Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ugh, Guangzhou: Part 1 of 10000000 (projected)

It's raining in Guangzhou. The weather forecast says that it could rain every day this week. The sky during a rainstorm here is even hazier than normal. Looking out my window I can see a few buildings, and beyond them only gray. In "Paradise Lost," when the Flood is about to begin, Milton describes the air as full of "exhalations dusk and moist (how's that for a casual reference?), and that's what GZ feels like now: like a city cut off, already submerged.

["Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" just came up in iTunes. I've been to the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in Manhattan twice, both times with groups of people I love. Pizza Hut/Taco Bell friends: miss you guyz! lol! no but seriously I miss you a lot.]

Annnyway, I went to Gristle's birthday party last night with Gus (to all those who have asked, yes, Gus is my roommate, and yes, "Gus" is Gus's real name) and with former PiA fellow David. We went to a restaurant with Gristle and two of his Chinese friends, and then we came back to our apartment and chatted. Gristle and co. told us some Chinese jokes, which I will reproduce here, out of context, with minimal explanation, because that's essentially how I got to hear them:

-- "A man walked up to a woman, and meant to say, 'Do you think I have strong eyebrows?' but actually he said, 'Do you think I have beautiful chest hair?'" (note: this is essentially the Chinese version of the two tickets to Pittsburgh/two pickets to Titsburg mix up.)

-- "A foreigner was eating at a banquet and watermelon was brought to the table for dessert. The foreigner cut the watermelon into two pieces, handed the larger one to his chinese friend, and said, 'I'll eat urine, and you eat shit!'" (this one actually makes sense in Chinese, and it's the only one that I actually found funny)

-- "A man saw Princess [a famous Chinese singer] lying on the ground, and went up to her to see what was happening, and then he realized that it wasn't Princess, it was Princess Diana, and she was dead!" (this one makes exactly as much sense in English as it does in Chinese, but Gristle and friends laughed and laughed)

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Also, whatever my body wash is supposed to smell like (this is not an empty rhetorical device, as I actually have no idea what the bottle says), as far as I can tell the actual scent is "Kung Pao Chicken."

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Chinese words I never thought I'd learn, but which came up in our conversation with Gristle last night: sex-crazed, semiotics.

I'm now in a position to write some seriously steamy Ferdinand de Saussure fan fiction. ("She looked at his naked body for the first time and said, 'Your big feet certainly aren't an arbitrary signifier, Ferdinand.'", etc, etc, fill in your own joke here, they write themselves)

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We have a glass coffee table in our apartment, similar to the one that I had in my room junior year. Evidently the glass has broken twice in the past two years and has had to be replaced. Luckily everyone who was at GQ2008 is thousands of miles away, otherwise we would definitely be having to replace it sometime soon. But the glass in my room wasn't from a broken table, it was glass from the car crash when Princess Diana died! HaHA! Seriously, this stuff kills in China.