Monday, August 28, 2006

Sweetie Redux

Let us press on.

As I was saying the other day, before I got overwhelmed with rantiness (for which I apologize since, let us agree, Zhang Jiehai is scarce worth the time) I’d spent an afternoon looking for a date.

Though those feelers I’d put out came up dry that day, they made for a busier weekend, as each of the women I’d called suggested meets over the next few evenings.

So now it was my turn to put off Holly and Joy, and make time for Sweetie instead, Sweetie who I had not seen and not much thought of since our last encounter. She messaged me from work and suggested we meet for dinner, and since (for me as much as her) this was merely the prelude to sex I took her to the Quanjude restaurant just near where I live, so that it should not take us long to get to bed. It’s a trifle touristy, full of foreigners and fake Qing stuff, and the duck is a little greasy. But it answered to the purpose.

Naturally she arrived holding her gameboy in her hands, engrossed in whatever vapid game she was now playing. This was perhaps just as well, for, having been out with her a few times by this point, I had more or less exhausted all I had to say to her. Having almost nothing in common with her, there was little to talk about. So while her game buzzed and twittered away I leafed through that day’s Spiegel, exchanging the odd comment with her.

But our conversation picked up a little as we ate. She told me about an affair she’d had in the months since I’d seen her. As I mentioned before, she works in a Japanese company and, like Ellen, she seems to have to put up with some weirdness.

Now her boss was a Japanese guy, married, older, and a real brain, too. He’d graduated from Stanford while still a teenager, and was fluent to native speaker level in a fistful of languages. She’s known him a few months and one night, things `just happened.’ But it got fucked up bad, and soon. For he does not trust women, having come through a tough divorce; and is highly traditional and things a woman should be just-so. As Sweetie is highly untraditional, the path off the rails was clear right there. But it went to smash far bigger than just that.

Sweetie knew the wife, too, and had spent time at their home. `That must be quite tough, to have to pretend in front of her?’ I said. But Sweetie was insouciant. `No, not really.. I can do that easily.’

So after one dinner these three shared together, the wife suggests she stay the night, it being late and wet, a situation in which, in Shanghai, finding a cab is next to impossible. And so she stayed, and, a little while after she’d gone to bed, the guy came to her. “I guess just to say goodnight,” Sweetie explained, “But passion took over.. I asked him if he’d locked the door, and he said he had.. and I checked it, too. But then somehow it was open and his wife saw us.. saw us fucking on the bed. And when she saw that she just turned away.”

Upshot was, Japanese guy decided he wanted Sweetie to move in full time, and treat his wife like her sister (which she said to me with a snort of scorn.) The wife, for her part, was unmoved. This was but her duty, as she saw it. The guy told Sweetie – “When we got married I told her I would never divorce her, as long as she did not leave me, but that if I met a woman, and something happened, I might bring her home..” And this, it seemed, was quite acceptable for the wife. It’s a fucking shitty piece of behavior on his part, since clearly an offer like that would not work both ways, and if she took a lover a guy like that would just do one. Scumbag. This wife’s lot is tough, to hear Sweetie tell it. She is merely a slave, walks dutifully behind him, waits on him hand and foot; while he is drinking and laughing with cronies she sits stock still in the next room, tending the tea so she can bring it to each guy as soon as his cup is empty; cannot work, cannot socialize, can do nothing but housework, nothing but tend to him.

And then he tried the same attitude on Sweetie; so, the next evening she said she was going out for a walk and he, “Wait until we are ready to come with you.” She explained she wanted to go on her own, wanted time alone; and he did not like that. And so this putative relationship soon blew up into arguments and fights and she got out of there, back to her own flat.

After our meal it was to this flat she wanted to go, rather than back to my place. And that was fine by me – better, in fact, since it meant I could leave in the morning when I wanted, rather than, if she stayed with me, chafing and fretting until she left.

Not, of course, that she quite said ‘Let’s go back to my flat to fuck.’ Instead, she used the line I generally use, that she could ‘show’ me her flat. So into a cab, and off to Kanping Lu kissing, caressing, touching as we went, to a rather pleasant, leafy part of town, where she had a place on the top floor of a five storey flat. As I walked up the steps behind her, my eyes played across her butt, her legs, the tight short black skirt, the black stockings, looking forward to what was to come, knowing she would soon be dying under me. I fast-forwarded in my head to how it would be when I undressed her, what color panties were waiting my gaze under the fabric of her clothing.

Unusually for a woman, her flat was an absolute mess; but a sexy mess, with bras and panties strewn everywhere, some clean, drying on racks, some dirty, slung to the floor. Reds and greens, silks and satins, frills and bows and laces, blues and blacks…

She made some half-effort to tidy up, before I stopped her telling her it was sexier this way, stimulating; so too was the unmade bed, the duvet half on the floor from when she had got up this morning. I liked it like this; clearly she had not prepared for my arrival, had had little thought of seeing me when she began her day. It was a titillating idea, that she had got out of bed with no particular plan, that her mind had roamed to me and she had called me, sought me, and was bringing me back here to fuck. I liked the casual way of it, the simplicity, and the intimacy too – to see her bedroom as it really is, her life raw, not prepared. It was also sexy because mess like this is more generally the province of a teenager, and while she is 23 or 24, the strewn lingerie made it seem like the room of a younger woman.

