This afternoon there’s a concert in the same public square that we performed at in November, sponsored by the French embassy. It’s promoted by Joe and features a few bands as well as a trio of Senegalese hip hop artists. It should be a ragga-influenced sound; I’ve never heard any music out of Senegal before, and it’s also at an outside venue, so it should be a good time. My turntables are for rent for the show, so shortly I’ll deliver the equipment in the cases.
Last night Tom had a gig at Fashion, probably my favorite club to play at in Chengdu. The place was packed and I arrived just in time to see Tom finish, sadly. So I hungout near the booth with Tom and a bunch of strangers, drinking some kind of vodka I’ve never heard of that was being promoted last night. The awful music quickly got to me and we decided to leave only a few minutes after I’d arrived there. While there I ran into Aty, a Chinese promoter that I haven’t seen in months. I told him that I’m going back to America and he said to call when I get back; then I remembered the time that I was DJ’ing in Chongqing and he ran into the booth and adjusted the pitch on a record that was playing, so I don’t think I’ll actually call.
We left Fashion looking for a house party at the Soho building, which is a well known modern mall and luxury apartment complex. We searched for at least 30 minutes for this place since neither Tom nor I had ever been there before. We finally find it and after all that search, it’s a slight disappointment. We hardly knew anyone there, so I can only guess that they must be students and english teachers. We buy a few beers from the kitchen and hang out for an hour or so until the rest of the crew shows up. Then I get a text message from Tom clearly stating that the McDonalds outside is open 24 hours and I need to see it for myself. Oh wow!
The party ends and we leave for the McDonalds. Maybe mainlining sugar and starch into my body will remind me of America, I thought. We show up at the enormous empty McDonalds where techno music is playing loudly and there’s a table full of drunk english people; Dave, Tom, and Tony. Tom had given them one of his dj mixes. Next thing I know we’re eating big macs and smoking joints, listening to Toms DJ mix on the McDonalds house speaker system. It was probably the most memorable trip to McDonalds I’ve ever had.
I’m at Tenzins house now with 8,000rmb. Today I’ll convert it to $1,000USD through a mysterious friend of Tenzins named Mr Hu. You call him and he shows up at your house with a wad of hundred dollar US bills, in exchange for Chinese currency. He came here 10 minutes ago and said the exchange rate was 8.1:1, which isn’t bad. Immediately afterwards he says that he has slightly tattered bills at him which he’ll trade for much cheaper. We decided to check it out, so he went home to pick them up and he’ll be back in a few minutes.
I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to call Kat in Vietnam. I’ve tried a handful of sim cards, international calling cards, my house phone, my cell phone, other peoples cell phones, and getting help from Chinese people for fear that I’m misunderstanding one of the menus. I’ve memorized the international calling card number and her fathers cell phone number in Vietnam. Every time I enter those 20-something digits I’m excited that maybe this time it’ll work, but it seems like I’m invariably disappointed every time. I won’t give up.
The weather is beautiful today!