Guest Blogger: Kevin Piamonte goes to China

Nov 3, 2011 by

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I have always been fascinated by Chinese culture.  It’s complicated and colorful like a three-ring circus.  There is excitement.  There is the thrill of discovering something new.  Applause, applause.  Hail to the descendants of Fa Mulan.  Or Pu Yi.

Then in one day the circus tent collapses.  I’m done with the Chinese circus.  While I hold the fascination with awe as long as (or even longer) its great wall I scream at the top of my voice till my trachea bursts into smithereens.  Pick up those pieces of my trachea you children of Mongols and swallow them.  No.  Chew them well and swallow them so I can still scream inside your voice boxes.  Your brains are the size of your dicks!  No, the size of your balls!  And your brains look like your shriveled scrotums floating inside the water in your skulls!

Inhale.  Think clearly.  This is not Tiananmen.  My great grandma is Chinese.  My grandparents’ good friends are Chinese.  I love Daniel Wu.  I will do anything for Daniel.  But I’m going to scream abomination.  I’m going to relive the moments of the hostage taking in Manila and this time scream, yeah kill them.  Kill them all!  Thank goodness we have stupid policemen and bomb squads, some of the Chinese visitors died.  Yeah!!!!!!!  Standing ovation.  Let their relatives grieve so I can laugh at their faces.  Yeah!!!!!!

The guide on the bus in Shenzhen said this is a young city.  Infrastructures are rising like mushrooms.  The buildings are new and contemporary.  Youh hoteh is wifi.  Youh blekfast is bufit (accent on the first syllable).  Enjoy youh blekfast bufit (still on the last syllable).  Lots of food.  You know?   Bufit? (gawd!).

She said Shenzhen is fast catching up with Hong Kong.  Goods are cheaper in Shenzhen than in Hong Kong.  Shopping is better in Shenzhen.  I understand that part of tourism is the boosting of a country’s economy.

Arriving in Hong Kong a day earlier, we were hoarded in a bus.  Two buses, in fact.  I am with a group for a conference. I am their speaker.  Since it was almost lunchtime we were brought to a train station for lunch.  Lots of food.  The guide said.  Wonderful Chinese food, I thought.  The group went to Mcdo.  Arriving at the airport, I already headed straight for Burger King because I was famished.  Traveling has a way of emptying the stomach, other than the pocket, of course.  I skipped Mcdo. Wanting to use the toilet I looked around for the sign and followed its direction.  To my dismay the toilet featured sunken latrines.  I am not about to become a squatting duck.  But as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do.  So this is what the Chinese do.  So I did.  Aaaaargh!  And through lunch I sat patiently, waiting, thinking that at 4:00 P.M. I will be watching my friend Joms during his last performance at Disneyland’s Golden Mickey show.  In the bus, the guide said, we will go to a jewely factoly.  What am I to do in factory?  I don’t even wear a necklace nor a bracelet. They’re appendages.  I don’t even wear a watch.  But there goes the economy of tourism.  Now we go to factoly outlet weh you can buy teeshet and souvenee items.  After we go to anotheh factoly weh you can buy cookies foh souveneeh.  Busses have a way of making you feel stuck and the factory visits made me feel horribly stuck and helpless too that i will not be able to watch Jom perform at 4:00.  We got to Disneyland at 5:30. No Joms.  I must have been so transparent the guide asked me if i was feeling alright.  You not enjoy factoly?   I am not a laborer.  I do not go to factories.  What do I care about factories????????  That was the last time she smiled at me.   The day after, the tour operator approached me.  I reckon the guide must have told this operator about my annoyance.  I told the operator I don’t like organized tours.  I joined one before and I discovered it was a bad way to start a day with a wakeup call.  I don’t mind alarms in the morning, but not when on vacation.  So you go for light and easy packages.  I told the operator i do not like any. I want to be on my own. There is always the fun of discovering something new.  That, for me, is the adventure that I always seek. Do not put me in a box, in the bus and bring me to a chain of factolies.  Do not put me in a package, telling me what to do.

In Shenzhen, I woke up and went to the bufit.  Lots of food, awright.  But it’s not Sofitel.  After breakfast I went out to check the neighborhood.  And i chanced upon a CD shop.  Wanting to buy some, I asked for the price.  How much?   ^#~&f, he answered me in Chinese.  I asked again.    ^#~&f, came the reply again.  Write….write….it.   In plain English I supported my instruction with hand gestures.  I am not about to play charades at this time of day.  X&@0<\#, came his reply, now becoming frantic.  Later, we went to the shopping district.  There, the calculator becomes your language.  Easier and efficient.  Nobody gets stressed out except for the banging at the entrance of some shops.  Sales people call out some gibberish while continuously slapping their hands against some cardboard.  In some they use a fan to beat on a box.  If that was to invite shoppers to come in, that didn’t work for me. How can I enter a shop and be met with ear blasting sound that to me was supposed to drive away evil spirits?  Then I thought that must have really been meant for me.  Go away.  Go back to your country.  You don’t speak Chinese.  We don’t need you here.  You have dimsum in your country anyway.

I went to the foreign exchange and I’m not talking blackmarket.  I gave the guy a hundred US dollar.  He looked at it, flipped it, folded it, twisted it and gave it back to me.  What’s wrong?  I asked.  He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and turned away from the window. I stared at him.  Then I backed away, stoned not knowing what to make out of what happened.

The tour guide on the bus said about 700 people figure in car accidents everyday in Shenzhen.  I want more.  I want more people in car accidents.  I want them ran over by cars, by busses.  I want them rolling along the streets with limbs broken.  Crawl.  Craaaaaaaaaawwwwwwlllllllllllll you insects and beg for mercy.

At night I sat in comfort in a Chinese restaurant having peking duck and roast pork.  Prior to the food landing on my table I had to carefully match character per Chinese character to the food and the price that I had to pay for my dinner.  With peking duck and roast pork, the poetic movements of Chinese calligraphy and tai chi drew themselves in my mind.  I heard music played in a Chinese chamber, strings plucking exotic tones.  I realized I was among Chinese.  I haven’t seen much Caucasians or people of other races.  This is one part of world where i walked with its citizens mostly – citizens who perhaps find foreigners strange.  Or too much to contain, hence, the resistance.  Or the cold distance.  I would like to believe there is struggle there, too, from their end to accommodate and i would like to believe that in time they will warmly embrace foreigners like people in a global community and not stare at them like people from Mars.

Hong Kong is far better except for the part where I had to hurriedly change to a suit for the conference. I did not bother going up to my room on the 10th floor.  I went to a cubicle in the hotel’s toilet lobby.  I was literally on my toes changing because while the toilet smelled and looked sanitized, the floor of that particular cubicle where i was changing was covered with spit.  Is there something cultural about spitting on the floor?  I noticed even in subways, they spit too.  Once on the plane, i saw this phenomenon as well.  It’s a wonder for me.  They must have a spitting competition on this side of the world.

Of course, a lot of people come to Hong Kong.  And breakfast is wonderful in Hong Kong.  Check out the picture and you will know what I’m talking about.

In Hong Kong the Chinese are lovable people.  You can ask directions from them and they do not stare at you.  At most, if they do not know how to explain things to you, you get a smile.  But the trip is almost over and I cannot wait to go home.  There is a shop in Hong Kong called Samuel and Kevin.  Wrong pair of names for a shop.  That’s why I cannot wait to go home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Racist

    I love it!!! They should just stick to making dimsum and peking duck, and oh, the factolies and leave everything important in this world to the non-chinese! :)

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