And so while she freshened up I lay on the bed, reaching down to pick a pair of panties from the floor, feeling their slick silk texture under my fingers, pressing them to my nose to inhale her scent, and once again running through in my mind what was about to happen.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Now here’s another lunatic. Here’s a mouth-frother, here’s a bigot, here’s a stiff-necked buffoon who, in one ranting article, shows all that is wrong, footling and absurd about modern China.

This man is a professor at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. A professor! In this is shown so much that is wrong about today’s China. A country’s educational system should be home the best and brightest, to those who can think, weigh, balance, judge. And instead what does poor China get? Knee-jerk nationalists like this, myopic, thoughtless, a crass dolt who thinks like a sheep, rages like a hyena, and is impotent like a mule. Ah, Zhang, proud Zhang, dressed in a little brief authority, like an angry ape.

And – astonishment piles on astonishment – he is a professor of psychology! A man who should have some insight into the shades and ways of thought, the grades and colors of morality, comes out instead with such an article! Every word of it in a nail in the coffin of his credibility.

Yet this is what passes for the educated in China. This is the caliber of person China has in its most prestigious institutes. What hope can there be for China when people like this educate its young? How can the country ever take its rightful place among the leaders of the world when this is the standard of its thinkers?

I hold my head in my hands as I read his article. I had hoped China was moving beyond such folly; but as I read and re-read what he writes I see how strong the path to failure is, how compelling. If China cannot get past its Zhang Jiehais, what hope?

Look at this man, look, listen, listen and see what modern China can be.

Today, with tremendous anger, I will tell you the story of an immoral foreigner and I call upon all Chinese compatriots to get together and kick this immoral foreigner out of China.

Ah, the pomposity of his tone, the bluster, the arrogance. Yet this is a common thing in China, the group mind, the `all Chinese compatriots’ stance, the suggestion that to be foreign is to be inferior. And then too the safety in numbers stance, the righteous indignation of the crowd. Zhang Jiehai (and he is not alone in this stance) can only see the world in one way; he expects everyone to see like him, think like him. He cannot understand that others might have differing views, cannot see anything but black and white.

And so on he goes:-

This is intolerable and this piece of garbage must be found and kicked out of China!!!

This also is another common knee-jerk phrase that most expats in China will know well. China for the Chinese. We are one. We are us. You are you. You are here only as long as it pleases us.

This is mere variation on the chime most expats will know well, the by-rote patter they hear when they have any complaint about the country -- ‘If you don’t like China, go home!

Once, he was even shameless enough to say, "I 'm tired of her already. A cunt is a cunt. I keep her just so that I can play with her again."

Which is perfectly true. I did say that. I am not proud of it, but nor will I lie about it. And I hardly think it is a rare attitude. I am sure many guys – and women too – have slept with a person they care nothing much for merely for the pleasure.

This piece of garbage's favorite show is to use obscene and pornographic language to describe the bodies of Chinese women and how they made love. For example, "My dearest Tingting, you have a very good and beautiful body. I cannot stop thinking about your beautiful skin, your lovely, smooth and soft breasts, you sexy, smooth and fine waist, your sweet and pretty legs and arms ... oh, of course, you are so pretty, so sexy and so perfect between your legs!"

Obscene and pornographic? To tell a woman how wonderful she is? The crashing irony of this, that after lecturing me for being dismissive of the average Chinese guy’s romantic skills he shows how few he has, escapes him. To tell a woman she is pretty and sexy is obscene?

While in general Zhang Jiehai reports what I said accurately, I must take issue with his claim that I wrote Chinese men are ‘incredibly ugly.’ It is possible that he merely misunderstood me – for sure he is no thinker, no reader – but I never said anything remotely similar to this.

But what makes it intolerable for me is that this piece of garbage deliberately hurt the feelings of the Chinese national feelings in his class and he openly spoke to divide China.

And there it is again; the inability to conceive that other people might think in other ways. Ah, no such uncertainly for Zhang Jiehai, no; to him all Chinese people think the same, feel the same, are the same. Sure, when I say `Chinese guys are..’ I am `a piece of garbage’; but when he says `Chinese national feelings’ he is nothing but justified, insightful and correct.

As everybody knows, on the 15th of this month, Japanese prime minister Koizumi will visit the Yasukuni Shrine once more and thereby draw strong protests from China and many Asian countries. But this piece of garbage openly wrote on his blog on August 17 to denigrate the nationalistic feelings of the Chinese people!

And again. If I do not agree with `the nationalistic feeling of the Chinese people’ then I must be trying to denigrate China. If I do not think in the Zhang Jiehai approved manner, I must perforce be wrong.

On goes the parade of ignorance:

In the essay "The two fatal flaws of the Chinese people," I praised the Israelis for "hunting down the Nazis" at all costs and then finally sending them to hang on the Israelis' own gallows.

Now while this is true, and commendable, it has little relevance here. As I made explicitly clear in my blog, the justified target of anger is those who were guilty of crimes. Such people are the target of the Simon Wiesenthal center, and rightly so. But in China today, Japanese people in general are hated, merely for being Japanese. In any case, China’s own government suspended action against a large number of Japanese war criminals in the interests of fostering good relations between the two countries.

the Japanese would have apologized to us a long time ago and they would not dream of going to any Yasukuni Shrine.

Man, I am getting to sound as absurd as Zhang Jiehai himself. There is so much lunacy in his article that merely by replying to it I am tainted with his sickness myself. For this particular gem of nonsense I will merely point out what I said before – that Japan has apologized. And I will also ask, can one apologize for a crime one has not committed? Today’s Japanese government, after all, murdered no one. But if one can apologize for the crimes of one’s predecessors, when will the CPC apologize for the 30 to 50 million deaths it caused?

