Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chinese Democracy

I've been begging my buddy David Shipper to do a post for AAW since I created the blog almost a year ago (One year anniversary post is coming August 22, so be on the look out). The very first posts on AAW were of my trip to see in Palau.

Dave and I grew up together in Florence, AL. We lived a couple of blocks away from each other and car pooled from 1st grade all the way through our senior year in high school. I was the first to get a car when we turned 16 and I use to do a little something called the "Gas Chamber" to every morning as we drove to school (more than likely The Beastie Boys, License to Ill was playing on the stereo. Cassettes, baby!). The "Gas Chamber" involved me releasing a powerfully noxious fart then holding the power locks and power windows so no relief could be found by my passenger, . Ahh, good times, good times. There use to be claw marks in the dash of my old Pontiac 6000 where struggled for oxygen. Still makes me laugh.

Anyway, recently took a trip to China and came back with a post for the ages. comments will be in the black font while any snarkiness I add will be in dark red and italicized.

Finally, finally, FINALLY, the international comical stylings of MY partner in crime for over 30 years, David Shipper:

China in Pictures
David Shipper

My Art House view from the gutter I woke up in after a night in Hong Kong.

I know, I know, less artsy, more fartsy, right? This, is the Chinese version of mudbugs. Great stuff. Think basil and chilies instead of crab boil.

Viewed through the lens of history, amidst the consumerism and the chaos, I found the true China in the love and respect between the generations. (actually, I paid this guy 10 yuan to hold hands with this orphan child. Okay, it was 5 yuan.)

Going through the three gorges. There goes that security clearance I was hoping for.

This Starbucks is within the walls of the “Forbidden City,” named so because it was forbidden to anyone that was not part of the Emperor’s court. Today it is forbidden to Dunkin Donuts.

Spreading Democracy two at a time in Tiananmen Square. Bring on the tanks.

The Chinese often engage in loud public arguments that inevitably draw a crowd. But like bad theater or bad sex, these “performances” rarely reach a satisfying climax. This one was different. After having sideswiped the other bus, the guy facing us is about to learn the meaning of the first Chinese word I ever learned: PAI YOWWW!

Fight, Fight!

One of the first Chinese Emperors had an army of 8,000 Terra Cotta Warriors made and buried with him when he died. They were meant to guard him in the afterlife. They are incredibly detailed – even down to the creases in the palms. Nothing funny here, move along.


I’ve been to a lot of third world countries – Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines – and have always had to deal with the ubiquitous hawker selling cheap goods or cheap women. None of them can hold a cheap lighter to China. They are everywhere, selling everything, and they do not give up easily.

Here’s the progression of my conversations with hawkers:

Hawker: Hallo, Hallo, you want fan? You want hat? You want map?
Me: Wo bu yao, xie xie ni. (I don’t want it, thank you)
Hawker: You want fan? Hat? Map?
Me: Wo bu yao, xie xie ni.


Second Day

Hawker: You want lighter? You want tour guide?

Last week

Hawker: You want silk? You want water?
Me: No speaky English.

The pollution in China creates a smog blanket that traps in the heat and silts the lungs. For asthmatics is a horror – for nasal archeologists, a godsend. Everything is booger in China.

My ticket to fame on Alabamaasswhuppin. (an international sensation after 36 years. Thanks for the awesome tour, Dave! Leave him a comment, y'all!)


AAW said...

Are those Chinese chicks in the T. Square picture or are they Lilliputians?

Did you stomp around asking people where Mothra was and that you had a score to settle?

Anonymous said...

I did a ten week solo trip through Southeast Asia is 2002 (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and finally Cambodia). I was so tired of being asked where I was from (U.S) and then turning in their eyes from a human being into a dollar sign---being asked for money or offered women (they rarely seemed to believe it when I told them in truth that I am gay). Cambodia was the worst. They did not understand/accept "no" in any spoken or gestured language. Finally in desperation one day I said without thinking that I was from Afghanistan. Man did that work. I was never asked for money or offered women after I said that...