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2003-02-12 - 10:43 p.m.

last night i finally made it to the main strip of bars and nightclubs. exiting the taxi, we were greeted with smiles and welcome. blinking neon marquees lined up in a row. a post apocolyptic vegas with crumbling cement buildings a stone's throw away. we entered "soho" through a plastic curtain and circled around through the wash of a blue glow. the bartenders were hot. the music was tolerable. it was even familiar. i watched some of the girls eat barbecued chicken feet while they placed a bucket of tsing tao beer and cups of dice before us. and then, my darling n-poledancer, they climbed up onto the island in the middle of the bar and took turns half-heartedly wrapping themselves around an unsuspecting pole. we could have rocked them. they would have loved it. and i did my best to get a buzz as 20-year-old boys hit on me incoherently. it took about five beers and a lot of shooting dice to feel altered. people beamed smiles at me left and right and i prayed to the astronauts for rapid language fluency.

i woke up with a tummy ache. too much chili sauce and beer. needed ginger. spent the morning creating a quick-reference chinese dictionary. i love writing characters. they think i have beautiful handwriting here, very cool cool as it is highly valued. they tell me that the writing is a reflection of my heart.

lili, megan's mother and now a dear friend of mine, took me to keshan tonight, an hour outside of the city. we went to a towel factory, passing massive manufacturing institutions along the way. MADE IN CHINA has an unbelievably profound meaning to me now. huge buildings that look like ships or circa 1950 airports(SFO) boasting huge neon lettering that cascade down over rubble streets and filth. amazing dichotomy.

they ordered me rice soup for my not-so-happy stomach.

driving home tonight, we entered foshan under christmas light-strewn streets and through smells and scents that confused my internal responses. the fog and pollution of the day creates an opaque ceiling at night that reflects the metropolis electricity creating an eerie pinkish glow that melts down into the ancient arteries below. at night it always glows, can you feel me?

and by the way, my toilet is a hole.

sending you butterfly kisses from exhaust pipes of love.

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