Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stupa Dumb and Hyphy

I'm sitting in a tibetan restaurant in LiJiang right next to the border with Burma. Yesterday I rode my bike around a lake nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas at the beggining of the Tibetan Plateau and ended up at a Tibetan temple. There were a lot of soldiers there but the temple was still activly training young monks. Last night I got blasted on the roof of a building in the old town. Today I have to get all of the kids packed up and on a plane to head off to Xian. I don't want to leave here. It's paradise.
belee dat

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back in Beijing

So I'm back in Beijing now but I only have ten minutes to write because I have to get the kids on the bus and off to Tian an men square. I am lovin it here; it feels like I'm home again. I can understand everyone's accent, the food is better and I know my way around. I really love this city and am pretty sure I'm gonna live here. I also love being a chaperon. These kids are awesome they are all so sweet and we get along great (theyre pretty chill too I mean they listen to the pixies a lot so thats hopeful). That said I'm not sure if I'm really chaperon material. First off I can't keep my language clean to save my life. Last night while showing a group of girls to their room I lost my key and without thinking yelled "Fuck! Fuck me in the goat ass!" to which they were shocked speechless. Also I decided I was going to introduce them all to wu tang clan and so I passed around my i-pod and let them all play "method man" completely forgetting that that song started with the "torture a motherfucker skit". That said, in spite of my ineptness or maybe because of it they all love me and listen to what I have to say so thats nice. We spent the last couple of days in Shang Hai and in a small town (pop. 700000) outside of ShangHai called Jiang Yin. In Jiang Yin we all volunteered at a primary school which basically consisted of playing with a bunch of little chinese kids everyday. I taught them the solidi er boy dance and how to play kick ball. Chinese kids have really cornered the market on cuteness. I've always thought western kids always looked a little...off but these kids have really got my biological clock ticking. I can't wait till I get my own Chinese baby. Jiang Yin was bangin but I was staying with a kid my age from Shang Hai. He was very sweet and increeidbly smart but also stark raving mad. When he looked at me he would either be overcome with a laughing fit to the point where he would eventually collapse in an exhausted wheezing heap, or would pound on the walls screaming "I must not laugh! You must disappear!! Vanish! Now!!". Or else he would be overcome with terror and start trembling uncontrollably and say in a fearful tone just above a whisper "You are in mafia... you are a human trafficker... I can tell from your face". He always wore the ear phones/ ear guards you wear in shooting ranges to sleep and would wake me in the morning by whispering "Charley, your a bastard, your a bad man". As I said he was super sweet and we have actually become pretty good friends although there was the time on the bus when he leaned over and whispered "You must do me a favor. It is urgent. You must jump out the bus window and on the the highway. You must do it now." I guess I'll chalk that one up to cultural difference. Ok I gotta go but I have lots more stories to tell so I'll keep you posted.
They call me C-murder cuz I eat a lot of fish

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hurry Hurry!

I am sitting in an elementry school computer lab and the internet keeps crashing. I've spent the last two days playing with little chinese kids and teaching them to do the soldier boy dance. I went to a hospital yesterday. It was like a third world play mobile. One of the deprtments was called clairvoyance... damnit I gotta go

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mercy and a thousand beers

So things have gotten well and truly out of control now. I stayed up for thirty eight hours or so, met some disturbingly shady people, lost my ATM card (for the better probably) and am suffering from crippling whiplash (not a car accident but an even more gruesome incident involving the entire 2112 by Rush). Thank god my camera ran out of batteries. In two hours I'm getting on the overnight train to meet the kiddies and start my new identity as chaperon. There is a typhoon on here and I have to get some lunch and buy bandaids for all the cuts on my feet.
love love love

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Bumpin day in the Kong

I slept like shit last night and had a series of disturbing and embarrassing dreams. I finally gave up trying at about 5 am and waited reading outside the dining room until seven when it opened and I could get my my usual travel breakfast of croissants, jam, hot chocolate and a fat stack of watermelon. I had a lot to do today (buy a cell phone, a camera, a back back and exchange some money but obviously not in that order) so I hit the streets promptly after breakfast. The streets were packed with morning commuters but unfortunately I discovered that nothing in Hong Kong opens until 9 or 10. I sat around bored for a while people watching and reading off and on before I discovered what would become my favorite early morning past time. I stationed myself at a bus stop or ferry terminal or cross walk and waited for the inevitable huge crowd to gather and then weaseled myself into the middle of the press of bodies until my arms were literally pinned at my sides. Then I blasted The Talking Heads through my head phones and allowed myself to be carried along with the crowd. Needless to say this was bliss and the hours passed quickly until all of the little shops on Cameron Street were open. I spent my morning getting back into the habit of bargaining and picked up a book bag, the cell phone, camera and a new guide book.

