Tuesday, November 08, 2005

 
Fiddle About
Your faithful Far East correspondent is painfully aware that his dispatches are not as frequent, as funny (or occasionally poignant) as when he began this sojourn more than two years ago and for that he apologizes -- and often frets.
Basically, his life has come to this. He lives in a shopping mall. Five days a week he works 9-hour days at a daily newspaper after which he returns on a company shuttle bus to mallville where he holes up, eats dinner, often makes incoherent phone calls to the States, sleeps fitfully and turns around and does it again.
Weekends are in Shenzhen, mostly, where he and C fiddle about, usually without incident.
But for those craving something, anything he presents a smattering of recent material gleaned not first-hand but unwittingly contributed via e-mail by a couple kindred spirits. Props to expat pals Patrick and James in Shenzhen for the following.
In the Dysfunctional Families Aren't Unique to the Western World Category Patrick writes of his Chinese girlfriend (whom I'll also call ``C''), her psychotic mother and their new puppy.
Last night C and her mom were sitting around doting over their new puppy: scratching his belly, looking in his ears, letting him chew on their hands -- all the things people do with their new puppies.
At some point C's mom started inspecting his paws -- which are still quite small now, as he is only two months old, but which will soon grow quite large, as he is a dalmatian.
C's mother remarked about the puppy's pink paw pads: ``This part of the dog's paw is the most delicious'' -
That coming from a woman who once served her 11 year-old daughter the family cat for dinner just out of spite.

James weighs in with the latest Chinglish harvest and delivers an inspired riff on one I sent him, a Hong Kong film fest that, according to the press release on my desk, will feature a screening of the James Dean classic ``Rebel Without a Claus.''
A Christmas classic, beloved by parents and their fucked-up kids for decades! See what happens when one-time good boy Jim Stark (James Dean) stops believing in Santa Claus. With Natalie Wood as The Girl Who Wouldn't Float, Sal Mineo as ``Plato the Fairy,'' and Jim Backus as the voice of Scrooge Magoo.
But I have been collecting some cool stuff, too, that you might appreciate.
1. Last week's discussion was on movies. Several students suggested that I see ``The Mice.'' It took me several tries to discover that they were referring to Jackie Chan's new movie, ``The Myth.''
2. Near my house, I saw a woman in an expensive-looking sweater bearing the words, ``It's now or nerve.''
3. CD titles in a store
For pre-natal listening (remember when that questionable technology was all the rage?):
FETAL BRING-UP
For the infant:
FOLK MUSIC MAKES BABY MORE AESTHETIC
Probably for adults, but continuing the infantile theme:
SOUL PABULUM: I LIKE CHOPIN

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