Monday, September 14, 2009

G-U-A-N-G-Z-H-O-U, baby, G-D

Before I begin, I'd like everyone to know that at the pool today I met a 12-year-old boy who was impressed by how tall, skinny, and strong Gus and I were. He called me "厉害", which means ferocious/awesome. We had a 50 meter race and I kicked his sorry 12-year-old ass. How's that for 厉害, my little Chinese friend? Man, I totally jammed him. Or maybe jammered him. Whatever. It was a jammer-boree.

Today Gus and I went to the Guangdong Museum of Art. It is on this strange island in the middle of Guangzhou called Ersha, which has the most wide-open spaces I've seen in Guangzhou so far. I walked on grass. If any of you out there are also living in industrial wastelands, you should check this stuff out. It's great.

Anyway, we went to the GMOA to see some (pretty good) contemporary Chinese painting, (passable) modern Chinese photography, and (not-so-passable) entries in a contest in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Chairman Mao! You love him! We get it!

No, but seriously, they love him a lot. We saw a wall covered in copies of the Chinese equivalent of Time magazine (人民画报) and he was on the cover every month for 12 months in a row in 1957.

But that wasn't the real reason we went to the GMOA. We went to find romantic encounters with chic, fascinating, dynamic ladies, at the suggestion the non-parody website Where to Meet Fair Ladies in Guangzhou? (thx, Gus)

How do you meet these fair ladies? Well, the first idea is to go to C-Union bar, which caters to "charming, artistic" types. Obviously my crowd. The best way to prove to your friends that you've met this fair lady is to take a picture of her by pretending to take a picture of the band.
Sometimes you can be more obvious, but only when you're at Brightly Lit Popcorn Bar, seen here:

The problem with these local places is that "local Cantonese females..are well known for their plain appearance but good temper, cooking, housekeeping and family sense." And I'll tell you what, that does not sound like a fair lady to me, because here in Guangzhou I'm looking for only one thing: beautiful women. Beautiful, womanly women.

So let me give you some real fair lady juice. You should go to the business districts, where "many graceful beauties swarm out and greet your feasting eyes" or to restaurants, because (still quotes, all direct quotes) "Women like eating." (Women reading this: can you confirm/deny?)

The page also includes tips on finding love at universities. It says, "The best places for romantic encounters are dining halls, libraries and the dormitory blocks." This is really good info, because we live right next to a university, the women of which the page describes as "traditional and pure," which I guess is OK, even though I'd prefer the girls from Zhong Da: "elegant and scholastic." (I like my women like I like my publishing houses? What does that even mean?) Incidentally, I'm sad I didn't read this 4 years ago, because then I might have been able to find more love in Princeton's picturesque Dormitory Block C.

I'm pretty optimistic about my prospects with all this. Guangzhou is where my baby lives, that's all.

(Thanks to Jason for pointing out that it's the 10th anniversary of 69 Love Songs, which is surely the World's Worst thing to listen to on Valentine's day, which is exactly what I have done for 3 years in a row.)