Day 117 - Music and Meatballs

Friday, June 3rd, 2016
Smog Level: 1/3 Mountains

Slow Charge

Rough morning, sweats. Easier to manage than the sickness a few weeks ago. Persevere. 
Kids sing happy birthday to me because Aurora told 2 of them that it was today. Thanks, Kids. Sorry that I’m not very responsive.
After class, I snag two bananas from the office and drink some tea Bunny gave me. Helps.
Talk with Dexter about The School of Life while eating a third banana. Getting close to normal.
The cookies Dan gave me are helping boost me up further. While waiting for Aurora to be released from her office at lunch, I read the Mae Carden 'book of wisdom' after discussing a teacher's role in the Chinese teachers office. I said that teachers have to wear many hats: parent, teacher, disciplinarian, friend. We want to make them conform enough that they can be functioning, productive members of class/society, but yet not so much that they lose their originality.
Grade Ones Celebrating Naval Victory
Lunch with Dexter, Aurora, Ashton. We discuss the birthday party plans that will be taking place tomorrow. Solid food helps boost me up that last bit. Apparently, there’s a foam party going on at one bar, and some sort of rave-like party at another. I find raves to be boring after an hour (apparently you need drugs to really get into them), and have never experienced a foam party. Decision is made!
My grade one class is misbehaving in the hallway. Their normal teacher is disciplining them while I sit in the classroom, watching two of the girls be silly. The one keeps exclaiming things about her report card to her prefect classmates, jumping and dancing around. I type up my notes while she exclaims things in Chinese and jumps around.


To mix it up, one of the students suggested we play battleship. Hmm, that could work. The first class loved it, while the other didn't seem to put together that the hits would be connected in lines. They'd hit once then guess some other random place. Not a bad way to practice their spelling, at least, since they have to spell something correctly to earn a guess.

A Variety of Meatball Goodness
After class, I hung out with some coworkers, shooting the shit and planning the birthday party. Agatha and Alex had some suggestions, but I don’t really know any of the places, no real budget in mind, and don’t particularly care where we go. I’m a big help! 

Song Writing

Back home, I tutor Yolanda while barely staying awake. She writes a 'song,' then gave it to me. On her way out, she ran back to hug me. She missed me after our two weeks of no class. The song, by the way, is “Do you have a baby? Do you have a baby? I don’t have a baby. I have an ABC!” which is probably closer to spoken word than a song, but I’ll give the 6 year old some creative license.

I then took a nap that was almost as long as my entire sleep the night before. Felt good, man.

Fighting the Desire to Do Nothing

Bunny had invited me to check out Luigi’s band tonight. I wanted to lay around, do nothing, but figured I could push that back a few days. While walking to the train station, I noticed a set of (fake) testicals hanging from the rear hitch of an SUV. Apparently that’s also a thing here.

On the Left
Bunny and I tube it over to near Hòu Hǎi (near the Nan Luo Gu Xiang hutong) and walk over to the Meatball Factory. It’s a meatball restaurant that one of the old teachers from Carden owns and operates in a great location: right next door to one of the more popular Ex-pat bars. New Yorker Ed talked to us quite a bit while we ate. Delicious, would recommend - the meatballs, not Ed.

Going to the Temple

Temple Bar is where the show is taking place. We arrive in the middle of Luigi’s Set. It’s just him and the drummer. Here is what I wrote while the show was happening, since it wasn’t my type of music:

Like old-school rock and roll / punk, wrapped in a Chinese foil. Hip people smoking cigarettes, buttoned shirts, mugs of beer, old-looking, traditional Chinese doors as tables, and a bass-drum duo screaming "fuck you!" into the microphone, which is barely audible over their instrumental cacophony. The room is lightly washed in purple neon and warm red lanterns, with darkness hanging in between. Hand-grenade, monkey brain, tender touch, old crusty, and electric banana are just some of the names of the various concoctions offered at the crowded bar. The four of us sit, rather stiffly, misfitting the scene, but being supportive nonetheless. A woman throws her long hair over her shoulder, and hits me in the face as I record the details of the environment. This is Beijing. 

On the Right
The next band comes on, sets up, and begins blaring a unique combination of guitar and synth. The woman on the keyboard/synth is pressing the keys like she is tapping a mouse on the head, or choosing chocolates through a glass counter. Meanwhile her stagemate is bent over, obscuring his face with his long locks, attacking the guitar like it owes him money, ramping up from a gentle threat to an impatient slap.

After the show, we wander back out of this hutong, grab a bottle of something to drink, and disperse to our various corners using a couple users.

And Yes, they are the Same Place

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
ròu wán
[row wahn]

Editing Music
Bang Bang
Nancy Sinatra

 Bonus: The Band with the Synth-Guitar duo

No comments:

Post a Comment