But what does Zhang Jiehai want? For today’s Japanese people to apologize for something they did not do to someone they did not harm?

He even dared to openly engaged in activities to divide China. For example, he once asked a student from Xinjiang: "Is Xinjiang really a part of China?" At the same time, he told his students any number of times: "Taiwan is really an independent country."

And once more I hold my head in my hands. I expect such knee-jerk tosh from students, but to hear it from a professor saddens me greatly. Again – how ever can China hope to become great when this is the caliber of its intellectual elite?

I am willing to listen to the person who tells me Xinjiang is part of China.

Zhang Jiehai is not willing even to countenance the opposite argument. What kind of academic will not even accept an argument that opposes his own? Well, a shit kind of academic, that’s what.

I have talked to several Muslim students from Xinjiang. They most certainly do not feel Xinjiang should be part of China. And as for Taiwan... It simply is a separate country, and there’s no possible way to deny it. Now whether it should be separate or should remain separate is a different argument. But now, today, it is separate. The Taiwanese choose their own leaders; they have their own laws, language, currency, passport. Beijing has zero direct power over Taiwan; and therefore while all sides may preserve the `one country two systems’ fiction, the fact of the matter is that Taiwan is separate. One needs look no further than the international attitude to a Taiwanese passport and a Chinese passport for the truth of that.

It is the job of an academic to try to see things as they are, not as they are wished to be. Zhang Jiehai falls at this elementary hurdle. He is not even on the lowest rung of the path to true intelligence.

For the Chinese women as well as the Chinese men, this is lively and hard-to-find education material!

Indeed. Clearly the kind of education material Zhang Jiehai is capable of producing has no merit.

He gloated: "It is very difficult for western women here. Someone like me will not even glance at a western woman. I treat them as if they are invisible. They don't exist."

This is again perhaps a misreading of my point, and I cannot really criticize Zhang Jiehai on it; after all, I am sure his English is a fuck sight better than my Chinese. Nonetheless, I was not gloating. I was merely pointing out the reality of life in China today.

On one hand, as a scholar and a man,

You are no scholar, Sir. You profane the very word. You have no claim to the title. A scholar is everything you are not. You are merely a bigot and a parasite.

I have relentlessly and directly criticized Chinese men, because I am one of them. On the other hand, I have always been reticent with respect to Chinese women, which included our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

In a nutshell, there it is. China man’s attitude to woman. Most thinking women would find such an attitude offensive and patronizing.

Zhang Jiehai, women do not want to be treated with kid gloves, they do not want to be put on a pedestal, they do not want to be treated as works of art. The want to be seen as equals. They do not want your offensive, patriarchal bullshit.

Especially this piece of garbage, who is in the business of an engineer of the soul, and the engineer of the soul of our elites!

And after all this, you have the gall to talk about engineering souls, my lord fool? You who clearly can only engineer the most paltry, staid and desiccated of thinkers?

I am a researcher in psychology.


The Chinese women that he dallied with are his students. Outside of China, relationships between teachers and students are strictly prohibited. But this piece of garbage used his status as teacher to deceive his inexperienced female students. We ask how such a beast can be a teacher?

Learn to read, Zhang Jiehai, learn to read. I only get involved with women after they have ceased to be my students.

Our relevant departments really ought to step in!

Ah, yes; if you do not like what someone else says, shut them down. And you call yourself an academic!

The most valuable hint is that he went to the Tianping Hotel with a female student and the room has no window. Everybody knows that very few hotel rooms have no window (I have never encountered a windowless room). When I went to check at the Tianping Hotel, they really did not have any windowless rooms.

This is perhaps the most astonishing comment of all. This man went to a location I claimed to have been to see if it existed. He sees some blog on the net and gets so righteous indignant about it that he turns himself into Sherlock Holmes. He did this; he went to the Tianping Hotel to ask them about their rooms. What a bumbling, impotent buffoon! And this is the caliber of China’s academics. This is what they worry themselves about? I am just one guy, of no especial importance, not much more or less than many expats and certainly no different to a goodly number of local men, who cheat and cog and play just as much as I do.

Listen to yourself, Zhang Jiehai, listen to yourself.

If people think that there is a foreign language teacher who fits these descriptions, or otherwise find valuable clues, please leave a comment at my blog or contact me directly via email.

Netizens and compatriots, if you are a Chinese man with guts and if you respect Chinese women, please join this "Internet hunt for the immoral foreigner"! Let us act together! I believe in the power of the Internet, because I believe in the power of the Chinese people!

I am just aghast at this. Truly, I fear for China. Not just because of the utter paucity of thinking, life, truth and honesty that typifies the Zhang Jiehais of today’s China, nor just that if he is any representative of the country's academic quality China is doomed, but also because in calling for a witch-hunt he calls for ugliness and hatred, he calls for fascism, he calls for ignorance.

Zhang Jiehai, you are a far greater danger to China than ever I could be. You spread ignorance, lies and poison; you stifle thought, freedom and intellect. You are stupidity, folly, contempt.

It is because of people like you that so many of China’s best and brightest seek education abroad. You have nothing to offer the young of today’s China but bankrupt ideas and meaningless platitudes. You drive the finest minds of China to the West. You have nothing to say. You have nothing to teach.

