Last night was great fun. I met up with Zachary Mexico and Li Du of Kunming Paper Tiger fame. I took along a couple of work associates to see if everyone would be able to mesh.

It worked out fine. my workmates deal with foreigners all the time, are highly educated and the communication lines are open to anything. so no issues when the two crews met.

I told one young female colleague about the “underground society” that exists throughout China. She never really heard about such things and basically has been rollin in the “High School – College – Work” circle with a pinch of English and German thrown in. She comes from a small town in the western countryside, and knows little about the modern poets, writers and social rebels that come from her area.

Of course Du Fu and Li Bai, rebels from back in the day, are known to all. But little do we know that Du Fu rides again …

So many trails in the world. On every trail a rider with one more silver dollar … She listened as i told about the Guan 9 bar that i opened with Zhuang Jian, who is a contemporary of Li Du, both of whom are younger brothers to Fu Guang and Fu Qiang, both of who are contemporaries of Tang Lei and the 1980s artist crowd …there is a chain that goes back to Du Fu …

Me and Zach came in on the same wave. There is a society of foreigners stretching from Yunnan north to the Du — loose, but linked — and up to Beijing. Itinerants that ply the roads west into the Tibetan mountains and go to Shanghai every now and then to get paid. Or to Beijing to be known. Or south through SE Asia to get lost.

We follow in the footsteps of Chinese vagabonds that know all the nooks. This is what I was trying to tell the girl. She said something like: Chinese don’t travel, could never make it in the US, only like to stay in their hometowns and other such “gotta cubbyhole myself” nonsense.

I said “Girl, dammit you think all them stories by Jin Yong were about dreams and wishes?”

I tried to get across that there is a society of people across the planet — that includes many many chinese — that will be river lake forever. Its like a gene that gets passed on …

I felt a great need to connect with this girl like i connected with others before. Especially seeing as i gotta tone this blog down on the pol-iti-cal tip till the Games is over …

needed to somehow redeem myself for deleting posts. Anyway i got through to her, i could see the wonder and realization in her eyes, she drifted off into some vision of herself on a cliff, the wind pulling at her hair, in a white dress barefoot, waves crashing, salt spray tickling her face like phantom freckles …

While she was silently dreaming, i turned to the owner of the bar we were sitting at and learned that he was hired by the police to act as a John before the Olympics, luring in girls of the night and finding out where the Houses of the Rising Sun were … the police then took those girls and sent em to Qinghai “re-education through labor camps …” This is the truth. This cat told me this and then shrugged, i kept the accusations out of my eyes till he finished, because i wanted him to tell the whole story …

“This is how business is done here man, you know how it is. But i didn’t do anything with them … you know what i mean? …”

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Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

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