Thursday, October 1, 2009

Glancingly, swaying and spinning, as in an elegant waltz

It may be difficult to tell from this riotously entertaining "web" "log", but my life isn't actually all that exciting these days. HOWEVER, in the last twenty four hours, we've taken a right turn towards Cool:

Gus and I have been trying to start a small freelance translation business, and yesterday we got the first chance to try our skills. A friend of ours is an artist in Guangzhou and wanted us to translate some explanatory text for a performance art piece that she had created. So already I'm feeling Pretty Damn Hip because this was young, edgy, anti-One Child Policy performance art. And our translation was also Pretty Damn Great.

Then last night we went to go see the performance, which was also edgy and hip. Like all good performance art, it included a live dog, 21 fake breasts made of inflated condoms wrapped in pantyhose, and a fair amount of what I can only hope was menstrual blood. (Actually, it was ketchup, but tomato, tomato. Literally!)

After the performance we stayed at the bar and hung out with the artist and her sister and a couple other new friends. One of those new friends told me that some of her favorite bands were Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and The Beatles. To give you a sense of how rare this is, one of my students told me the other day that she liked to listen to "classic American singers" like Mariah Carey.

So, after a month, I've finally found somewhere in Guangzhou where cool young Chinese people go. This is good news because one can only hang out with Gristle for so long.

Right now I'm watching the Chinese National Day parade on TV. The parade is a two parter: the second part is a standard dancing/singing/balloon-based parade, but the first part was a military parade where China showed off its advanced weapons systems. Missile launchers! Jet planes! And tanks -- tanks riding right through Tian'anmen square. I never thought I'd see the day. It's hard to take it too seriously, though, because whenever the English announcer says Tian'anmen Gate Towers it sounds a lot like Tian'anmen Gay Towers. Just me?