Poor China, to still be so hurt by her own people!

(This entry was edited after posting to correct the fact that Zhang Jiehai is a member of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, not the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Part of my anger at Zhang was that I erroneously thought he was a member of the CAS, which has had my respect for a long time. They have some truly outstanding thinkers and researchers, and I was disappointed to see a clod like this among their ranks. I will let the entry stand; but I offer an unreserved apology for having briefly traduced the CAS)

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Little Black Book

In that very class where first I noted ex-Mildred, Clarissa sent me a teasing, pleasing text message:-

does it easy to find a suitable China girl to sleep with?

I took the chance to flirt back:-

finding a girl as beautiful, sexy and unforgettable as the one I met on Friday night is extremely hard.

And as I tapped this off to her, another arrived:

Ok together with your sweet girl. i will find u later with a handsome guy.

The next morning I messaged her:-

Last night I dreamed of you... all night long, my Clarissa...

Normally that’s a lie when I say it. In this case it was true. I remember it clearly because it was a sexy dream, one in which I was just about to realize all my hopes; but just as I reached that moment I was woken by a text message from Tulip.

To this, Clarissa replied `ur killing me, u know?

That filled me with joy, for I took it to mean `killing me with conflict’ – that is, that she was thinking of me like I am of her, though a less pleasing interpretation would be that she meant I was a ladykiller and the she saw through my shallow moves.

But still I tried to play it a little, replying ‘Killing? O, if only I could change that double `l’ to double `s’…’ And she, quick to take up this little linguistic game, said ‘u mean kidding? I know!

This flirty tone to our relationship carried on online. A month or so after we’d got to know each other, she’d told me how she did not like to sleep alone (her husband being elsewhere on business.)

Me: yeah, i am sleeping alone these days too, and i'm not too happy about it either!
C: why not find a girl friend
Me. oh, i guess i could... but i am not good at being that serious .. so i don't really want a proper relationship
C: besides.... i would be thinking of you even if i did have a gf
C: it doesn't matter at all
Me: oh?
C: as I am not an MBA
Me: i know, dear Clarissa, i know... i would not make the rude suggestion that you were!
Me: but i hope u could be a good friend at least!
C: Don;t we?
Me: we are... but.. friends should spend time together, and, alas, u are too busy for that! what a shame...
C: know I am afraid of u
C: afraid of ... I think u know
Me: well... i guess... so maybe it is better we are friends more by msn than in person (of course I did not mean that at all, but one must know when not to push too hard)
Me: but... it would be nice
C: i know u r a "killer" but I don't want to be killed
C: I need a peaceful life
B: yes, i do understand, Clarissa. but in fact i am not really a `killer' - it is only when it comes to you that i find it hard to control my thoughts.
C: sweet man

This promising conversation ended there, since Tulip called me, following up her sms (more of her, later, too); but that was a good enough place to leave our online chat. This kind of conversation can be kept brief, hanging, for that makes it more piquant, more stimulating.

Keyed up to the pitch of needing feminine company, the day after this conversation I idled through a few contacts in my address book.

First of all, I called up Joy. Joy had studied at Tsinghua University, and (as are many from there) was fearsomely intelligent. Perfect in English, she was now following it up with German, and it was in such a class that I’d met her a few months before this.

Lecher though I am, the single sexiest quality in a woman, for me, is intelligence; true intelligence – not merely book-learned repetition - shines in the character, and it takes very few seconds for it to be obvious. Just a minute or two of conversation with Joy when I first met her was enough to captivate me – her breezy self-confidence, her brisk, pugnacious, teasing manner of talking to me. And so I’d set myself after her and, course concluded, we’d met for dinner.

Yet splendidly bright as she is, full of life and character, over dinner I saw that that life seemed to have little of emotion in it. Bracing she was, but also unyielding, wrapped in ice. I do not mean just with regard to my trifling desires, but rather that she was held back, reserved, as a way of life.

This is not quite to say she knows nothing of emotion, for she is aware of it and its complexities. But only in a logical way; she knows it, even understands it, some – but does not feel it. She is too rigid, intellectual.

Well, flaunting my ease with these things – or crassness, perhaps – I asked “Have you ever been kissed?”

“Of course I have!” she said –“Here,” pointing to her cheek, “and here,” to her forehead. I laughed out loud at this and in the ensuing conversation she told me that she would have to date a guy for at least two years before letting him her lips.

Partly it’s so absurd as to be laughable; partly it’s sad. This cocoon of bullshit, of lies; it’s what leads to sure marital sadness, as Chinese woman too often goes from chaste virgin to being badly, coolly and rapidly fucked by her cold fish husband – as she unwraps the gift she’s seen glittering in her mind all her life and finds a cold, cooked, congealed potato therein. Ah, yes, a ‘generalization’ again. But what shall I say? I can only write of what I see, what I am told. China is a sexually repressed society.

But (to get back to my search for a date) there was no reply for her. So then on a whimsy I text-messaged Holly, also a long-term background interest of mine who I will add to the growing list of women to write about in more detail.

In brief, for now, Holly caught my eye in class primarily because she reminded me of a girlfriend back in England. Echoes from the past are powerful, hard to ignore, and a certain amount of repetition in life has its charms. And this particular girlfriend back in England was a long term part of my life, and the years I spent in Germany and then Australia. I was not then the thing that I am now; China was the tutor and feeder of my riots.

