hell, I've dropped out five times now. But, I'm proud of my last performance in Chinese class. Actually got up to learning 175 characters. Really. 175 of those ****ing things.

                Problem was, when I had learned the hundred and seventy-fifth character, I soon discovered that I had forgotten the first one hundred and seventy.

                So, I dropped out again.

                And I regretted it. Truly. For, had I known a few Chinese words, I might have impressed this "rapidly becoming a babe" Chinese girl.

                All the various Henan local officials gave some sort of speech. Interestingly enough, Yongxin said nothing. The ceremony was to commemorate the Wushu Guan's becoming a "China Scenic Spot". Yes, now the wushu guan has some sort of Chinese government status. Kind of like the two stars that they give to hotels that don't have running water or heat. But, it's a step towards the much desired UNESCO status that they want for the Shaolin temple. And speaking of such, a few things about the village....

                The village is gone. All gone. With the exception of part of the Tagou school. It will be another year before they finish the absolutely huge new Tagou, which lies on the new road to Dengfeng. Even the performance stadium across from the wushu guan is gone. Even the government run "magic motion" theater, that I, unfortunately, was never brave enough to enter. The only buildings that are currently standing, except for some wrecks near the Tagou school, are these new tourist agent centers near the entrance gate to the wushu guan / temple complex. Now, there's just tons of young and old women, waiting to sell tickets, and provide tours. And yes, now you need a ticket to enter the area. Fighting with the guards, as we did, can be successful though.

                After the commemoration ceremony, during which I might add, the wushu guan performance team gave one hell of a demonstration on the steps, all went into the newly renovated wushu guan, into the main performance all. As I've mentioned before, they've taken this austere room and converted into a Las Vegas style showroom, complete with a fake Shaolin temple backdrop. I think the current plan now is, to provide regular shows that kind of mimic the "Wheel of Life" tours. For a fee. The new seats are nice, and they certainly did a nice job of renovating the place. But, they didn't renovate everything. New floors and rugs in the work out rooms, but, no new paint on the walls, and no new mirrors. A bit of a half ass job if you ask me. Also, there's a new Damo statue in the courtyard, which Yongxin commemorated himself. All very nice. The performance that was done for that grand opening was the typical one, but, well done. I've got it all on videotape for you.

                The initial grand opening ceremony was slated for August 8th, (8/8, which is an auspicious date), but it kept getting pushed back because they were working on little repairs here and there.

                What's next for the wushu guan team? Well, some members, and Yongxin, from what I've been told by one of Yongxin's higher ups, are leaving for Los Angeles. Apparently, they are doing a small performance for a martial arts group in southern California, along with an afternoon of "training". They've got some sort of one day responsibility, and that's that.

                But, they're going for ten days.

                Wonder what they're gonna do for the rest of the week....
                Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                (more comments in my User Profile)


                • #9

                  The girls are doing a shit job of cleaning my room.

                  Now, I've always said that you have to be nice to the "girlfriends" when you're in China, for it is they that decide just how slovenly your life can become. Always smile at the "girlfriends". They keep your bathroom clean, provide you with that daily dose of tiny Chinese, very short lasting, toilet paper, put clean towels on your rack, and clean sheets on your bed. Life can get just a little bit better if you're nice to the "girlfriends".

                  Oh, for those of you who haven't figured out who the "girlfriends" are, they're the young women, that tend to be bewildered of me, who work on each floor of the hotels in Dengfeng and Shaolin. If you really want to stretch it a bit, you can use the term to describe all the various little waitresses that crowd around you in the restaurants, and the "aisle girls" that you find on each and every aisle in each and every Dengfeng supermarket.

                  The girlfriends. You just have to love them.

                  I generally don't use the term "girlfriends" for the girls in the massage parlors though. I refer to them as the "honeys". Problem is, getting a massage is just a little different than getting clean sheets on your bed. Referring to the massage girls as "girlfriends", in my mind, just ruins the blessed sanctity of the reference.

                  Usually, the "girlfriends" hide in their little rooms, always trying to avoid work, and occasionally appearing to vacuum the hall floor, most usually, at just the same hour that you're in the middle of a nice deep sleep, with one hell of a dream going on, a dream that sometimes includes some of the "girlfriends", all while, I might add, you're lying next to a "honey", a honey who became a girlfriend. Make sense?

                  The honeys, usually avoid this hiding behavior, and make their presence known by inhabiting the hall and the stairway outside their little massage den of depravity. The honeys know something of capitalism; they're fully aware of the fact that advertising brings business. Most of the honeys generally just do things like cut hair, massage bodies, and rub and clean feet. But some of the honeys, having discovered some of the true beauty of westernized capitalistic behavior, have taken that next step towards financial success, by providing "special services".

                  Ah, special services. Now there's a moniker if there ever was one. Special services, is, well, just that. Special. But it is usually provided by a member of the female species that typically inhabits a different area of the hotel. An area that is dark, smokey, and noisy. An area that is rank with the smell of beer and alcohol. An area whose floor is covered with nut debris and sputum. An area that everyone, must once, in their lifetime, visit, to fully make use of the short time that we are all given in this world.

                  The karaoke bar.

                  For in the karaoke bar, are many, many young girls, girls who like to be sung to, girls who like to have drinks bought for them, girls who like the companionship of a male, a male who is capable of talking sweetly to them, a male who is well dressed, a man who has money, a man, who can read that shit on the karaoke monitor and sing it, all the while making some sense of it all.

                  A man who is looking for special services.

                  Yes, the girls of the karaoke bars generally have graduated from the denizens of the massage parlor, in an attempt to find fame and fortune, by getting sung to, and by providing special services.

