September 22, 2007

Peaced on China

I'm finally out of that benighted country. The real turning point for me was last week when I woke up to my landlord smoking a cigarette in my apartment. No knock, he just used his key to unlock the door and strolled in with his smokey friend. Can you imagine waking up half naked to that? There is no concept of workers rights in China, so why should there be any tenant rights. He wanted to take our TV because we stuck it in the closet, so I had to watch it for a half hour to TV block his snatch. I'd be damned if he was taking my TV I don't use.

The goodbyes were some of the best I've ever had. Lots of baijiu was involved, like anything else we did. I met some great people over there, it's already sad not to see them everyday. Jake and I left our marks on the ceiling at the Karst Cafe, looking the next day I'm just glad I spelled my name right. So long Echo and your mom's rice wine. I'll be brewing some of my own soon, let's just hope my body can take baijiu after a month hiatus.

An entirely miserable day of traveling ended us up in Hong Kong, staying in an apartment that belongs to the father of one of Jake's old John Hopkins buddies. While it is definitely the ballenest flat I've ever crashed, it might just be the ballenest flat I ever will. I tip my hat to the generosity of Joe. Check out the view from the 25th floor. It was such a relief, after a full day of carrying all of our gear through buses, trains, and the metro, to have two bellboys haul the shit to the elevator. We then played tennis in the rooftop court and swam in the waterfall pool. Oh to be well off, but perhaps you can take it a little overboard.

If you are staying in such an apartment you must look the part, so Jake and I got a couple of hand tailored suits. A three day process, check out Jake during the first fitting. I'm impressed when someone makes pancakes from scratch, let alone an entire suit. While in Hong Kong we thought our threads looked normal, it wasn't until I got back and saw everyone's dress in Cali that I realized what we got exactly. Once you go custom, there's no going back.

Yesterday I drove a car for the first time in two months. I also wore a seatbelt for the first time. I suspect there's going to be a little adjustment period...

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