Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Plot Thickens

This is a picture of Inna. If you look closely you can see her, just behind the phone booths right of center. I tried to get closer but she spotted me and hopped on a Vespa with Fong and skeedattled. Or maybe she smelled me coming.

I went to the floor cleaner manufacturing plant to see Frank, but since I can't speak Chinese I couldn't explain to the receptionist why I was there and she called security so I had to wait until he got off work and follow him through the streets of the city on a bike I rented for three fish, and we stopped in this neighborhood and there was Inna at the phone booth, waiting for him. I don't know what she did with the cell phone, but she must have called him to have him pick her up.

It gets curiouser and curiouser because it turns out that El-Brazi, the French midfielder she was sacked up with last month, is here in China playing left back for some local corporate team, and making Adidas commercials in Mandarin.

This place, by the way, China, I mean, makes America look like a socialist paradise. It's business, capitalism, 24/7/365 or however many days there are in the Chinese calendar.

And mediocre French footballers are all the rage, evidently. Even if they've got no pace and no left foot to speak of.

I want my backpack. Or my pack back. I still have six fish. This is not over.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chickens Of The Sea

I traded my goat head for nine fish.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tuna Shortage

I don't want to hear any more about Paris Hilton.

I'm in this market in Beijing. I've been here a month, looking, you know, for Inna and whatnot. France was a bust, the whole soccer star thing, I don't even want to talk about it, and now she's here, China, Beijing, somewhere, hanging out with this guy Frank Fong who she met at Hooters in Houston on a layover during that United Airlines computer shut down that got half of travelling American stranded at various hub airports which, maybe not coincidentally, are also major Hooters franchise cities and Inna wanted a t shirt.

Frank's not the Hong Kong guy I was going to hook up with Inna. I talked to him; Inna put him on the cell phone I paid for, he's fluent in English, and doesn't even do the thing with the l's and the r's. He's a product rep for a Chinese company that sells robotic floor cleaning devices. You just turn them on and they go and go. They stole the design from an American company who hired them to manufacture a similar product and some spunky Indian mechanical engineers reverse-engineered the American patent and improved upon the air sucking part and that was that. Anyway, Inna still has my backpack and promised to give it back to me in Houston, but she and Frank Fong took a red-eye to China and here I am in this market where the big news should have been the tuna shortage but, what do you know, I'm hearing all these Chinese people and they're like, "choy choy choy choy choy Paris Hilton choy choy."

Enough already.

I bought a goat head, though.

2200 yuan. I think I got a good deal.

But because I don't have a backpack I have to carry it around in a repurposed clear plastic sack that the guy at the goat head kiosk gave to me.

It's got this bright pink writing on the side: