Thursday, August 23, 2007


I finally saw the end of the movie, 'Titanic.' Not that I didn't know the ending of this real human tragedy. The only thing I learned that was new, the ship was heading west to N.Y.C., built in Liverpool, rather than the reverse as I had thought before.

The human race is fatally flawed, not just Hillary Clinton as Rove describes her (really him!). Take the captain of the Titanic, ignoring warnings of icebergs, and smashing into one at full speed! Why? Ego! He wanted to be remembered as the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in history. Instead, he caused the tragic death of at least 1,500 people! He's remembered, but not in a way he wanted!

Interestingly, the experience of watching the movie 'Titanic' on DVD. The first time was months ago, and the failure of the DVD near the end. Premature… Then just recently, I purchased another, and the same thing happened! But, I know how to deal with this frustrating situation now. You go to 'chapters,' and skip past the scratch or dirt causing the 'error!' Thus, I saw the end of the movie, but not without perseverance!

Perseverance is omnipotent!

Yesterday, we went to a meeting, a potential fashion show project at a new clothing store in XiNing. I sat there too long listening to endless Chinese talk (a flawed spoken language; a superior written language). They wanted a major (all day long) production, with only one week to prepare--crazy!

There's one thing that Chinese people can't seem to do… Think ahead; plan ahead. They want to the last minute and it doesn't happen, but maybe now!

The people involved (two women and one man) had been working on this opening for two years. Yet, they wanted to give us only one week to produce. It was both an opportunity and a potential disaster.

We discussed it at lunch, sometimes heatedly, and with Wang Jing (a Chinese man with some entertainment experience). After listening to him, I knew what to do… Decline the offer. We're simply not prepared to produce such. Additionally, it's a bad time of year (school vacation) to be doing such, as everyone is away.

I had XTRicha call and ask for more time or money. They said they'd call back. They haven't, and I don't expect they will. But, we made the right decision, I tried to explain to XTRicha. Sometimes it's better to say 'No thank you!'

In the meantime, Ujwal (from Nepal) and Carl S. (on vacation from Urumqi, originally from New Zealand) have arrived. Of course, Peter disappeared as quickly as he'd come… I wish he'd stay away!

Ujwal, 'Wu Zhou,' his new Chinese name, arrived on Saturday via Shanghai. Lucy and Rucha went to pick him up at 1700 hours. Of course, Xu Tan and I were at 'Haaqi's English Club.'

Carl came later, and Xu Tan (after English Club) went to the train station to pick him up. They had dinner (had worked together in Urumqi) and then Carl checked into Rucha's hotel. He ended up in room #408, Rucha already ensconced in #406.

The following day we all met at the office. This is the first time Rucha and Ujwal had met (Rucha his benefactor). Of course, Carl was new to both of them. But, now we're like a little family.

While all our guests were departing arriving, departing, the project, the fashion show, stayed alive! Amazing. Sometimes when you want something there's no way to get it. Sometimes when you want something there is no way to lose it!

I'll give you an example! One day XTRicha and I cranked out to a TV rehearsal for a beauty pageant (so popular in China). We were early, and wanted some lunch. A man outside the building said, 'follow me!'

Turns out he owned a little lunch room on the second floor of a huge building, where workers eat noodles. Of course, I don't--Italian pasta yes, Chinese noodles no! But, I didn't expect him to do what he did. He sent out to another restaurant to get me mi fan (rice) and then cooked the standard 'laowei' ('foreigner') dish (egg and tomato). But, Xu Tanda had already finished his noodles by the time my food arrived.

In the meantime, some 'hip-looking' young people arrived, which I couldn't fathom, as the place basically for the lowly. One, a woman, turned out to be the solution to the fashion show project (we had no models on such short notice). XTRicha has struck up a conversation with them and found out they were a part of the beauty pageant, the woman, supplying the models.

So, after eating, the man, the proprietor of this little lunch room wouldn't take any money for our food! Amazing! We had played with his young daughter, talked to his wife (as the family lives in a room next to the lunch room). The daughter, almost as cute as Ling Ling, beguiled me, as they do! But, try as I might her father wouldn't take any money for food! Can you imagine this in America, in the West? So, I tried my usual trick… I hid it under my empty plate. He found it, however, before we escaped the building and forced us to take back! Well, all I tell you, this kind of treatment 'binds' me to this man. I will do something for him! This kind of behavior 'binds' me to China! I am doing something for the people of China ('Serve the people!' said Mao!).

He even walked us over to the building where the beauty pageant show was rehearsing. This is where our problem was solved by the young woman we met in the lunch room. She introduced us to her 'boss' ('loban' in Chinese). They were providing models for the show, and they agreed to help us with our fashion show. I was greatly relieved (as we're only developing a stable).

So, now days later, after discovering the 'client' full of changes and a meeting/relationship with the woman's company (model supplier), where are we? Waiting!



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