Holly’s manner too reminded me of this past girlfriend, though of course that was likely more my need than her reality, me just seeing what I wanted to see. But the way she was slightly ill-at-ease (for the first time I invited her out it was with a general group of friends), the air she had, like that ex-, was of being in a milieu foreign to her… I don't mean to suggest any lack of social skills, not at all; more that she reminded me of how this ex- had once told me about going out with ‘wild young things.’ It was perhaps just that she found the party a little boring but something she felt she ought to enjoy – though would have preferred a quieter, calmer place. Her slight air of detachment, of observation… it was redolent, reminiscent of my life with that ex-.

But I got no reply from Holly, either. Of course, I could have called, rather than messaged, but that is not quite such a good way to flirt; for Holly would have been at work and thus would have been forced to respond to my call professionally not personally, for offices in China are not much different to offices in any country, and ears are open, tongues wag.

So then I sent Sweetie a message, and soon enough one arrived back from her. She was out of town. This was perhaps just as well, for I had neither seen nor messaged her for a few weeks, and to get together with her tonight purely because I wanted a woman would have been so obvious indiscreet as to have made her ha me.

And that many attempts was enough for me, so I went to Paulaner bar to take advantage of their afternoon special on beer, where, at half price, it is only surprisingly expensive rather than outrageously expensive and where (it being the afternoon) silence reigns; for in the evening Thai and Philipine bands sing, the noise is overwhelming and the crowds of easily-fooled locals, out to be seen, cram the place.

Later that evening, however, Clarissa called me, high and happy, at a party somewhere; and then again later, on her way home, 1 a.m., she called again, the party over and she on her way home; and this seemed to me a good sign, for it showed she again was thinking of me. Sure, maybe she just wants the flattery I surely provided, but even were that true it would still prove connection, frisson; she would not have been thinking of me, called me, had I not some impact on her.

Sure, I rolled out such seductive words as seemed fitting; she was after them, telling me she was sure I did not really care about her (for this was still relatively early in our relationship) – and what was that but a chance to tell her just how potently I did feel about her? How I thought of her every day? Pressed her for dinner, and she liked it but would not commit – because, to judge by the call and our online conversations she was enough interested in me for that putative dinner to undo her self-control; and, thus, while she was separated by a phone’s distance, she knew to hold to that gap as hard as she could.

And indeed she told me she had to go home to her husband – her mention of him both a barrier and an offer. A barrier because it was to remind me he was there, she was his; but an offer because, in going home to him, she showed she was thinking of me.

More, she put him there, obvious, to show he was part of the equation; that no matter what might happen between us, she would remain married to him. And that suited me just fine. I did not want to love her, exactly, but nor quite was it just a matter of sex. Yes, sex was my goal, true, but sex with at least some emotional anchor to it.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

More of Clarissa

So the evening with Clarissa had come to a slightly moody end. But she was so sexy and unusual with it that I could not forget her. Blocking her instant messenger profile was just the spiteful, childish reaction of a man thwarted in his desires. And when I woke the next morning those desires were again strong and urgent in me; and so of course she did not stay blocked. She was just too fascinating, too diverting. Now, in a city of so many beauties as Shanghai is, that’s saying something. And in truth Clarissa seems hardly standout, for she does not have the tall, slender body of a would-be model. On an objective scale she could not be compared to Deedee, but that hardly matters. It's just It. Some women'll stay in a man's memory if they once walked down a street. It isn’t beauty, or good talk necessarily. Clarissa has fascinated me from the first moment I saw her.

Morning also brought with it the clear realization hat I had been a little sulky to her in the cab. She was the one who had it all to lose, so she was the one who should call the shots. It seemed to me then that she was calling them that night too, sounding me out, sizing me up.

When she’d told me of the lover she had, older, married, rich, she’d also said that one of the problems with a lover was they always wanted more…more demands, more love, eventually marriage. So it seemed to me what was on her mind when she said that was finding out if I could be discreet, subtle. In the cab I wasn’t.

And thus when I did log on and saw she was on, too, I paused a while, not wanting to bombard her straight away. But she buzzed me first, albeit with no more than a ‘You’re late today’ (late getting up, she meant). I replied with how much fun I had had with her, and she said the same; and that was that, then she was gone.

In looking through my diary to chart the course of my relationship with Clarissa, I see that this night I had a class in which one woman in particular caught my eye. Now of course that happens all the time, but this woman has since become an important part of my life and, indeed, on a recent trip to the city in which she now studies, she became my lover.

She was cute, tallish, a sexy dresser in that discreet yet revealing way some women have… A polite style of dressing, a little reserved, because that is the way the bulk of Chinese guys (and thus Chinese society) demand it; but also with hints and whispers of sexuality, of the truer self just below that exterior, hints that most guys do not even see but that I seldom miss.

Or maybe that’s trying to dress up bullshit as a compliment, since what I really mean is the lines of her bra, white, a little bit of lace, which I could see as I stood over her talking to her, covering her breasts, where what did the trick.

This being university, I kept myself formal, teacherly, and tried not to hit on her too bad. But I could not resist teasing her when she told me her English name.

Being outside Western culture, a name is just a name to a Chinese student – why should it be anything else? And so quite often I meet young women who have chosen names such as ‘Enid,’ ‘Ethel,’ ‘Ada’ and so on, names that would be met with a burst of laughter back home. Generally I tell the student this, given that they plan to study overseas. ‘If I met someone called Mildred in my country’ I will say, ‘She would be about 70 years old. No one your age has a name like that!’ At this point the student will usually laugh along with the rest of the class, and then ask me to choose a better name. There is, of course, power in that request, for to choose a name is to mark her.

