I had such an amazing journey to China. So many stories and anecdotes that you may find a bit boring--but the trip was enlightenling. It was wild and a fuckload of fun. It was nice to be 6,000 miles away from talentless dickheads that saturate film/theatre/tv. China shook me away. The experience there certainly straightened by pubic hairs. So I'm gonna work a bit out of sequence. This excerpt from my diary was written while I was on a plane and recovering from water/food poisoning. I was sick as a dog for a few days...and to torture me a bit more, mother nature decided to give me my period. So I was out of it, but at at least I lost weight! I was sick, seriously sick. But not too sick to take pause and bid farewell to one of the best lovers I've ever had. Shanghai. Enjoy!
An unedited excerpt from the journal of J. Nicole Brooks
19 Sept 2011
Sadly at this moment I am departing my beloved Shanghai. I have many great friends here now; and this I did not quite expect.
We are currently on the tarmac and in 120min we will be in Xiomen (Lord willing). As I was looking out of the window, a sadness descended because the aircraft moved to join the take-off queue. In slow motion we began to leave and at that very moment I saw 2 Chinese workers; they were airport employees. They smiled and waved at us as we slowly drove by.
I am a frequent flier.
I travel mostly in the U.S. sometimes abroad. Never have I had such a pleasant take off. That simple gesture (sincere maybe; or perhaps mandated protocol) means a lot for my spirit.
I love America. I am proud to be American. For many years I saw my western heritage as something to be ashamed of--I felt as if I only had a lifestyle that was bigoted, myopic, fast, and without pleasure. Living in America (I can only speak as a city girl) can make you cold and unfeeling. We have so many supermarkets, malls, and fast food one can forget the simplicity of the 5 senses. Shanghai violently shocked my senses out of a coma. She challenged all things for my eyes. Ears. Mouth. Hands/feet.
The heat (which I loathe) was therapeutic and somehow loosened my joints, and gave my agility. She tickled my tongue with hyper spices (and as much as I hate to admit, some of the best European bakeries I have ever eaten.) and cold beer.
The city is vast, yet intimate--everyday was an adrenaline rush because the cars nor bikes obey traffic signals. They do not yield to pedestrians, forcing you to move forward the best way you can--Romantic? Corny? Perhaps. But I learned a great lesson by walking thru the streets of Shanghai's traffic. The metaphor cannot be ignored: here if you do not move quickly or if you do not pay attention, you will be run over. I think this will help re-start my career.
The sounds. Horns blaring, bike bells dinging, rapid native tongues. The trees in the wind sound like a cheerleaders pom poms.
Mine eyes? "Oh my god!" As my Russian sistah Liza would say. Scores of people on bicycles, motor bikes 2, even 3 at a time. ON ONE BIKE! Imagine seeing a Ringling Bros. circus act, except pedestrian. Without pomp. Just cool and unfazed. I loved seeing couples on a bike. The girl would sit causally on the backseat, sideways. She would never bother to wrap her arms around the drivers waist. Though they did not touch, it was an intimacy that I witnessed daily.
I think Chinese women are very beautiful. In many ways they are like dainty flowers. But make no mistake they will kill an ant with a sledge hammer. Do not be fooled by their sprite like appearance.
Shanghai is much like New York, except I like Shanghai better. Maybe I can make that statement after only having been here 9 days. But there's something about communist reminders that make you think "wow these are a hardy lot."
And the Chinese people are quite tough. I may not agree with their politics and wouldn't speak against the Republic (because I'd like to return!) But I'll say this much. China welcomed me with open arms. I simply adored my time there. I have more excepts from my journal to share. I also have wild videos and beautiful pictures. The Red Series may be a bit longer than my normal postings--but travel can make you seem like a new parent. You want to show the world every picture, ticket stub, and trinket--because each item has a story. So hopefully you will enjoy my fucking kid. Thanks for reading!