To Take Notice of Warning – The Slippery is Crafty– sign outside shopping centre
Forget the Arafat siege, Beijing is at war. Conflict is everywhere.
An army of cranes have invaded the city, and are battling against the flatness of the place. The sun is fighting the smog to try to fry the people of the people’s republic. (30C today – I laugh at your British Spring). And if you ever wondered who would come out on top if the greatest fighters had at it, your curiousity need go no further. Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li were okay. But last night, in a random bar in BJ, a secret lurking force was revealed. Number one in China, the Shaolin master himself showed a few moves.
After spending a while batting off young women (not boasting here, but people seem to assume that a round-eye on his own in a bar writing a book is a sex tourist), a generous man, whose name sounded like Wang Wei (suspiciously like Wrong Way, and have you ever thought that Tianamen Square sounded a bit like Chinaman’s Choir) made himself aware to me.
He was actually a bit tasty, his swollen girth masking a surprising flexibility – he could quite happily kick the atoms on the left side of my swaying nose, and demonstrated many different ways of disabling people (mainly a long suffering barman). Not only could he disarm the pen wielding barman, but he encouraged a young woman to have at him with a carving knife, and dispatched her too. A little unfair given that she can’t have weighed more than about 7 stone.
The barmen was seemingly unused to serving drinks – perhaps he was just a sparring partner in a white shirt that Wang Wei dragged around with him. I gleaned this after asking for a vodka and coke. Much scratching of heads and conspiring with cohorts. I demonstrated that it was normal to fill a large tumbler with Stolly and stick a slice of orange and some ice in it, and pointed to the menu which showed the price of a diminutive shot of vodka, and started swigging and swaying, chuckling to myself.
From batting away young women and martial artists, I was then set upon by the manager. One of the rejected women had told the manager about my vodka stealing antics, and he came to make amends. Shouting cheers and forcing me to neck the tumbler (hey, no skin off my nose pal, I’ve just escaped Russian Alcoholics Anonymous), I was then obliged to down wine, beer and anything else (free for some reason – strange revenge indeed).
There was quite a crowd gathered by this point, so to distract attention, I started haggling about the price of a massage with the young lady who grassed me up. The art of haggling, as I see it, is to not actually want what is on offer, and show a take it or leave it attitude. Luckily, I didn’t want what was on offer, and I got the price of a massage from 200 USD to about 35 USD, before a crotch-grabbing pimp negotiator arrived on the scene. Luckily for him, it was his own crotch he was grabbing, as I had a skinful and the teachings of Wang Wei at my disposal, and I was quite frankly invincible, a reincarnation of Genghis Khan crossed with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bigger, stronger brother.
Suffice it to say I escaped a fate worse that syphilis, and took myself to the Blind Man Massage House to nurse my hangover on this day of rest. Well, my pain inflicter was a man, but he wasn’t blind. Strong though. Capable of inducing nausea with two fingers to the spine of any prone victim. Let alone a victim also suffering from a night of violent boozing. Blind Man Massage? Looking at my hair in the mirror this morning, I reckon all the blind people got lost and ended up shearing hair in the streets.