Wednesday, March 29, 2006

midnight nose picking hunt in Beijing

We sure did get done some drinking in Beijing. The fact that we can find beers at almost $0.25 cents for a pint is incredible. However, I have never experienced a Ninja experience until my Mexican friend Oscar decided to embody one. Yes, Oscar is a Mexican, and he is a Ninja. I call him..."Minja!" His stealth is unmatched. He can blend in easily with any brownish color carpeting or furniture, and is nearly invisible at dusk. In Beijing, the particulate matters in the air is numerous enough that Oscar can step 1.5 meter away and completely blend himself in the haze. Amazing.

What is more amazing is that I have documented proof of this Minja. We were at a bar in Sanlitun, Beijing, celebrating Jason's birthday. We drank a little more than the white man can handle, and he went back to the hotel early. Well, the Minja wasn't quite done, and he made me, under the auspice of free beer, stay until nearly four in the morning. At which time, he decide that that best use of my camera is to film his intrepid advendture to stick it to the white man. In this case, Jason; at once our birthday boy and Oscar's roommate. Here is what transpired.

Oscar discovers 2 liter sized Heineken, and encourages alcohol comsuption.

Jason is impatient to have his turn to suckle from the very large Heineken bottle.

Strangely, Oscar finds that the plastic cover of the beer more elating than that of a live woman.

Alright, this is where we go for the money shot. The adventurer decides to hunt for the redneck October that is Jason. At four in the morning. Quietly slipping in the keycard, the door clicks, and we gain entry.

Ever quietly, the door creaks open.

Sheeeeh! We're hunting for whities...

Oh good, no one's up.

The intensity of the hunter.

Jason, our quarry, sleeping so deeply that he has no idea what Montezuma's Revenge is about to befall him.

If I recall correctly, Oscar can't stop himself from laughing. But he concentrates and ...power up!...

Jason is about to get a Dirty Sanchez.

Mission accomplished!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I am a Mexican?!?!

I gave some money to a homeless guy today. He grabbed my money and asked:

"Are you Mexican?"



I'm going to Cali to protest the immigration reform laws!

Friday, March 24, 2006

my Chinglish fails me

Took a stroll in the Summer Palace in Beijing not too long ago. The Long Gallery, a really, really long hallway with different scenery pained at each cross beam was closed for construction. The sign, written in both Chinese and English, showcased the depserate need of proper translators in China.

The Chinese reads - "Under Construction, Please Watch You Head".

The English - "The construction passage is cateful to meet"

A word on visiting Summer Palace in the Winter. Summer Palace is where the Emperor goes to dodge the morbidly warm and humid summer heat. It is a place that imparts coolness, breezy, lots of shade, and generally everything that is associated to have a cooling effect. Summer is the time to visit the Summer Palace.

Summar Palace in Winter. The temperature hovers somewhere around freezing and "I'M PEEING YELLOW ICICLES!!!" The man made lake (they dug out a lake, and with the dirt, built a hill for the palace) is in a state solid enough that, if Jesus appeared and walked on water, it wouldn't impress anyone. The sun is out, but there are lots of shade. The constant breeze of arctic air is very cooling, indeed.

Okay I'll stop bitching. *cough*

Thursday, March 23, 2006

programme erotica on Japanese TV

Unlike last year, where we stayed in Hotel Ibis, a reputed Sex Hotel in Roppongi, we stayed in Hotel Excel Tokyo in Shibuya for 2006. It is a much nicer hotel catering to real business people. Allow me to demonstrate the difference:

The picture to the right is Hotel Ibis, centrally located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. The area is known for its colorful nightlife. On weekends, you can't walk two blocks without a Southern African guy tugging at you to "Come to my bar!" and handing you little coupons for cheap drinks and promises of hot sexy ladies. If you look closely at the picture (click it) and examine the billboard on the right, it's easy to see that in addition to nightly stays, the hotel also offers an Esquire Club, Lovenet, Last Saigon, and G Love right on the premises. The basement of the hotel is a hostess bar that deals out drinks by the hour. Spend $60US, and it's all you can drink for 2 hours. I was told that you also get lady company, with option for take out. Being timid, I never confirmed this story by Nicoli.

The picture to the left is a profile of the room at Hotel Ibis. It's that small. In fact, I could have reached over in the middle of the night and suffocated my snoring roommate without really having to extend myself much. I didn't do that. Patrick was my friend. I did slap him a few times and stick my finger into his gaping maw and took a few photos while he slept. He later made me delete the compromising photos under a most uncomfortable headlock. We were on the top floor. When it rained, the ceiling bulged. Patrick poked at the bulge and down came about a camel's pissload of rainwater. It was trashy, but without the glamour.

This year, at the Hotel Excel Tokyo in Shibuya, we had real Western style rooms. The location is much nicer as I'm not harassed with opportunities for paid female companions 30 seconds after I walk outside of the hotel. As illustrated, I have a sitting area looking outside of the Shibuya area of Tokyo. Finally I can sit naked next to bright Tokyo neon night, smoke a Marlboro, and watch Patrick toss and turn in his boxers whilst pondering the impact of particle physics on the Catholic dogma of Creationism. I did none of that, but I would, if I were capable.

Of course, the hotel isn't without its faults. While it was grand to break fast on the 35th floor overlooking the Tokyo sunrise, I was somewhat disconcerted by the advertisement in my room of the morning feast. Examined closely, the plaquard planted in my room of the Japanese style faire literally states, "Japanese restaraunt Syun-Sai may serve healthy and FLESH breakfast set menu." I'm guessing they meant fresh, but given my last year's experience, maybe they do mean flesh. The view, as I mentioned before, is spectacular. I can see Shinjuku, Harajuku, Yoyogi park, and almost Tokyo Tower if the mist ever let up. This, I surmised, is a real Tokyo hotel.