                  These girls are tenderly referred to as the "ladies".

                  The "ladies" also hang out in elevators. Quite an interesting place to hang out. You'll find them, on an almost daily basis, in the elevator. Going up, going down. Again, going up, going down. These girls constantly travel, yet, go nowhere. They'll watch you with suspicious yet inviting eyes, as you go up and go down. Always wondering if you're looking for special services, always afraid that the big white guy might be looking for special services. Always making the elevator a fun place to hang out in.

                  So, there you have it. Ladies, honey's and girlfriends. You're ready to visit China.

                  But back to my story.

                  Upon my arrival to Dengfeng, I had found that staying in my friend Yong's apartment, to be far too hot, and far too noisy. My head requires a good night's sleep, otherwise, it makes me remember, for the entire following day, how bad I was to it the night before. So, I moved on over to the FengYuan. Besides, not only did it have air conditioning, frequent hot water, fairly comfortable beds, and relatively quiet surroundings, it had girlfriends, honeys and ladies. Yes, it's not too shabby.

                  But the beds are kind of small, especially for a big guy like me. So I did something a little out of the ordinary. Something that the girlfriends had not expected. Something that the girlfriends had never experienced before.

                  I moved the two little beds together, into the corner of my room.

                  Yes, rearranging the furniture definitely made the room far more comfortable. Moving the two little beds, that had previously been centered, almost exactly, into the middle of the room, to the far corner of the room, all scrunched up together, with my weights in the middle of the room, and my little table against the other wall, all made my room, oh so much more homey.

                  It threw the girlfriends completely off. They knew not what to do.

                  Rearranging the furniture threw off their "programming". Yes, "programming". You find it not only in girlfriends, but in honeys and ladies as well.

                  Girlfriends are programmed to change the sheets, change the towels, vacuum between the beds, clean your sink, and air out your room, all following a preprogrammed path of travel. Restaurant girlfriends are programmed to set your table, pour your tea, and keep everything, just where it has been set. Move a dish or a chopstick, and you'll trigger a response from a restaurant girlfriend, to move the displaced item back into its normal place. Aisle girlfriends are programmed to follow you around the supermarket, in their respective aisle, and only in their respective pre-assigned aisle, suggest items for your purchase, help you carry things that you want, and make sure that none of the things that you want end up unexpectedly in your pockets. Aisle girlfriends are very territorial, they inhabit only the space that lies in front of their assigned shelving area. And once they follow you to the limits of their assigned aisle area, they very respectfully pass you off, like some old worn out football, to the next aisle honey, who, I might add, is usually eagerly awaiting your arrival to her aisle area.

                  Honeys are programmed to smile at you, wink occasionally, and do whatever else is necessary to lure you into the massage parlor for the six dollar per hour massage. Honeys are programmed to start at your shoulders, work down your arms, move to your legs, avoid your feet, rub your back and take your money.

                  Ladies are programmed to push buttons in elevators. And, do whatever else they do.

                  But, if you stray off the the expected path of their programming, you screw them up.

                  Just try going into a restaurant and move your dish, chopsticks, glass and spoon around. Or worse, rearrange the food dishes on that filthy rotatable piece of glass we in the US call a "lazy susan". Restaurant girlfriends will quickly, like antivirus software in a computer responding to an unwanted attachment, move to put the table back into its usual and proper position.Move it again, and eventually, and usually, quite rapidly, they'll position themselves to move it right back.

                  Just try going into a supermarket, and ignore the aisle girlfriends. Buy what you want and not what they point to, and, carry it yourself, ignoring their pleas to use their little baskets. Let one "attach" herself to you as you move up and down her assigned aisle for a while, then move rapidly from one aisle to another, dragging her with you, and getting other aisle girlfriends to attach themselves to your rapidly accumulating little group. Aisle girlfriends can easily be confused, puzzled and disoriented. And, if you get really, really good, you can herd them like sheep.

                  It's fun.

                  Honeys are easily confused also. And, it's actually pretty simple. Get a massage, but, ask her to scratch your back instead of rubbing it. Point to your feet when they're rubbing your calves. Refuse to turn over when they motion you to. And, my favorite, strip down to your under shorts for your massage. They absolutely hate that.

                  And, they love it too.

                  Ladies can be disoriented from their programming path also. Get on an elevator with one, and push all the buttons. Get off at each floor, look around, and get back on. Then, during the ride to the next floor, gaze lovingly with respect and adoration. Then ask her if she wants a massage.

                  Ladies have no idea how to respond to that.

                  But, the hotel girlfriends are my favorite. If you really want to screw up the hotel girlfriends, all you've got to do is rearrange your furniture.

                  The first day that they entered my room, they walked right back out. Shocked, absolutely shocked. And befuddled.

                  Didn't return for a week. I've been here twelve days, and I'm still waiting for new sheets. And as for the new tiny roll of toilet paper that was supposed to be hung on my wall? Never got it. But, it just never became a problem.

                  I had fun with the aisle girlfriends buying that stuff...
                  Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                  "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                  (more comments in my User Profile)


                  • #10
                    aisle girlfiends.. hmm..

                    I have seen you in Smith's here.. How to be in and out of a store in 4 minutes and leave a shopping cart full of stuff. That has to be a funny site of you in China stores. Hey, what an idea, they need Aisle Girls here in Vegas. .. Hmm, Church and Groceries under one roof? Brings a whole new image to "DocMart". "Wanna goto VIP Frozen Foods?"
                    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.
                    "Life can keep providing the rain and I'll keep providing the parade."
                    "I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle."
                    "Whatever guy said that money don't buy you pleasure didn't know where to go shopping"


                    Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
                    Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove