Beijing day 11. 10/07/13
I am still working on my weekend entry (they are really really long) I just kind of wanted to talk about today before I forget it.
Work was uneventful except for the constant reminders that my Chinese is still rubbish. Last week was about being proud of my little bit of Chinese abilities while this week has really been about realizing how little I really know, I till can’t read, can’t order food without pointing and I’ve met so many people I just can’t communicate with, I still have a lot to learn.
We ate lunch at a claypot noodle place which was great, except that the guys ordered ma la noodles. For those who don’t know, I only learnt this this year ‘ma’ means the numbness on your lips that you experience when you eat something too damn hot for human consumption and la is spicy, honestly a bit of a redundant word. Bloody hell that was spicy, messed with my stomach the whole day. The shop was a small hole in the wall as so many of the shops here are and I just love the fact that their only attempt to decorate it was five small pictures of pandas on the wall. They didn’t even spread it out or anything, just grouped all five of them over a spot, I swear they were trying to cover a hole in the wall or something.
The night was where the interesting stuff began. As winter left the office, he said he was heading to a launch of an app designed by a friend of a friend (winter apparently knows everyone in Beijing, it is not an overstatement as you’ll find out later) and he asked if anyone wanted to join him. My initial plan was to go home and catch up on writing and sleep, I could really use an early night plus I wanted to write before I forgot all that had happened on the weekend. However, the part of my mind that still behaves like a 19 year old said two words and I was on my way to this event : fuck it. No matter how crude those words are I have come to learn to rely on them while traveling, it takes you to places you would have never gone, to see things you would have never have seen, meet people you would have never met.
So we went to the rand unveiling of an app called jimmii tv, basically it’s like shazam for movies and tv, it’ll recognize the sound of he movie and tell you what it’s about plus sell you some shit related to that movie. Interesting concept but it requires people to whip out there phones while in a cinema or something, turn on the app and use it. That shit would not sell in France. No one touches their phone or even speaks in a movie theatre, hell I’m not Even sure it would sell in Singapore but I guess china is different like that. For the founder’s sake I hope it works, guy spent three years on this thing.
But before we got there I had an interesting chat with winter about what else besides girls. I swear I have never talked about girls as much as I have these two weeks, these guys are more obsessed about them than I am and I am supposed to be the hormonal 19 year old. In his defense he is at an age where he wants to get married and he knows lots of beautiful girls its just that they don’t usually see him that way. So he was telling me about how sometimes he doesn’t feel like a girl goes out with him because they like him but rather they go out with him because he gets invited to lots of these events and the girls are using him to get to these events and socialize with these smart and rich guys. Maybe it is true and maybe it isn’t but if it is, poor guy man, poor guy. Though he isn’t totally faultless, him me the guys I met today seem to judge girls by their looks and hold them up to a ridiculously high standard. In other words damn these guys are picky.
There was a band called brain hurt or something like that playing. Vey college band standard music with gimmicks like the lead singer’s hair is a leopard print and the basis tries to mimic the shirtless guy from red hot chilli peppers. There is always some sort of appeal about power chords, no matter how simple they are, they are popular for a reason. So I felt like I was listening to early versions of green day or all American rejects or something, except I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. It was strange and honestly slightly unpleasant, guess I just wasn’t feeling it.
There we met winter’s friend, an abc (American born Chinese) named Barry who was pretty cool, plus he’s the one who got us into this event. He was a graduate student at cheung kong and well I didn’t catch what he was doing here in Beijing but he knew someone. The other guy we met was David, a Chinese bro with an Australian accent who was hear trying to raise capital for something or another. They were both pretty cool guys, nice enough to the out of place 19 year old hanging out with them and the kicker is that they both spoke better Chinese than me. I mean David grew up in china so that isn’t fair but Barry grew up in America man, damn do I need to improve my Chinese. So we hung out, I tried to help winter pick up a girl (naturally to no avail) but it was a fun experience all in all. Got accosted by guys selling hookers twice that night, went into a hollister, which apparently is a cool brand in china. Apparently you wear that here and girls will be all over you and pulling the hollister badge till your nipples turn red. Don’t ask me why the fuck that expression is so bizarre, I don’t know either, it’s probably a mainland thing. I found that quite interesting honestly because what is a douchy brand every where else in the world has seen a revival here in china as the in thing, their marketing team must be rejoicing right now. Naturally we went in because hot girls work there, but winter was too shy to say anything, he’s reserved like that.
We ate at a Mediterranean food place near by that had a spinach patty that literally looked like shit, I mean it was a black kind of round disc that looked unappetizing as all hell. But damn it was good, Barry called it ‘good shit’ and I’m not gonna disagree one bit. Oh before that I said hi to the son of the CEO of KFC china, big big guy who, surprise surprise, knew winter.
As I took the train and bus home (strangely no one knows when exactly the last train is, not even the people working there, you just have to wait and hope) I was greeted by a guy playing guitar on the train. I had seen another guy doing that before but I had forgotten about it. It was nice, you take your head phones out and just listen to pleasant love accustom music till he moves on and I love the fact that the honest actually do donate to this guy, I donated some myself but I’m glad that these singers have a way to enjoy their passion and pay rent at the same time. If we just listened to what they westerners said about china i dont think you would have expected it from rigid communist china. It’s nice. The bus driver was really nice and understanding too when I asked him where to stop, he slowed down and used simple words to explain to me how to walk from the bus stop to my place, I didn’t have the heart to tell him I already knew. He still had a crudeness about him but he was nice and I really appreciate that. Just as right now I appreciate that someone invented the term ‘fuck it’.