Here, gratuitously, is a view from where I had breakfast. The green looking park is Yoyogi park, and beyond that, Shinjuku. Harajuku, where Gwen Stephani had misappropriated the Harajuku Girls in order to gain street cred, lies somewhere in between.

Now to tie the title of this piece together. In both hotels, sex and business, trashy and upscale, Ibis and Excel, were made available a TV set. The remote controls (alas, I did not take a picture) contained, in addition to the regular numbers and buttons, additional controls labeled (P1), (P2), (P3) and (P4). One of the buttons did nothing. One of them either provided for movies or the Golf channel. The other two, however, gave one on intriguing 30 second look of heavily mosaic'ed Japanese porn. Push the right button, and you get to see a Japanese girl in a sailor outfit and hear moans that indicate she is at once receiving pleasure and yet too modest to express the sensation in an overt manner. After the 30 seconds, you can opt to purchase the movie for viewing, or press the other button to see another 30 seconds of modest Japanese porn.

Here is a preview.
Yes. In both hotels, the parallel is astonishing. I recall last year bursting into a room occupied by a man named Ron only to discover that he had purchased the full erotic program, and was sitting on the bed studying the television intently. When queried, he simply said - "I am trying to determine the difference in cinematography of Japanese and Western pornography."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shanghai'ed in Shanghai

It was 9:30 AM, Saturday, March 18th, 2006. I woke from a restless sleep to rapid knocks on my hotel door. Patrick opens the door. In burst a very excited Corey, dressed in last night's clothing, teeming with a story he must get off his chest.

Fig A. Corey is the white guy.

"What the fuck man?" I moaned.

"Dude!" Said Corey in an ever excited voice, "You'll never guess what happened to me and Mehmet last night!"

"What you buy some cheap hookers and they turned out to be men?"

"No no! Mehmet and I walked down Nanjin Lu and got jacked by some Chinese English students!"

And so the story goes:

Corey and Mehmet were walking innocently down Nanjin Lu in downtown Shanghai, minding there own business and taking in the sights. Up came two Chinese women that, very forwardly, spoke to them.

"We are English students, can we talk with you as to practice our English?"

As Corey and Mehmet were nice people, and wholly unaccustomed to womenfolk approaching them in such forward fashion, they obliged. As they walked, Corey was blissful just to be able to help a poor Chinese English student and also practice his Chinese. They walked and talked for what must have been miles (or in my early morning hearing, several minutes of Corey talking) until one of them suggested that they go to a cafe to rest their feet. Delighted, the dynamic duo followed the two female Chinese students to drink some coffee.

Once situated on a 7th floor cafe, Corey, Mehment, and the two female English students engaged in rapid exchanges of deep conversation both in Chinese and English. "How are you?" "Nihao." "Xiexie." "The weather is nice." "Your English is good." "Ni de Zhongwen henhao." And other such phrases were fired back and forth in rapid succession that is surely to impress even the most experienced UN interpretor.

Fig B. Corey not being shy.

Several minutes later, one of the girls disappears for a minute. Back she comes with a waiter bearing a tray of four whiskeys. Finally, Corey realized that something is amiss. "Hey, who ordered this? How much is it?" The girls try to convince him that it is all legit but Corey will have nothing of it. At this point, Mehmet (the international man of pleasure) just kicked back and started drinking from all four whiskeys. "How much does this cost? Where is the bill?" After some demanding in both English and Chinese, the bill came to 3300 RMB. For those who are not up on the latest currency exchange, 3300 RMB is roughly $400US. $400 US for 4 coffee, 4 whiskeys, and no blowjobs is extremely expensive anywhere in the world.

"I'm not paying this shit!" Exclaimed Corey as he watched Mehmet drain the last of the whiskey and flashing him a big grin.

To make a long story short, they got away with paying only 400 RMB, or roughly $50US. What they did is fall for a simple trick that happens all the time in Shanghai. One or more English speaking Chinese women will come up and ask if they can practice their Chinese. They seem innocent and harmless, and appear eager to learn and converse quite nicely. Eventually, they ask to go to a cafe/bar/place to rest, and this is where they get you. These business charge exorbitant prices and often employ local gangs to enforce payment. Corey and Mehmet got out cheap because they realized what's up early.

"Shit, did anyone else fall for this?" Said Corey.

"Yep, just ask Tim and Devan. I believe they lost more money than you two did, and Devan didn't even drink!"
Fig C. Corey and Ahren crossing steams.

"Did you tell Rebecca what happened to you?" Asked I.

"Yeah, she was glad I was okay."

"Umm... You know, after she is relieved that you are okay, you know she's going to ask - Why the fuck did you go with them in the first place! - right?"

"Ahh... I have some serious ass kissing to prepare for..." Lamented Corey.

three weeks in Asia

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle...

Been gone for almost a month traveling with a troupe of near graduating master degree candidates through Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai without a single update to my little corner of the internet. What interesting time we had, and oh, where to begin with some new experiences?

I ate Fugu, or Blowfish, in Tokyo. One stray sliver of this most poisonous fish can mean death within hours.

I went into the girl's bathroom to take some pictures on behest of fellow female students only to be almost identified as a pervert by our translator.

I watched the Chinese equilavent of The Gong Show at the Beijing Opera.

We managed to get $1.25 haircuts that, for the most part, turned out great.

I watched my friend Dana get whacked by a homeless woman for being too cheap to give her the US equilavent of $0.12.

Climbed the Great Wall of China, invaded living quarters at 4 AM, drank 2 liter sized Heineken, and listened to stories of how people got Shanghai'ed for money by English students.

Where to begin stories that fit the pictures...