Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lazy Blogger

So what's the deal, huh? How come no blogging recently?

It's not like I've been busy with work (ha!). After my interview in Beijing and a truly first-rate visit with The Professor (complete with a stay in the Russian Room and a sampling of his inconceivably delicious home-made apple-tomato jam), I spent an excellent ten days at home in New York.


Surprising my Mama-- had orchestrated with Padre to get the drop on the Mother Hen. Went down smooth as smoothies. When I walked in unexpectedly her face turned into a giant O. Also in the surprise category falls Hermano, Baby Grandma, my cousin Benny, and Egg.

Escaping from Egypt-- the formula for Jewish holidays is in effect: "they tried to kill us; we survived; let's eat." Two wonderful Passover sedars, with delicious eatables due largely in part to my darling Grandma, who took time out of her busy globe-trotting schedule to stay with us for the holiday.

Winning a Visa-- horror stories from ex-pat friends about tightening border controls, denied visa applications, and refused entries had me sweating on line at the NY embassy like a 16 year-old Chinese kid getting ready for 高考. Finally, armed with two passports, a letter of invitation, a bullshit flight itinerary, a lot of photocopies of stuff, and the help of a realllllly realllllly nice embassy guard, I managed to con my way into a double-entry 3-6 month visa. Booya!

New York Fucking City-- my belated love affair with the city I was born in gets deeper and deeper with every visit. I always took the city for granted when I lived in the area, and I even looked down on it after moving to (cleaner) (more accessible) Washington, DC for college. But since graduating and watching all my old friends move to New York to pursue their lively and diverse careers and misadventures, I've found it really is a pretty damn cool place to be.

Orientalism in Reverse-- when most people first go to Asia (myself included) there is inevitably an element of exoticism involved. "Ooh-- look at all there strange, colorful customs! They're so different!" This time round, I noticed I had that same feeling visiting my hometown. The fact of it is, New York is really exotic. I mean, 56 peoples aside, China is for the most part ethnically homogeneous, and even stylistically homogeneous (i.e. you have a handful of pre-fab alternative trends, but nothing too crazy). Lat week I found myself walking around Tompkins Park looking at people like a wide-eyed country bumpkin... "Everything is so wonderful and diverse, colorful and unique! So different!"

Visiting Friends-- if I were asked what makes me so cool, I would say it's because I have the coolest fucking friends. For rizzle. I spent a bunch of days just walking around the city visiting old comrades, and it was wonderful. The impressive part is that I made contact, scheduled meetings, and met with 8 or 9 people all over Manhattan and Brooklyn all without a cell phone. My secret? Perch in doorways on the street with my laptop and scan for un-passworded WiFi signals till I could connect to Skype. Next time, I'm just buying a pre-paid.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay-- BONNNG! My friend is tight with an events manager and got us tickets to the premier of what the New York Times heralded as "immortal," a film whose "idiocy serves the cause of good sense and intelligence." *
Seriously, though, I have to admit I loved this movie. It starts off dumb, dips a little dumber, but then steadily climbs in quality and commentary to the level of supreme narcotic satire. Cheech and Chong were never this good. And, for the record, I love Neil Patrick Harris just as much as Rob Corddry.

*Evaluating stoner movies seems to be the only goddamn thing the Times can get right these days.

Pizza-- sure, I love my family and friends, but honestly the biggest thing I miss living out here is a real slice of thin-crust NY pizza, topped with fresh mushrooms and just a littttle bit of extra mozzerella. Oh damn, but this is one toasty little orgasm that is most definitely not kosher for Pesach.

Coming Back to China and Chernobyl-- is it true that the best part of a journey is always the return?
No. But still, it's very nice. After my ten day break, I got back on my three planes and 24 hours later was happily in the arms of an anxiously waiting Chernobyl. Since then we have been happily enjoying good meals, good conversation, and each other, as is our custom.

And what happens now?
As soon as I got back, I went on vacation (come on, it's International Workers Day!). My boss told me I'm free until the 5th.
On the 6th, Chernobe leaves for a 30 day tour of Vladivostok, Moscow, London, and Paris.
On the 7th or 8th, I'll hopefully hear from the EU about the interpreter's scholarship (and hopefully hear good news).
Based on what happens with that, and how Chernobyl and I decided to handle things for the future, I'll either spend the summer working in Dalian or traveling around China or both.

In any case, I'll try and keep writing, hope you'll keep reading, and let God and the Party settle the rest.

Peace and feast,
The Artist Formerly Known as Tender Jefferson

1 comment:

La Mama said...

It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO nice to have the Jonny-boy home!! Love, La Mama