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Showing posts from October, 2011

猴子好吃桃子 (3)

"You know, I'm going to visit Pommieland soon"
"Really?"
"Yeah, you know Pipi. Well, his wife has shacked up with a Jewboy in London, so I've agreed to go there and kill him."

BG is ex-army, Afghanistan veteran, and can hit the eye of a kangaroo from a mile.

"You'll visit England to bump off Pipi's wife's lover?"
"Yeah, then I'll go and stand outside Buckingham Palace and try to see Her Majesty." A tear wells up in BG's eye. "I swore an oath to that woman and by God I meant it."
Getting the resin that led to this outpouring of sentiment was not as easy as I had imagined. There has been a crackdown on black faces in Guangzhou, and where once the area around the Garden Hotel was a heaven of Nigerian narcotics, there is now a wilderness of cheap trinkets and overpriced bars. In the end we stumbled across a Syrian, who obligingly provided us with the necessaries at a very reasonable price.
BG takes off a…

猴子好吃桃子 (2)

1st Sept, Guangzhou: Because endless tales of gorging and girls would make me a cheap imitation of The Swill, I shall pass over a few days in Shenzhen and move to Guangzhou.

Guangzhou, how I've loved you! How good it is now to leave the sterile charade of hotels and stay in a working class suburb with my old flatmate, BG. This is the real China: a mass of workers and peasants crowded together in raucous chaos. Here the small business-person predominates: the old farmer selling her apples on the roadside; the young slicker with his gleaming barber's shop. Filth, stinks, noise, crowds, life!
BG himself, alas, is even more deranged than when I last saw him; China can do this to a man. He was always Australian and robustly right-wing, in an old-fashioned, white-supremacist sense, but now he has two portraits of the Führer on his living room wall. I pick up a copy of Gobineau, with a Hitler bookmark inside.
"Good book, an antidote to all your Socialist bullshit. I was reading it …

Compañera Camila

Where is Neruda now to sing of you, Comrade Vallejo? His would be an apt  voice to ennoble, know your fire, as few
others could (I am not one, wrapped
in cotton wool of Art for its own sake,
without the balls to brave the Fascist cannons
as you have done). They'll kill you, Comrade, make
an icon of resistance, buy you - Mammon's
clutches of billionaires: the stooge Piñera!
(a parasite from this, or any, era),
sucking the weal, and old spiders who brood  voraciously. The darkness of a day
elapsed, a day nourished with our sad blood,
concludes the desperate struggle of decay.

Du Fu: The Winding River (2) - 曲江二首 (二)

Returning every day from court, I pawn
spring clothes. The river sees my drunken mien;
my boozing debts mount up all over town.
Men do not often live three score and ten.
The butterflies go deep into the flowers,
the dragonflies on wing among the drops.
The passing time is always rushing hours;
no time to know you: separation stops.

朝回日日典春衣
每日江頭盡醉歸
酒債尋常行處有
人生七十古來稀
穿花蛺蝶深深見
點水蜻蜓款款飛
傳語風光共流轉
暫時相賞莫相違

猴子好吃桃子 (1)

Image
Beijing: The summer is over; back to work. I do not promise (threaten?) to post every day in future; perhaps two or three times a week. For the first few posts a summary of my adventures so far in the Middle Kingdom.

25th Aug, Hong Kong: London-Dubai-Bangkok-Hong Kong. Not the quickest route, but the most luxurious on a limited spend. Emirates has the advantages of subsidised fuel, good food, willing hostesses (a sharp rebuke to the sour bats who make up BA's cabin crew nowadays) and an Airbus 380, easily the largest and most comfortable plane I have flown in.

An interesting interlude: with 3 hours to kill in Dubai airport before my connection I headed to the bar for a quick G&T or four. There I got chatting to an English debt collector who was on his way to Malaysia to join the wife and young 'un. 
I remarked that business must be booming but he grimaced, 'Not really. Back in the day it was easy to collect. Most people we called had the money and could be pressured into…