And so usually I accept, saying I will think of something and tell her at the end of the course when I have a better idea of her personality. Naturally, if she is cute, I will say at the end of the class ‘I should get to know you better before choosing a name…. Let’s meet for coffee.’

Chinese names, of course, also have this component. Thus, someone born in the insanity of the Cultural Revolution might well have the character ‘red’ as part of their name, or some other boastful exhortation as to how fine and dandy China is. Someone born at an earlier period might be called `Build China’ or ‘Love China’ and so on. I have a reasonably good idea about this and, of course, turn it to my shallow advantage saying, when I encounter such a name, ‘Ah, a good solid cultural revolution name’; which remark serves to make the class think I am a China expert. It is nothing but flim-flam and veneer, but it is effective.

As for the Cultural Revolution, for those not in the know, it was a decade of the vilest insanity when maniac Mao Zedong did his best to destroy the country even more than he had already fucked it up already, even more than the crackpot lunacies of all his other schemes, his Great Leap Forward, his Four Pests campaign, his Hundred Flowers, his disastrous Korean war, his murders, poisonings and purges, and all the other filth that spewed from his peasant mind. He did nothing good, kind or decent in his whole life. He was pure scum. He was filth. I shit on him.

China’s population remains, of course, largely ignorant of what he was. Apart from a tiny, thinking minority, many people still admire him, or at least half-admire him. ‘He made some mistakes’ students will tell me, which is a remark about parallel to saying ‘Well, Hitler may have killed a few people but at least he made the trains run on time.’ Or they will tell me, demonstrating a risible inability to think, ‘He helped the Chinese people to stand up,’ echoing the words he said at the founding of the PRC.

But enough of this; I have already vented spleen on the topic below. Taking a leaf from the fat psychopath’s own book, I will get back to women. Women, say the biographies (well… not the ones available in China, of course) were a central focus of his life, as he liked to stack up 3 or 4 in bed at the same time, and often adolescent ones. Now since as well as being a fat lunatic he was also a fat lunatic with absolute power, he could simply order any woman to bed, and made great use of the privilege. I have to work a bit harder to get my women, and thus I gave the tried and trusted ‘I can give you more advice if you get in touch by email,’ line to this student (who was at that time called Ethel, but is now called something more suitable, a name I chose); and she did get in touch and we became friends and then lovers.

But we did not become lovers until a year or so after we’d first met. The reason for this was not because she was unavailable, but rather because I knew if we became lovers it would be a big deal for her. I knew my feckless ways would hurt her, for she would want my love and commitment. And so I forbore, all the time she was in Shanghai.

Whispers of it, hints, were always there. I recall in particular kissing her goodbye outside the 太平洋 one time, after we’d met for coffee, how I read her eyes, saw the readiness, how she offered me her lips, not her cheek. Right then, as I kissed her lips, I knew I could take her to bed with just a little more wooing. And, sure, she was attractive, intelligent, all the things I like. But knowing what a big deal it would be for her, that was a path I did not take.

Not until I met her in another city – and there, under its different skies, we became lovers. And, now, as I knew would happen all along, she is half in love with me, sending wistful emails, reaching out for a love that I do not return.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Seducing Simone #4

So after eating we walked along Huashan Road back to my place. At first, she wanted to watch TV a little, putting off the coming moment. But maybe that was just out of the wish to seem modest, for within a few minutes she had lost interest in that and was instead in my arms, returning kiss for kiss.

Then she wanted to take a shower, and wanted privacy while she did so, meaning that I could not undress her, which I rather regretted. Undressing a woman is, of course, very stimulating, and especially a Shanghai woman like her, decked in lacy, fluttery clothes. Undressing a woman is also stimulating as one moves towards the moment of revealing the panties, for that is always exciting, even here in this society where many women wear the most frumpy, plain underwear. My interest in underwear being what it is, I asked what color panties she was wearing.

The same as last time!’ she laughed. Those had been sporty type panties, with a certain appeal, though limited. But after she came out of the shower, in her night dress, and I took her to the bed, and lifted the night dress off her (after only minor qualms from her) I was rather please to find deep dark blue lacy panties, which, she told me, she had bought specially.

And what will your mother say when she sees these?’ I asked, teasing, for I already knew the answer. And indeed the idea of her mother finding these panties made her eyes open wide.

She’d kill me! But I won’t let her find them’ she said.

The panties matched her bra in color, but not in style, for the bra, bought by her mother, was a Minnie Mouse bra. What parents! Simone also told me, soon after she arrived, that she was not wearing perfume since her mother had taken it away from her that morning – why, she was not sure. It seemed not to have occurred to her to ask, though that may have just been policy so she could preserve the innocent image she had in her mother’s eyes. To them she is still 12.

The real reason her mother took away her perfume was that her parents were out of town that weekend. She’d told them she’d stay with a girlfriend (which was the lie she used to stay with me), and presumably her mother thought she might go into town with this friend and, perfumed, would be in mortal danger.

What parents like this do not understand is that in restricting their daughters so severely they just drive them into the arms of chancers like me. The daughter under such restrictions chafes at them, they circumscribe her whole world. But when she gets a chance to break free of that confinement, when she meets a guy like me – then she embraces the opportunity, and becomes everything her parents hoped her not to.

