Sunday, August 10, 2008

romantic beijing

If all goes well and we are able to meet our goals in the next two months, MSP and I may be able to see Beijing during fall season.

The city is sometimes criticized for embracing Western ideals too fast and hiding its old charm behind new facades. Some say it has lost its culture, its
buttoned-down tunics, the tai-chi in the Square. But I am determined to find the real Beijing, the old streets and hutongs that used to be romantic before the MTV generation and the cellphone-toting foreign investors came shuffling along.

Some images from Google:





Aside from the usual touristy spots, I would really like to visit Beijing cafes for quiet afternoons with tea, books, and MSP. It might fun sitting amongst the movers and intellectuals of China's left and hear them talk about alternatives to a neo-liberal economy (in herniated English, maybe). Just some of the cafes recommended by ChinaDaily.Com:

The Thinker's Cafe. Despite its silly name, it is an excellent spot attached to an excellent bookstore: the All Sages Bookstore. Window booths are a good place for (enjoying) cups of coffee.....

Sanwei Bookstore. Though the store itself is small, the upstairs teahouse is spacious with high-ceilings and (is) full of light. The owners don't mind if you (stay) for an entire day over a book and a pot of tea, and are discreet enough to give couples engrossed in conversation (and each other) a little room to breathe.


We really have to work hard to launch two projects by October. Only then can we feel good about taking yet another break this year.

If this trip does not push thru, I would feel awful. But not really. I have Coron to look forward to in November, with the Kualas plus Illyria, after all. Also, I have traveled overseas on leisure two times this year already. A third trip feels unnecessary. Of course, so is a Pucci :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I'm better than Sigmund Freud

People always come to me for advice. I don't know what it is about me – perhaps it's my solution-orientedneess, my ability to reduce problems down to simple questions answerable by 'yes' or 'no.'

It also helps that I am a brutally frank asshole. You see, most advice-givers say that they have your best interest at heart when they are really only using you to delude themselves that their lives are wonderful (unlike yours). They prolong the advice giving session, throwing profundities that leave you even more confused so that you ask more questions, so that they feel more needed, and so that they can convince themselves that they are superior to poor little you. Well, I'm not like that. I just want to give you the best possible answer at the soonest possible time, because frankly, this whole talk is a chore. I already know I'm superior. I don't need to be pedantic to prove it.

Because I am an asshole, I give the best advice. I am too self-absorbed to have any vested interest in your life, so you can trust that my advice will be solutions that will be best for you, not sugarcoated half-truths homemade with a dash of envy and a pinch of insecurity. Best of all, my solutions are realistic – they can be implemented within a given time frame. I will never give you theoretical advice. Life is too short. You want your problem solved? Do as I say.

You can't please everyone

I'm sure that at least 10 people in this world hate me. I'm not being paranoid or morbid. I'm just being realistic.

I have proven that you can exist in your own little world/play by the rules and still manage to incite hate. Don't believe the Pollyannas of this world. These optimistic retards think that if they do no wrong, they won't have any enemies. That's a big mistake.

You can pay your bills on time, donate to charity, work like a horse, stay out of other people's way, and still manage to make enemies. Someone will always hate the way you dress, that car you drive, your address, how 'perfect' your life seems, your boyfriend, your education, your new shoes. You can be fair – pay people what is due them, keep your promises, stay true to your word – and still you will be hated.

That's just the way of the world. If there was no hate, there would be too much love, and there would be no equilibrium.

How many people do you think hate you? (Don't fool yourself.)