Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Diplomatic Impunity

I went to China once. When I was working as a cruise ship musician. In the world of cruising, there are no days off. But on the China trip, the passengers get off for a three-day land tour. So if your job needs passengers to be necessary, and there are no passengers, you get the time off. No need to play "Tea for Two" to an empty room. So about 50 of us in the crew took our own guided three-day tour.

Our trip happened at a time when the Chinese Government was having a pissing contest with the Clinton Administration over something. Copyright infringement, illegal movies, CDs, something like that. So we all got on our tour bus, and a commie soldier in a green uniform gets on and starts talking to one of our guys. It was an Italian guy that worked in the casino. He unwittingly became our diplomat. The commie soldier and his translator asked for the Americans to raise their hands. There were about five or six of us. The commie translator said we had to get back on the ship, we couldn't go. Our Italian immediately said, "Stay in your seats, you're going." A heated discussion ensued between our Italian and the commie soldier. The discussion spilled out into the parking lot and several other commie soldiers got involved. Our Italian came back on the bus several times, telling the Americans to stay in our seats, that he was going to work it out. At one point, the soldiers walked away, I think to discuss the situation with their superiors, and our Italian jumped on the bus and barked at the driver, "Let's go, right now!"

So off we went. A couple of us had secured several cases of beer from the crew bar, so the bus was well stocked with Coors Light in a big ass cooler. We went to the Forbidden City, we had Peiking Duck in Peiking, and we went to the Great Wall. The spot they take you to see the Great Wall looks like it was built yesterday. Fresh bricks and mortar, it is an imposing fortress, but it feels artificial. However, if you're a boorish American tourist, you can load up your pockets with Coors Light, and hike to the end of the maintained tourist area, and the wall is in ruins. The good kind of ruins. The kind you would expect from a structure that was built thousands of years ago. And there are con men everywhere, selling stuff like coins "from the Ming Dynasty" and big fur hats. I bought a big fur hat for a dollar. It lasted a couple of hours before all the fur was gone.

And when you get to the end of the maintained part, and you have consumed all your Coors Light, and you are a boorish American tourist, you can relieve yourself off the edge of the Great Wall of China, and decide that your new mission in life is to piss on or near all seven wonders of the Ancient world. While wearing the big fur hat you bought from a Chinese con man for a dollar.

I have much left to do before I die.


At 10:06 PM , Blogger Pee Wee said...

Looks to me like you got six to go.........

At 5:40 AM , Blogger newscoma said...

You have much to do, grasshopper.


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