But even though she’d brought these panties just for me, getting them off her took a little more while, for she thought she should still be reluctant. Yet she was excited, too, so her protests, her No, her Don’t, her hand holding them in place, did not last long. As I eased them off her hand flew over her mount in final protest but, easing it away, I saw what I had been waiting to see; and she is nicely made, shapely, hair so neat as to be coiffured, though she insisted it was natural (which I am inclined to believe).

I wanted to go down on her, of course; and here too was more fuss, since she felt it was `abnormal.’ She soon forgot that complaint when I dived in, and trim, clean and tasty, it was great to do, sexy, intimate, erotic. So, a while of that and then she pulled me up towards her, signaling she was ready for the final push. But already I knew it would by hard going, for by tongue and finger I had found she was tight indeed; and even plenty of lubrication helped little.

It hurt her and was awkward for me, too much fumbling, coaxing. Indeed, I grew churlish at her reluctance to grin and bear it, churlish enough to say “Maybe you’d better find a Chinese boyfriend.” That was an ungrateful thing to say, and, lying on the bed in chagrin I compounded the insult by falling asleep, having had just a few hours’ kip the night before. I woke what must only have been 5 or 10 minutes later, and she began to cry, so naturally I comforted her, already feeling guilty; and we tried some more.

A little more success, now, getting halfway in; but still it was pain for her. So we left it there awhile, cuddling and talking, and then she brought me off (though I had to hold my hand over hers to get the rhythm), over her belly and mons, she watching in fascination as I came, saying, in wonder, “So much…”

We showered again – this time, together – and that was pretty sweet. The daringness of it (as it seemed to her), like that time with Mona in Zheng Da, wrote breathless pleasure across her face. And so anon to bed, and here she wanted to kiss, kiss, kiss, even lying on top of me to do so.

I want to kiss you all night long” she said. I just lay there and let her do what she wanted; it was rather wonderful and she even began to kiss up a little emotion in me. Yes, her body on mine in the dark, her lips and tongue… that memory is a keeper.

Well, another attempt to make love in the morning, and with more success. Still I could not fully get in, but there was less pain and more willingness in her. And then lunch – for we woke late -- and then another try, again with a little ground gained.

I saw that with a few more tries she would be used to it, and so this time I was relatively brief with her, and then ate her again, all the way until she came. That gave me a real sense of cool, having her come under my tongue and seeing how it just wiped her out for ten minutes, how she lay on the bed wrapped up in it, lost, amazed.

Still think it’s abnormal?” I asked. She did not. And then she did me, again; but this time all on her own.

Now there was some male pride in this; I’d asked her more about her boyfriend the night before. She told me he never went down on her, because he did not like it, but that she did use her hand on him – though to get all the way there he had to do himself, she explained, gesturing with a hand to show she meant that to reach orgasm he had to wank himself.

Well, that was a challenge to me – the woman ought be able to get the guy off, both to validate her own equality and to show the guy is relaxed, at ease with her, is truly her partner. And it worked, for though she did not say it, I could tell that when I came under her hand, she was pleased. I hope it made her feel womanly.

And that was about it; she showered, dressed, and I accompanied her to the tube at half 5 so she could make her 6 curfew at home — a curfew which I was again rather glad for, since, having been with her the last 24 hours, I was ready for my own company again.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Concept of Irony

So the Chinese press is shaking with vitriol about Koizumi’s visit to Yasukuni.

The China-Japan relationship is one particularly fascinating part of life here. It shows, in many ways, how unwilling – or unable – to think millions of people are in this society. For they misunderstand the past, present and the likely future. And they are blind to the crashing irony and hypocrisy which riddles their belief.

I should perhaps begin by saying that Japan’s conduct in the war was a crime against humanity of the gravest degree, lest this blog be overwhelmed by young hotheads who, at the hint of a supposed conciliatory gesture to Japan, will begin to froth at their anonymous mouths. The horrors they committed at Nanjing were overwhelmingly evil, and the bone pits on display at the Nanjing Massacre Museum are a sight I will not forget.

But here’s how the Japan argument plays out with the average, say, Tongji student, who (being at that university) is generally a bright person.

Me: “It was 60 years ago. Why are you still angry?
Student: “They have not apologized for the war.
Me: “They have. Numerous times, for example Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995, or PM Ryutaro Hashimoto in 1997, or Junichiro Koizumi in 2005.”
Student: “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that. Well.. anyway… they do not teach the truth in their history books.”
Me: “The history book to which you agree is indeed offensive.” (Smile of righteous victory begins to play across student’s face; student’s shoulders begin to tense back in patriotic fervor)
Me: “But it is taught in less than one percent of schools.”
Student: “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.
Me: “I am. Let me ask you a question. Do you think educators or the government should choose the syllabus in your university?
Student: “Educators. The government does not know what it best, and I wish at my university the teachers could decide what to teach.”
Me: “Well, in Japan, educators decide what to teach, not the government. The content of the books is not a direct government choice. ”
Student: : “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.”
Me: “When that book was published, there were large demonstrations against it. 30,000 people marched in the streets to protest it.”
Student: “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.”
Me: “What do you think would happen if people tried a public demonstration like that here?
Student giggles.
Me: “Did you know the PRC signed a joint communiqué in 1972 waiving all war reparations, and in 1978 signed a treat of peace and friendship with Japan?
Student: “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.”
Me: “Did you know that when the war ended Japan left about US$100 billion of assets in China, which it agreed to leave as reparation?
Student: : “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.”
Me: “Did you know Japan is China’s number one aid donor?
Student: : “Oh… are you sure? I never heard that.”

