Chongqing came and went, and I’m now I’m into my fourth day in Guiyan.
Chongqing was a blast; my first time using Serato for a full set where it really went off. Had no significant problems, enjoyed the gig, and had the opportunity to see a lot of the city the day after the gig when Aty fucked up my departure flight from Chongqing to Chengdu. I was only in Chengdu for one day after that before leaving for Guiyan and starting the tour.
This is the first stop, but it almost doesn’t feel like it. Kim and I have been hanging out a lot, made a lot of new friends, and we meet new people and have the opportunity to practice Chinese daily. I’ve never really been in a situation where no one speaks any English and I can actually communicate with people until now. Out of a 30 minute conversation I might be able to extract 40% of the meaning which I’m pretty satisfied with.
Two days ago after a gig in the hotel elevator, Kim and I were with a pair of beautiful women who got off at the 3rd floor. When the door opened, there was a couch situated right in front of the elevator door, with aboutu 15 girls just sitting there looking pretty. We waved and whatnot and went upstairs. One thing that’s peculiar, though; I had heard previously about getting calls in your hotel room late at night asking if you want women, but it had never happened to me. We were in his room for 20 minutes talking before the phone rang. Some lady was on the other end, but I couldn’t really understand anything that she was saying. I’m not sure if she’s speaking a local dialect or has an accent, but it was difficult for me to comprehend. Toward the end of the call, she said “okay?”. I didn’t know what she was talking about so I just said okay, goodbye. 5 minutes later there’s a knock at the door and it’s a lady maybe in her 40’s with both of the girls that we were in the elevator with, of course. Try to communicate, fail, they come in the room, want us to make a purchase, we both decline. After a few minutes we didn’t feel like turning in for the night so we decided to go to the 3rd floor and check it out; explore. The door opened and it was the whole gang of them, we sat around and spoke a little bit, enjoying eachothers equally bizarre company. We walked down the hall and found a convenience store where we got a pair of beers (Pubu’s), and followed the sound of music into a giant dark karaoke hall only lit by candlelight. The place was almost empty but Kim and I sat at a table on the far end and watched people sing karaoke to what looked like Kung Fu movies. Incredibly weird, to say the least. After a few minutes, all 10 of the girls come over and join us, pull up chairs, and just sit around smoking cigarettes. I spoke to a few of them, but couldn’t say much. Suddenly out of nowhere the lights turn on and the place is closing, so we decide to go back. Well, they follow us, back to Kim’s room where I had to get my bag. We sit around there for a few minutes, everything’s incredibly interesting, since apparently we’ve just made almost 2 dozen ill-employed friends. They want to hear some music, so we go to my room and listen to Tribe and Wu, sketch for a little in my book, they smoke all of my cigarettes, and sit around and chat for a while. Meanwhile Kim is unsuccessfully trying to pull one of them back to his room.
This part is what really messes me up, and I can’t figure out. If these girls are in fact prostitutes, why are they interested in just hanging out with us? Perhaps they lack friends and have been traumatized by the rigours of the circumstance of their employment; or maybe they’re just lonely. Either way, the one that Kim was trying to pull (with my help, I translated), wasn’t having it at all. I have absolutely no explanation for this. They stayed and we hung out for probably 2 hours or so, until very late at night, at which point they all left. The found my DJ business cards on the ledge next to the door and each took one before leaving. It has my phone number on it, and probably 4 or 5 of them gave me a call yesterday afternoon and evening to ask where we’d be performing that night. I told them, but none of them showed. After the gig when we went home, two of them turned up at my door at 2am and we watched Return of the Jedi together before they headed out.
I don’t know what to make of my new friends, but instead of questioning it, both of us appear to be just relishing the local oddities and unanswered questions.