Last Wednesday I gave an hour-long lecture at the American consulate on DJ’ing in China. After six months or so of hesitation I decided to commit myself to it, I suppose to broaden my horizons and try something different. I saw a list of the topics that the previous lectors selected and was fairly put off by the entire idea when I found that people are lectured there on topics like classic French literature, 20th century American colonialism, and China’s economic growth. Boring. So, the primary objective was to make it fun an interesting. I didn’t think this would be too difficult considering the countless bizarre situations I’ve found myself in over the last year, so I decided to focus primarily on identifying the largest disparities between the two club cultures and the talking about the observations I’ve made as a first-hand witness of how China’s nightclubs operate. I thought it went very well and flowed much more like an open dialogue than I expected it to, which was a welcome surprise. I was also surprised to find that many of the people who showed up to hear me speak barely knew what a DJ was, while others were themselves DJ’s. Overall a good experience which yielded almost all that I hoped it could. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll give another lecture on another topic that isn’t so boring – I’ve already been thinking of doing one on creationism or scientology, which I don’t think many Chinese people are even familiar with. We’ll see.
Today I took a tour of Chengdu along with Sascha, who was able to obtain a big car and driver for the day, courtesy of the Chinese government, since he’s authoring a book on Chengdu. I tagged along and took photos as they dropped us off at all of the major tourist sites in the city, granted us entry into special ordinarily-restricted areas, and took us out to lunch. Most of the sites both of us had been to, but we checked out a few temples that I hadn’t been to before, in addition to a giant museum that’s set to open next year. The museum is actually an airplane-hanger-type facility built around a location filled with excavated fossil remains and 1,000-year old petrified trees. We were also taken to a storage facility guarded by three men which held a collection of ancient artifacts. 3,000 seemed to be the magic number dating all the articles, including a number of stone figures and small jade sculptures and scriptures. The day as a whole was largely impressive – after splitting with Sascha I met with Jade, who I went to Tibet with (she worked for Chivas at the time) last March. It’d been a long time since we’d seen eachother and it was a welcome opportunity to practice not speaking any english for the evening. New vocabulary include breakdancing (jie wu), cross the street (guo ma lu), and gua wa zi (crazy person) in Chongqing-hua (haar!). Pretty fantastic times.
Tomorrow I’ll set out and try to find a decent electronic piano to set in the studio. It’s been ten years now, but I’m committing myself to learning again!