China actually had good beer! Tiger, Tsingtao, and even some microbrews to boot! This .5 litre bottle cost something like 60 cents. However, drinks in the clubs and bars had prices comparable to those in Japan.
I wish I had more time in Shanghai. One full day and two days of travel to and from there were just not enough (we did have two full nights, though).
Things that didn’t surprise me about Shanghai:
It’s dirty. Most places smell like piss, that rotting essence of real Asian Markets and Chinatown, and cigarettes. Everyone hawks monster loogies and spit them out all over the place. At the end of the day I got black boogers of monster proportions.
McDonalds and KFCs were as abundant as in every other foreign country I have visited.
Many people spoke English, but appreciated the effort I went through to speak the little (read: aside from food, I know four words) Chinese that I could. It was like France in this respect, except the Chinese were forgiving if I spoke English.
There were many poor people begging on the street. It is so hard to ignore someone in distress, especially if they take their kids with them, and especially if those kids have congenital defects. Gives whole new meaning to the cliche “there are children starving in China, so eat your f**king broccoli muthafucka”.
The Chinese merchants are ruthless and cunning when it comes to maximizing profit. I talked down a “legitimate” DVD set from 600 yuan to 100 (about 12 bucks), and I knew I was paying a little too much. Still, it does LOOK legit, and it cost very little. These people will physically detain you to keep you in their shop, and they are excellent actors.
Surprising things about Shanghai:
Chinese people think that I am Chinese, and they expect me to speak Chinese like a Chinese person.
It was hard to find good Chinese food, and easy to find good foreign foods.
I didn’t hear anyone say “gweilo” and point as we passed (I understand why they didn’t when I alone passed).
I ran into a lot of very nice Chinese people. I was expecting everyone to be rude, pushy, and loud but this turned out to be kinda wrong.
There were very few foreigners in China. Most that I saw during the day were between the ages of 50 to 70 and had European accents.
The city is HUGE, and there are more sky scrapers in one city than I ever imagined. And they continue being built at an astonishing rate.
The MagLev train is already complete. The bullet train is officially obsolete.
100% of the taxis and about 80 percent of the cars on the road are VWs. I was expecting Japanese cars, DaeWoos, or Hyundais to be crowding the streets, but this was not the case. VW is definetely making bank in Shanghai.
The smog is worse than LA. If breathing in LA for one day is equivilent to smoking a pack of cigs, then I smoked about four packs in Shanghai for the 48 hours I was there.
One day in Shanghai was a great time. Even though the time I had was way too short, I sort of prefer trips that I feel are too short. It means that I had a great time and wasn’t dissapointed, tired out, disillusioned, or fed up. Sometimes not enough is better than too much.
Well, tomorrow I am off to Shanghai! Got some cheap tix, so I gots to go. After reading about the Taxi service in Shanghai, I have been trying to polish up on my Chinese, but have since given up. But if we go eat Dim Sum I have a reasonable chance of being understood!
So, you want anything? Lemme know! SARS, penis of endangered animal, mail order bride, Polex watches… Don’t say I didn’t ask.
I promise plenty of pics when I get back…
Yo check this story from the Independent out!
I can think of some other possible scenarios in which memory can be morphed. For example, if something really bad happens to someone you didn’t really like (violent rape, murdered, amputated limb, paralysis, cancer of the rectum, etc…), especially if they are unjustly killed, you are more likely to think less harshly of them. After something really bad happens, I think sympathy fucks with the mind, and can amplify the good things that a bad person has done.
So now that I am aware of this, it is time to introduce a new standard operating procedure to shield myself from committing unjust actions based on an altered memory. If a person that I don’t like ends up having their colon removed, I will continue to dislike them as much as I had been. After all, if I can stop my memory from morphing, then it is my duty to take action against it. And if that person should cause me further reason to dislike them to a certain level, then I shall apply a kung-fu death grip on their colostomy bag and squeeze! On second thought, a colostomy bag is a fate horrible enough (damn! I succombed to pitying mine enemy even in this fictional scenario).
I demand a cut of the profits for using the sacred family name!
Can these guys rock as hard as the band’s name implies?
…..Is the conclusion you would most likely infer from the past 6 comments posted (which I have since deleted).
IP address: 188.8.131.52
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! Nice site! Please visit our site also http://www.someviagra.info/ soon.
I suspect that this is payback for posting the previous entry by the person who bears a resemblance to the picture, or the very person whose picture is posted…
Damn! Its enough to get 10 spams a day that promise to “enhance your penis size” or to help you “gain several inches” or that will “set your libido on fire”. If this was indeed posted by someone trying to make a profit, you are a sorry worthless bastard. Post comments on your own site… I am sure Boner Blog could be a big success. That being said, you are NOT WELCOME to post your ads here (especially if you don’t ask you rude bastard! In the words of the immortal Ash: What were you, born in a barn?).
So I urge you, don’t buy Viagra over the net from these bastards: Instead, why don’t you support the Mexican economy and obtain it for a fraction of the cost while eating beef (most likely dog, cat, or rat if you really want to think about it) tacos, while you sip on a dos equis or corona in TJ. While you’re at it, why not buy some M1000s, hammocks, and old school bottles of Fanta immersed in ice cold Montezuma’s Revenge laden cooler carts… And just give that damn kid a buck for his 10 boxes of Chicle so that he will stop following you, in his squeaky voice calling “Meester, meester!”. Don’t forget to take pictures in front of the donkey that is literally painted black and white to look like a zeebra, and while were on the subject of donkeys…
Anyhow, switching gears, I heard this joke from a sick mofo from Saga-ken who almost got kicked off of the JET Programme from committing a felony during Summer Vacation:
Q. What do you get when you stick a knife in a baby? (If you are a sensitive person, if you are already uncomfortable with the question, if you are not allowed to read mature material on the web, or if you find such jokes distasteful you probably shouldn’t click below)
We post, you decide: Does this look like the CP Dizzle? In the words of Mr. Steven Tsuda:
I pulled this one from monster.com. It’s either Dempsey as a cross dresser, or Dempsey as a rock star for halloween.
