Some call me Priscilla DePrimo (comtefabu) wrote,
Some call me Priscilla DePrimo
comtefabu

Banned, Humiliated, Exiled, Yet Still Peeping

Let's start with a dose of surrealism.

Ahem.

"I'm impressed because hong kong is the culmination of my world little bits of longing and aspiration floating and greeting me whichever way i turn... the sleek glass of the towers and the grit of unwashed tenements smelling of piss and curry...
...
...the most affluent money-bomb population in china looking across the harbor to tsim sha tsui -- all that mess of darkness and turban a modern spike of steel looming over that babel of languages blessing and curse beyond the darkness of skin...
...
...central is mammoth, more mammoth than that globe of kowloon even and my head spins in the crowds but i dance in them anyway as in the tubes of a giant organism traipsing its intestines tapping its axioms jetting its veins blood tear semen ducts...
...
... exchange stalls. A carnival of humanity wild as i wait for the lift up to the 16th floor to look out my window on nathan road the mysterious faces small under the nighttime lights there, clutching bags and timing the clicks of their heels with the beating of my heart. Beautiful lines of night faces illuminated as if in a theater, opening night of a failed production, weary comedy stretching the faces into wide eyes and smiles. The buildings glow pink and green flophouses 20 stories tall a jagged cubist glow full of matisse dreams and soft opium men gently turning yellow in sleep.
...
A drama of real beauties i've always known."

Mined from my paper journal, those were my first impressions of Hong Kong written on my first day here. It only got more surreal from there, with black-eyed facelift trannies parading by day and people burning photocopied portraits of dead people by night. So yeah... i kinda fell for the place.

Enter Shanghai.

I now live in suburban Shanghai, which is great in that it solved the problem of the pee smell all over chungking mansions in kowloon, and bad because i suddenly have a scheduled life to live all over again. Mixed bag of a place, but whatever, i'll take it. On my days off i go downtown and surround myself with deco and smokes and jazz and whatever other forms of pleasant mayhem i can suss out... coming back home a couple of days later with a few extra wrinkles around the eyes and a few years no doubt shaved off my life. Sometimes i go out to tiny villages on the outskirts of shanghai, all sagging plaster buildings ancient and crowding narrow stone laneways. Canals crossed by humped moon bridges and tea houses selling dumplings or stinky tofu (i'm serious, that's actually what it's called) with their leaves. Places that will disappear as shanghai spreads further and further into the paddies with its skycrapers and luxury lofts. Maybe 5 years. Maybe a month. Who knows, but the writing's on the wall for places like that.

My boss works as a lawyer for the Communist Party, and one of the perks of knowing someone in that situation is that you get to ride in a zipped police car and go like 150 km/h on a downtown freeway when on official business. Maybe my boss assumes foriegners are too stupid to catch a bus, i dunno... but i DO know that stepping out a police car without cuffs is a great feeling, especially when you're actually on time for something.

But my boss had to send me all the way back to HK for a residence permit because whatever connections he does have in Beijing have all but dried up. Maybe he's on his way out. Maybe there's going to be a soviet-style (ok, or chinese-style) Show Trial to get rid of him. Maybe i'll have to testify... what would i say? I've only seen the guy twice. My other boss, a downtown socialite, sent me packing to HK with a shopping list that includes 30 (fucking THIRTY) fashion magazines. I'm not going to mention that part at the trial, even though the mags are so fucking heavy they're KILLING ME. Ugh. Maybe i can talk about the medical test i had to go through to work in china (all expats have to do it, it's not just me)... two solid hours of medical tests examining everything from your brainwaves to your buttcheeks, all amounting to an big excuse to humiliate naked foreigners. Little do they know that it was kinda fun walking around a hospital naked, and cause for celebration that they found nothing wrong with me (as in, REALLY fucking surprised considering the past year). I quote: "Any person suffering from [a] mental disorder, leprosy, AIDS, venereal diseases, contagious tuberculosis or other such infectious diseases shall not be permitted to enter China." They're keeping out the fun people, and not only that... they only made ONE grammar mistake. Brilliant fuckers they are.

Goddamn i need a smoke, goin all incoherent and shit... i'll write about shanghai from shanghai.

Oh yeah, a blogsite that is actually NOT banned on the mainland:
http://comtefabu.expat-blog.net/

If you wanna see if your fav sites are blocked in china, check out:
http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/

And above all, try to catch your neighbors in their underwear. Peace out, bitches.
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