And so on.

It’s a curious double world, China, where it is fine to hate Japan, de rigueur to puff up with nationalist arrogance and demand ‘Japan face up to history,’ while at the same time wallowing in the grossest ignorance of China’s own recent history. The truth of the matter is that the CPC in general and Mao Zedong in particular have killed far more Chinese people, have hurt China far more profoundly than ever the Japanese did. But that is a truth too far for China, and here people are more comfortable with their simple world view, China good, Japan bad, with their simple surety that Japan is, was and always shall be evil, with their shallow-minded reliance on mathematical tricks to prove this contention – such as, for example, their oft-repeated claim that the Japanese killed 300,000 in the Nanjing Massacre, a figure which a cooler-headed look at history suggests is simply not true.

And it really is an alarming thing to hear students talk about Japan. The anger that comes into their voice, the real passion and hatred… I can understand their grandparents’ anger, for that anger comes from direct experience. But for them, who have never been hurt by Japan, it is astonishing, shocking in its brutal, visceral and unthinking conviction. I have met students in class who have actually wept when talking about Japan. It is absurd; how can they hold such hatred to something that never affected them?

It seems to me China is in love with its suffering; its people clutch the Nanjing massacre and all that to their hearts, they dance and romance their pain. It defines them; it is them. And, mired in their unthinking ignorance, what they do not see is that in so hating Japan they are learning precisely the lessons that the Japanese of that earlier generation learned – the absolute contempt for another race that allows such atrocities to be committed.

And the irony of it, the irony! So on the front page of yesterday’s China Daily there’s a photo of Japanese people, in Japan, protesting about Koizumi’s visit to the shrine. Japanese people protest, and the government will at least listen. Chinese people protest, and what happens? The government sends in the fucking tanks. People here are too busy hating Japan to see that it is the freedoms Japanese people have that they should be clamoring for instead.

But of course this is precisely why the CPC encourages hatred of Japan. In doing so, it can take the minds of the people off internal problems and focus them on external ones. The way that the CPC uses the appalling cruelty of wartime Japan to bolster its grip on power shows the most breathtakingly arrogant cynicism, the most profound contempt for the suffering of the Chinese people of the time. But most people here are blind to this. Nor, having the haziest understanding of democracy, do they see that Koizumi has to go to the shrine to show he is not being bossed around by other Asian nations. Not that that means Japan is militaristic – indeed, in the year that I worked there I found the people to be remarkably peaceful, though at that time I did not specifically look into their feelings about China.

And textbooks, let’s talk about teaching truth in schools, shall we? The Cultural Revolution, for example, that decade long period of lunacy in which thug scumbag Mao said, “Destroy the old and the new will take care of itself,” a period in which tens of thousands were murdered. In Chinese school textbooks (and I have checked) it gets two paragraphs, and, in the teacher’s guide, the instructions say “The teacher need not linger on this topic.” These same textbooks lie that the Great Famine was a natural disaster, and that Mao was ‘70% right 30% wrong,’ that the CPC did fighting against the Japanese in the war (whereas in fact the Guomindang did all the fighting after the CPC refused to join their ‘United Front’ against Japan).

And irony upon irony… In the features section of yesterday’s Shanghai Daily there’s a piece about “My grandfather Mao Zedong” in which his granddaughter has the gall, the absurdity to claim:-

“He was a son, husband and father firstly, a statesman secondly.”

There is nothing about this statement that is true.

Mao let both his father and mother die alone, though he had the chance to be with both as they died. He regularly abandoned wives and children, and for his whole life his sole center of concern was himself. And this woman, this granddaughter, even admits she never met Mao (who clearly did not give a fuck about her) yet has the unparalleled gall to claim he was a family man!

Or let’s talk about how Mao ran the Jiangxi Red Army base between 1931 and 1935. During his rule, the population dropped by 20%. Seven hundred thousand people died from non-natural causes. Half of these deaths were from people executed as ‘class enemies’ or from slave labor. In the case of the ‘class enemies’ Mao and his cronies thought up tortures every bit as brutal as the Japanese. For example, a wire would be run through the penis and the ear, and then plucked like a violin-string by the torturer; or a red-hot gun-barrel would be inserted in the anus.

And are people here clamoring for this truth to be faced up to? Or do they rather put Mao on the banknotes, his portrait in Tiananmen Square, his murderer’s face on a million busts and million statues? One of the greatest murderers of the 20th century but he’s a hero here.

Now the lies told in China do not make the lies told in Japan any less serious. They are no excuse not to be critical of Japan. But aside from a few wishy-washy generalities such as the bogus percentage above, local people (save for a tiny minority who see that to know their history is the true way to love their country), mostly live in total ignorance of the last half century’s terrors. Yes, some anger at Japan is justified, but nothing like the passionate hatred that soaks this society. And what is worse? To be hurt by an enemy (as in the case of Japan and China) or be hurt by a friend (as in the case of the CPC wallowing in the blood of its own people). attacking

That’s all in the past” students will tell me, and so it is. “We know all this” they will say (only they do not; they but know it in the most general, vague terms) “But what is the point of talking about it?” Why, then, are Japan’s atrocities not in the past? Ah, the double standards of this society.

I am a man who knows something about double standards. So back to that next time.