Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Afro Asiatic: The Red Series
Ni hao fuckers!
So its been 10 days since I've last posted and its because I've been busy trying to get my shit together. I have a lot of nerve to ask you to stop your busy life of work, school, Occupy protesting, childcare, dick licking and finger banging to check out my Red Series. But mummy's neglect is a forgivable offense and I promise never to do it again. No, really. Drunken hosebag's honor! If I stay away from the blogesphere this long again--may I be forever damned to a life of Well vodka, Yaki weave and HPV inducing Camay soap.
So where did we leave off? Ahhh yes. China. The mysterious orient. You may not have enough frequent flier mileage to travel the 6,000 miles across seas to see Yellow Mans Land for your self--but don't you worry. I have gone there, and am willing to share with you every ancient Chinese secret known to man.
As you've already witnessed in the video posted above, the birds eye view of Shanghai is quite metropolitan. Of course I didn't think China would be filled with buck tooth, spec wearing Chinamen with one single long braid down the back, rickshaw in tow and confusing R's for L's (These are all stereotypes I grew up with thanks to the pea brained animators at Warner Bros, Walter Lantz et al) but I must admit, I didn't quite know what to expect. I had hoped Shanghai would look like Bill Murray's "Lost In Translation". It didn't matter to me that he was in Tokyo. He was a foreigner in Asia. He was a puzzle piece that didn't quite belong. And I thought, I too wouldn't belong. Boy was I wrong.
You'll have to forgive me if I describe things as an ignorant American. I mean after all, I am an ignorant American. I've spent my entire lifetime with a myopic view of Chinese culture. But I don't feel too bad about this because I'm certain that the same fucked up things they were thinking about my black ass, I've already thought about them.
LAX to PVG
When I deboarded my 14 hour flight, I was glad to be on solid ground, and thanked God we made it. I was sweating like a hooker in church. China Eastern Airline is far from luxurious. I felt like Eddie Murphy going to Tibet in Golden Child. It was cramped, noisy and well--nerve wracking.
Flying can be traumatic, and that's exactly what my flight turned out to be. Not because we had cruised at altitudes at or above 30 thousand feet...not because there was a bomb threat...not because the food on the flight was gross and could have made me quite ill...there wasn't a gremlin on the wing trying to make the plane go down...and or not even because I was incommunicado and wasn't able to text, tweet, phone or call up a pal and say "Hey, dude! Wanna go to Whole Foods, buy expensive wine. Drink it. Fill the bottle back up with grape juice and vinegar. Return it to Whole Foods and say "This vino is rancid. I do not like it. Refund please." I was ready and willing to deal with any obstacle. What I wasn't prepared for? The in flight movie. An American film called Faster starring Billy Bob Thorton, Carla Gugino (a chick I'd totally bang) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. This movie totally blew the corn out of my stool. It was so fucking terrible. All I kept thinking was "the Chinese nationals on this plane are going to simultaneously look at me and yell "Woooodaaaa! Judo chop this Amelican yank! This movie is tellible! Dwayne The Lock Johnson is black like she! Put pee pee in her coke!"
I'm not that fucking racist. I've been around Chinese culture my whole life. Kung Fu theatre was my shit growing up. Plus, my mother always made La Choy stir fry when I was growing up.
All jokes aside, I did feel great shame that this American action film was being shown. Seriously, it's the worst goddamned movie ever filmed.
Chinese Nationals Queue// Foreign Queue
Holy shit. I'm a foreigner. Damn. I was in line with all kinds of faces. A few passengers appeared to be Asian--but most of us foreigners ranged from Nordic faces to blue black African skins. I don't know why it was so striking to me, but it was.
"Hello Miss. Welcome to The Peoples Republic of China. Look into camera please."
The immigration agent had a kind face. But the agent looked like she didn't fuck around. I was intimidated and loopy. My circadian rhythm was all fucked up after crossing that pesky international date line. I was doing my best to appear normal. I didn't want to be some "strange acting black person--why is she behaving so strange and have people thinking I was about to be another Nigerian bomber NPR story."
"Ni hao." I smiled brightly and waited as the agent examined my passport & visa. I had learned a few Chinese phrases from watching a kids show called Ni Hao Kai-Lan. It's about a cute little Chinese girl, and you know other moral shit they show on kids tv programming. I couldn't afford Rosetta Stone CD's--but I did get stoned and the network of Nick Jr. was my language tutor. Watching that Ni Hao Kai-Lan I learned to say: Hello, dance, thank you and ice cream. So I felt pretty good about going to a communist country home to over 1.3 billion people and only able to say: Hello. Dance. Ice cream. Thank You.
"Okay. Next." The immigration agent granted me entry.
"Xie xie!" Thank you! Fuck yeah, thought the black girl. I'm about to be all up in China! I am gonna be the next Anthony mothafucking Bourdain. A bad ass in search of the worlds best Gucci bags, weave, and electronics all at cheap Chinese prices. Ni hao yellow man! Here I come!"
The moment I stepped outside the airport, the humid air enveloped my body. The reverb of native tongues was bizarre and beautiful. The Chinese languages sounded like cicadas. At first it's frightening--and then before you know it the high pitched drone is kind of awesome.
"Hello, I am your escort. I will take you to your car." My escort was tiny. She looked like Knives Cho.
"Hi, I'm Nic. What's your name?"
"Ummm...You may call me Amy."
I could tell she made up the name on the spot. I wondered why she did that. But I didn't press.
"Okay, the cab will take you home. Bye-bye."
"Oh--you're not getting in the taxi with me?"
She was gone. The cab driver placed my bag in the trunk and motioned for me to get inside. I got inside the small sedan, and before I could look for my seat belt, the drive had gone from 0-80mph in 20 seconds.
I was fucking terrified. He was driving like a maniac. Flashing his lights, narrowly escaping death every 0.5 miles. Suddenly I understood the Asian bad driver stereotype. I couldn't find a seat belt. I certainly couldn't text or call anyone for fear of a $2,000 phone bill. All I could do was call on Jesus, and speak the little bit of Chinese that I knew. I didn't know how to say "CONFUCIUS SAY SLOW THE FUCK DOWN CABBIE! I DON'T WANT TO DIE WHILE I'M JETLAGGED. THAT'S NOT FAIR." I hoped that he was sensing my fear, and slow down. He didn't. He drove like a hot rod car in a Tex Avery cartoon. I thought of tapping him on the shoulder and using sign language to suggest that he slowed down. Instead, all I could do was cower into the back seat, and close my eyes whisper "Bin qui lin!"
That basically means "I want ice cream."
More to come,