By the way Dempsey, what ever happened to http://www.luckyirish.net?
Hahahahaha! As of today, I have a working ISDN connection! Thats right, now I can connect from home for a fixed rate instead of paying 100 bucks per month just for the phone bill! Why am I excited about ISDN? Do you know what it feels like to have to read the newspaper while a simple email takes 5 minutes to load? You would be starved for bandwidth too if all you could get for a whole year was 56k.That being said, when is ADSL gonna arrive in my sparsely populated village? I know its gonna come right after I leave, because it wouldn’t make sense any other way.
…but I found another earthworm crawling around on the tile. Watching it inch around between the cracks as I took a shower last night made me nautious, and made me wonder; Where do they come from? How can they get into my bathroom? Are there latent annelid eggs spawning from the grout? Do my students sneak into my bathroom and plant them there? My guess is that they crawl up the drains, or that there is some small undetected crack that leads inside. About 4 months ago I found a millipede in my bath. I ignored it, and it died, and had a huge clutch of babies, which hatched. I found baby millipedes crawling all over the place for the following months, and stopped counting after 20. My advice: kill the mother and the eggs and save yourself the trouble of killing a lot of tiny monsters! Hahaha, the shiitake growing in my Sabado Tarde apartment shower no longer seems SO disgusting (It was a huge sucker!).
This weekend I went up with Matt to visit with Lawton and Gi up in Fukuoka. Lawton is now known as “Rawton” because I know that his kids pronounce his name as “Rawton sensei” when they ask him what he thinks about the recent “Carifornia Erections”.
Anyways, we met up with a bunch of friends and aquaintances and went out to Tenjin and Hakata (the happenin’ night spots in Fukuoka that accept foreigners and aren’t prohibitively expensive), and went somewhere where I had up until that point never had visited nor had any intention of visiting. That’s right, we went to the Happy Cock (previously the Crazy Cock). Now there are two of those clubs downtown. The name pretty much sums it up.
The Happy Cocks are a good place to go if you fit the following profile:
*you are a Marine on shore leave.
*you are a Japanese girl (or boy, for all I know) looking to hook up with a Marine.
*you are an obvious (Caucasian or Black, or a really loud Asian) gaijin looking to get some action.
*you don’t mind the bartender mixing you a long island with only two different kinds of liquor and Coke.
*you are a person who enjoys the company of Marines when they are hunting for tail and drinking (meaning, you are probably a Marine or a girl looking for one).
Basically, this is Fukuoka’s version of a Roppongi bar (like GasPanic).
Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate everything that the Marines are doing and have done to protect our country and its interests, but they tend to be dicks towards anyone that they are not trying to get in the sack, especially when they are drunk.
A while ago, we went to a different club in Tenjin called “Vibe”, where a good portion of the Fukuoka hip-hop community often hangs out. This night it was full of Marines and high school aged girls. Anyways, I was halfway into drainin the lizard when I hear a loud knock at the door. “Get the FUCK out of there! My friend needs to use the restroom!”. So I opened the door to see what their problem was. Two big mean-looking guys were holding up their friend, and said “I’m sorry but our friend has to puke”(It was shocking to hear them use the word “sorry” because I was expecting to get punched in the face). “I understand, go for it.” I said, and waited for them to finish.
He planted his hands onto the urine-soaked tiles, and hey made him puke. He washed his hands, regained his balance, and shook my hand. They all apologized once again and thanked me, inviting me to sit with them. We went over to their table and joined their group. One of them made the following observation:
“You know what? You look like Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park!” so for the rest of the night I was known as “Mike” or “Shinoda”. I became their best friend for the night after they found out that I was from California (not just some Japanese guy who spoke great English!). My money was no good, because they insisted on buying me free drinks all night long. They even introduced me to the group of (ugly, underaged) girls they were chatting up, and wanted me to share in their love hotel adventures (but I wasn’t quite THAT drunk). I met these guys right before they were deployed into Iraq, and hope that they are all safe right now. Marines can be great guys when you get to know them, although sometimes they are best avoided.
This weekend, I was talking with another Marine who said this to me:
Marine: “So what (nationality) are you?”
Me: “I’m American”
Marine: “Hey, I feel really sorry for what we did to your people during World War II”.
Me: “Yeah, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrible, but I am American like you. OUR people did it.”
Marine: “I know, but I’m sorry for what my country did to your country. That shit ain’t right”.
Me: “Uh, I’m gonna go get another beer.”
Sometimes the meaning doesn’t stick to your words no matter how many times you repeat them, and by the time it reaches someone else, all it is is noise devoid of a signal. At times like this it is best to drink more beer. Then it may SEEM like it is making sense, or at least you will forget about the whole deal.
Anyhow, after driving about 10 hours over the weekend, and lacking sleep (partially due to some loud snoring, partially to the Lipovitan, partially to staying out until 5 in the morning, partially to sleeping on linoleum, etc…) I looked like the guy on the can.
Except my red eyes were barely cracked open. Thank God for Audioslave, on all of those long solitary drives back home.
Gi with Matt’s dirty sock on face (placed there by self).
Matt with Matt’s dirty sock on face (placed there by self).