Dali, you’re beautiful. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I love the curve of your streets, ok? The way you smell in the morning, the way you’re cool but still “real”, you even have that little bit of ethnic minority that I love. You respect the fact that I don’t have a lot of money and don’t pressure me to be someone I’m not. I don’t know, I guess I kind of like you. Maybe I could stick around this time? It’s hard for me to do that. I don’t know why! I just keep looking at other cities on the internet and want to see them. It’s called FOMO or something. No, no, I know, Soyoung told me I would like you so I know you’re not crazy or anything.
The hostel I’m staying at is one of the best so far. It costs 9 yuan a night. That’s $1.44. DO YOU HEAR ME EVERYONE?! I’M TYPING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS HERE! $1.44 A NIGHT!
I spent most of yesterday just walking around and ended up in a bar where there was a six piece band playing some Chinese pop songs. The owner came over and I ordered a beer, and he kept trying to get me to buy two because it would be cheaper. Finally I gave in and I’m pretty sure I had already given him a 100 yuan bill. Then he asked for money. I told him I already gave it to him. He said no. I said yes. He said no. I said yes and started to go into fight or flight. I had just taken money out of the bank and had all of it in my wallet so I couldn’t really know if I gave it to him. I tried to calm down because the thought of getting into a fight in southwest China and spending the next few days in a Chinese prison just didn’t sound that appealing. So after some arguing I put my lower teeth in front of my upper (I’m turning into my father!), made a grunt and slammed another 100 on the table. I think I was cheated, but at the end of the day it’s $16 and the Chinese sisters had bought me a massive lunch only a few hours before, so I think it’s alright. I called the manager over and apologized for the attitude. Lesson learned though – know exactly how much money is in your wallet so this doesn’t happen again.
The band was rough. All acoustic, but the lead singer and bongos players were being left out to dry by everyone else in the band. It was one of those situations where the whole band had to slow down so the lead guitarist could catch up with the riff he was playing. Painful. Some drunk Chinese invited me to sit at their table but they were on a whole different level than I was so I excused myself after a few songs.
I made my way to a bar where a western guy with long white hair was playing Beatles songs and he was goooooood. Really good. I ordered a beer and sat alone at a table while he started playing “Red House” by Hendrix on an acoustic guitar. After he finished he said, “That was a Jimi Hendrix song. But I guess Jimi didn’t read a lot about China, otherwise he would have known that nobody has any sisters”. Oh!!!! Burn!!! No one else could understand but I was laughing hysterically by myself. It’s like when I used to play with Mcguiness in college and after we played Coldplay’s “Yellow” I said, “Thank you, I wrote that when I had jaundice” and everyone just stared at me except the one biology major in the back who gave a slight chuckle.
Well I had to leave Dali unfortunately. I booked a bus back to Kunming which turned out to be a van for 135 yuan. After boozin hard the night before I decided to stay sober so I’d feel great for the bus ride, even though the beers at the hostel bar are less than a dollar for big boys. Well, in a ten person dorm a little booze really lubes up your sleeping schedule. It’s insane how sensitive you become to every else’s movements and actions. Certain things, like rolling over or moving the blankets are fine – that’s just part of the dorm room symphony and you deal with everyone’s shoes smelling like garbage and just a general musk in the room. Other things though, like not keeping your phone on silent is a big no-no. I had just started to doze and then the door slammed open. I felt everyone around me tense up, we had such a great unspoken appreciation for each other’s quietness and this guy seemed like trouble. His huge bag was banging against everyone’s bed and he spoke aloud every letter of every locker until he found his. He put his stuff in his locker and I could see the guy across the room in another bed gripping his blankets praying that this guy would go to bed and shut up. Our new roommate was Chinese, and he had this habit of saying, “ok” nonstop whenever he was doing any type of action – climbing up to his bed, “ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok” – turning on his bed-light, which made most of the room sit up and give him the death stare, “ok, ok, ok, ok, ok”. And then his goddamn phone. Remember when everyone had ipod’s and when you scrolled through it made this clicking noise? Somehow his phone was doing that the whole time. I even gave him a “shhhhhh”. And he was fat. No, no no, I only mention that because it increases the likelihood of snoring. I don’t have anything against heavy people, ok? My weight fluctuates more than Brando’s so I have no room to talk. Except the NYPD. I mean, how come the only heavy people in New York are the NYPD and homeless. They can only afford fast food, whats your excuse?? Right? Oh shit, now I’ve really done it. There goes my political career. I’m sorry. I love you NYPD. You guys are the best. . . . . . Ok here you go:
But I somehow managed to fall asleep for a few hours until I was awoken by what? Whats that? His snoring. I knew it. I really wished I had taken down a couple of shots of something; suddenly it’s 4:30am and you’re staring at the ceiling thinking that there’s no way cold water boils faster than hot water.
So I stayed awake and walked the town as the sun came up; it was a nice goodbye to a town that I love.