Note: Sorry that this post is so long and took such a long time for me to put up. The thing is the Chinese government, in their infinite wisdom, has banned my blogging website (along with facebook, myspace and youtube). So I depend on my lovely girl friend to post what I send her from Africa. So it makes more sense to post long ones every week or so than a bunch of shorties all the time. Haha a bunch of shorties all the time. Helluv an R Kelly song.
Ok. I’ve been in Beijing for some time now and thought it would a good time for another post. I discovered in Hong Kong that my boy Lucky was staying in Beijing for a job interview so I changed my plans of going to Shang Hai and hopped the first bus to the Capital. I was able to move into his hotel room which for some reason was upgraded to a suite so now I’m living large in a big comfy bed, in one of my favorite cities with my best boy at my side. We are having a pretty wild time here. Well, kind of. In reality most days we just eat three HUGE meals. Pretty much every day we hit up the best Indian food I’ve ever had and my favorite spicy noodle and dumpling place in between snacking on fried meat filled pancakes off the street. After gorging ourselves we spend most of the day light hours lying in bed recovering, reading and watching the hotel’s limited DVD collection (Mr. Bean, Australia and X-files 2). By the way if you haven’t seen Australia and have four and a half hours to kill then you should run out and pick it up because it is the strangest film I have ever seen.
I lived with Lucky in Beijing two years ago so there really isn’t anything we need/want to see except for check out our old favorite restaurants and clubs and see some old friends. As it turns out most of my old friends from Beijing have either been deported or killed in a government sweep of drug dealers before the Olympics. Robinson, I hope you made it out homie and are livin large in Lagos. Anyways there are still a few old heads here so we’ve been chillin with them. One of the reasons we’ve been spending so much of our days in bed is because our sleep schedule is completely fucked. The night life here is as wild as ever. For like thirty bucks you can stay out until seven poppin bottles, dancing on platforms surrounded by hundreds of beautiful people under insane laser light shows. The fact that in Beijing shots are sold in groups of twelve can be a little dangerous. Like our first night out when I got separated from my friends at around four am and then came to, closer to noon in the back of a row boat with a Finnish man and an Australian in blond wigs and sweat bands, a Chinese kid who was wearing a huge gold chain and kept saying he was the king of Beijing and a silent smaller Chinese kid in a button down and ray bans who said he was called “Little Dragon”. The two westerners apparently worked for some internet company who payed them to dress up as Scandinavian tennis players and take their picture all around the world. When I cleared my head a bit I discovered that we were surrounded by about five hundred senior citizens dancing and doing their morning exercises. It gets a little bit hazy after that but I do know I made it back to the hotel, slept for about twenty two hours and woke up with about fifteen dollars in US ones in my pocket . To this day I have no idea where the lake was and any Chinese person we ask says a place like that doesn’t exist.
Day before yesterday we decided we had been waking up at four o’ clock still drunk too many days in a row so we decided to treat ourselves. Well, more accuratly Lucky decided to treat me. He has developed quite an infatuation with one of the women who work at the front desk of our hotel so he offered to buy me a massage to get me out of his hair so he could take her out on a date. When I got to the spa place they had a huge menu in Chinese which for the most part I couldn’t understand except for that an inordinate amount of them involved fire in someway. Because I could understand it and also because it sounded most likely not to be any kind of sexy massage I picked the one called “Medical Massage”. I followed an attendant to a back room and was promptly joined by a middle aged man in a lab coat. He told me to leave my clothes on and lay on my stomach and then proceeded to abuse me mercilessly for the next hour. Culminating in the hardest spanking I have ever received (seriously there were tears on the pillow). Then he asked if I wanted to try a Chinese specialty. Thinking he might mean some sort of snackie I said yes and he told me to lie back down. The specialty, it turned involved lighting small fires in weird shaped globular jars before placing them mouth down all over my back. The resulting suction sucked my skin up into twelve or thirteen circular welts and pulled my skin so tight my eyebrows rose into a look of perpetual surprise. After being sucked on for twenty minutes (got em) I went home to find my boy and take a bunch of aspirin. That night we decided we both deserved a little relaxation so we went out to a restaurant I had heard about back in the US and ate what is certainly the most delicious duck I have ever tasted. Words cannot describe this duck. The restaurant is in the Grand Hyatt hotel so after dinner we were both too full to move so we waddled down to the hotel’s health spa and pretending we were guests went for swim in their huge palatial underground indoor pool, complete with Phoenician columns, waterfalls, and fake twinkling stars over head and luxuriated the evening away in their hot tub.
I was supposed to leave here on the fourth but because school is starting now all trains west have been booked up until the eighth so I am finally leaving tomorrow by train to Xian then from there across the vast deserts of western China to Urumqi and Kashgar in Xinjiang province. I don’t know if you’ve been following the news but ethnic tensions are currently boiling over in Xinjiang with riots and people being attacked and sometimes killed in the streets. Xinjiang is home to 8 million Turkic Uighers and the government has aggressively been moving ethnic Han Chinese there for the last decade. The government strictly controls the Uighers and often insinuates that they have ties to Islamic terrorist groups. The Uighers are encouraged to abandon their language and Uigher women of child bearing age are often sent to work in factories in far eastern China to discourage them from reproducing. It is forbidden for Uigher mosques to teach from the Koran. For their part the Han Chinese resent the government quotas for Uighers in schools and work places and say the Uighers lazy and, god forbid, more interested in religion than making money. Last month race based rioting erupted killing hundreds of people and this week Han Chinese marched through the streets of Urumqi calling for the dismissal of the communist governor because he has “failed to protect the Han and punish the Muslims”. The governor went to his balcony to plead with the protesters but to no avail. Five people were killed in the protests and shockingly the Government in Beijing forced the governor to resign. This is the first time anything like this has happened in modern China where the people have risen up and the government has caved to their demands. It is a tragedy and a shame that what finally got the Chinese people to assert themselves politically is a shared bigotry. The mood in China now is actually pretty ugly with the radios often playing racist anti-Uigher comedy routines and commentators saying the Han must band together to protect themselves from the “lazy Uighers” or the “terrorists”. Just this morning I saw a Han Chinese almost gets into a fist fight with a Uigher dried fruit vendor outside of my hotel room. Anyway, I will be in Urumqi the week and will report on what I find there.