Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hostage Negotiations

We were scheduled to meet Master Sun bright & early on our 1st morning. But she kept postponing it because of this & that. We’re now being told that she has to go to Beijing for a CCTV appearance & insisted William to go back with her. This was the beginning of our many ‘in the spirit of fang bien (convenience)’ situations in China. It appears that the Chinese interpretation of ‘fang bien’ means when it’s convenient for them but not necessarily for you, in a sneaky passive/aggressive way. If we had known this, we could have stayed in Beijing or made our travel plans accordingly.

A trek back to Beijing is not a simple hop, skip & jump along the Gardner to Mississauga. I’m dreading this but there weren’t any choices. It wasn’t like we can stay & party with the Terracotta soldiers till she gets back! I’ve bad feelings about this. I felt like we were being held hostage by some Karaoke Peking Opera cult. If I catch William shaving his head, smellin like incent, & chanting strange tunes in water sleeves at the train station over the next few days…we’re outta here!

Master Sun has a mama’s boy Wang who looks like some walking Adidas billboard. I can’t figure out if he’s a devoted Adidas stockholder or he just loves all things foreign especially American. William doesn’t trust him. I empathize but also feel compelled to count all my teeth to make sure they’re all still there when he leaves the room. Anyways, I coined him Mister Adidas. He appears to be her gatekeeper/manager. You can’t get to her without going through him. So while we waited patiently to meet her, we’re stuck with Mister Adidas as our tour guide, killing our time, shuffling us from one more boring replica tourist site to another.

Anywhere you find tourists, you were also bombarded by over-excited guides blabbering from annoying battery powered megaphones whose worldly care seems only to not let a moment's silence pass without any form of conscious thought. My only consolation was that these running commentaries were in Putonghua, which somehow made it more bearable because I couldn’t fully understand and when the batteries were wearing down on their megaphones, almost ignorable.

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