After a busy morning shopping I made my way to the ferry building and took the Star ferry over to Hong Kong island where I climbed up through the heat to a famous roast goose restaurant I had read about. It was your typical red and gold many-floored Chinese restaurant complete with a mirrored elevator and smiling greeters in chang po (defiantly not the right word). I ordered some crispy roast goose and a plate of spicy shrimp and settled in with my book. To be honest I had been dreading having to eat my meals alone but as it turns out I LOVE eating alone. Ordering at my leisure, drinking pots and pots of tea, reading and writing with all of the dishes spread out around me slowly picking my way through mounds of shrimps and goose fat. It was heaven. I still hadn't been able to completely shake my jet lag so after my two hour lunch I took the subway back over to Kowloon and napped until evening.

At about eight o clock I awoke to find the tv blaring and decided it was time to get into a bit of trouble. I made my way to an Irish pub I had passed earlier in the day and enjoyed a few Guinnesses while trying to learn Cantonese from the bar tender. Feeling sufficiently fortified I made my way by subway back to Hong Kong island and into the first non-brothel bar I saw, Banana Joe's. There I sat next to two British Indians (Tako, and Sunny) who had lived in Hong Kong since they were five years old. They introduced me to the bar tender (a mutual friend) and we passed the time toasting and buying each other tequila shots. Things were going smoothly enough until Sunny called the German girl standing behind me a Nazi and refused to stop doing the Nazi salute to her. I tactfully removed myself from their company and apologized to the group of Germans. It turned out that they, believe it or not, were a group of new flight Lufthansa flight stewardesses who were in Hong Kong for one night and we hit it off splendidly. After trading tequila shots and toasts with them for an hour I found myself far too hungry to keep up my original drinking pace and made my way to a Thai street stall I had seen and bought a bowl of spicy noodles (words, even words like bangin, cannot describe how good they were) but after my meal I could not find the bar again. I hailed a cab to ask what time it was and when he said 4am I decided I might as well head home so in the cab, through the tunnel under the harbour and to bed.
more follow kiddos

Hong Kong Arrival

Hong Kong is the perfect place to find yourself deaf and disoriented after thirteen hours folded into an airplane seat. It is one of those rare Asian cities in which the buildings are so tall and closely gathered around the streets and the heat so oppressive that when night falls it feels as though you are perpetually indoors. The mix of the ant-anxiety drugs and jet lag coupled with my deafness and the towering neon blurring in the humid air lent the city a disarming softness. I arrived in my room just in time to catch the laser light show which now plays every night at 8 pm across the skyline and is choreogrpahed to a kitchy radio broadcast of big band music and tales of old Hong Kong. I was too hungry to sleep so after depositing my bag I made my way back onto the street and followed the crowds through corridors of Indian teenagers whispering "Pills sir, Hashish sir" and around groups of Germans sweating, nervously clumped around the crosswalks and Subway openings. Eventually I found a suitable looking Cantonese restaurant. It was packed and bright white, gleaming under florescent light bulbs. A little man in a tuxedo shirt pulled a microphone from the ceiling and like a boxing referee announced my arrival over a loud speaker at which point I was shown to a sparkling table in the corner. I ordered a beer, a plate of chili shrimps and some fried rice with finger nail sized salty fish. The plasma screen tv was playing a Korean soap opera I used to follow when I lived in Beijing and sometime in the middle of sipping my slushy ice cold beer and sucking the chili paste out of a shrimp head it struck me that this was maybe the most content I had ever been.

Sitting across from me were two men, one quite old and the other young and muscular, who were dressed like criminal golfers from the future or like villains in old Kung Fu movies. The old one was dressed in matching flowing peach colored pink striped pants and shirt , a white straw newsie hat and tiny blue tinted perfectly circular sun glasses. He was wearing at least eight huge gold and diamond rings and unless I am much mistaken around his neck suspended on a thick gold chain was a porcelain cameo of Mary Shelly. His companion was wearing leather pants, bright red patent leather shoes, a white muscle shirt made to look as if it was splattered in blood and another white newsie hat. There was something stupid seeming about the young one but the old man seemed dainty, at once comical and diabolical. After their meal I watched as the Old man tipped two pink pills out of a gold pill case and passed one to his companion as if it were an after-dinner mint. I spent a long time at the restaurant drinking tea and reading the first hundred pages of The Quiet American. After I left my legs still hurt from the plane ride so I made my way a few miles down Nathan Road across Kowloon to the Temple night market . I pulled up a plastic stool at an outdoor seafood restaurant and had another beer while I picked my teeth and watched the tourists. Soon, realizing how exhausted I was I dragged myself half asleep back to the YMCA and to bed.
Well I'll Keep you posted. Much Love to all my boys and their boys.
Sloppy Kisses,