The following recordings were made at the Nanjing TV Station studio, a very strange place indeed.  

I was there with an anchor woman who sometimes does work for them (who has now moved to Shanghai). Because she lives in a fantasy world, she told the whole studio that we were married!  She absolutely has no sense of truth or logic.

After only a month, I had already stopped hanging out with her, and she made it VERY clear that everything I ever did with her was theretofore to be a major secret.  But Nanjing TV being my only known choice of a studio, I went back--presumably under a gag-rule--to record these pieces.  I figured  I could just go alone, and not mention The Woman at all. However right when I got in, they said because they liked the charismatic anchorwoman a lot and wanted to congratulate us on our marriage, so they paid for for everything but the tape.  "Uh", I was thinking...a drop of sweat dripping down the back of my head.  I couldn't answer any of their questions about her, and to the contrary I'd change the subject, and offer to pay the fees.  They didn't get it: so much for the mysterious Chinese "beating around the bush" culture.

I also suspected that if they did things for free they wouldn't do them very well. And yup, after having been promised to have a disk in hand within two days, it was delayed for a month.  Meanwhile this site was up and ready to upload the documents for a couple months already, constantly posting a "to be constructed" sign in the music hall.

A week after recording I got a bizarre call from the ex. She was talking like actors talk when playing amphetamine addicts on TV. She said, "Remember how I said not to say anything about us hanging out to anyone else?"  Then I asked her why does she think I told somebody? How did the scoop come back around to her?  After asking she wouldn't tell me. Then she started yelling.  I was talking on my cell phone while riding my bike and carrying groceries. Then after getting off my bike, I knew I'd have to unlock my door and such, and well I'm not an octopus. So I asked her if she'd be so kind to call me on my home phone in a minute. But she wouldn't, and she started yelling again.  So I hung up the phone on her, erased any incoming messages on my cell and unplugged my phone when I got home. After that we haven't said a word.

 

"Hello, Mr.White Man"

 

I've always had a theory that if a Chinese person uses English to greet you, they don't give a damn about Chinese culture.  And though Mrs. Anchorwoman did say "Hello" upon seeing me first, I kind of got over my apprehension and made a friend with her. I was concerned at first, so I told her that I NEVER speak English outside of class, and I'm NOT going back to America.  She stupidly nodded her head to all this, vigorously pursued me as a friend, and then wanted to break all of these rules--suddenly.  She was really nice for about a month, and then turned into an evil witch, wanting what I said I'd never give her or anybody.  I want to live here, I love Chinese culture, and anyone wanting to head west would be best not to make friends with me.  But saying these things to that kind of person up front makes absolutely no difference.  I think after this I'll be careful not to get involved with anyone in TV, as they are terribly vain, corrupt, and fake.

 

Being Fooled is a Learning Experience

 

(At this point I resentfully recall my dad's joke:)

seller: Try these smart pills, ten bucks a piece.

buyer: [puts down a ten dollar bill, puts the pill in his mouth] Huh.  They're kinda what I'd guess a rabbit turd would taste like. 

seller: You're getting smarter already.

 

back to concert hall