Friday, October 14, 2005

The open mic at The Bookworm went well, as usual, and, those of us who stuck around moved to the rooftop and tried our hand at some spontaneous rapping or rhyming. It was fun as we played off of one another, sharing cigarettes and beer as the rain slowly spit down.

On the way home, around midnight, I got into a taxi and, as I was closing the door, it was hit by a three-wheeled bicycle cart after which the door would not shut. The driver immediately got out of the car and began arguing with the bicyclist. I tried to bang it shut a few times with no luck. Then, I got out of the car, also, and moved to the curb. Speaking no Chinese, I really had no idea what the two men were talking about so I thought I would wait or catch another cab thinking that I was without fault. The bicyclist pedaled off and the driver insisted that I get in the car, which I eventually did, assuming fearfully that he was taking me somewhere to destroy me. He chased down the bicyclist and cut him off in his cab, grabbed a large bolt-cutter from underneath his seat, and jumped out of the car shouting. I felt trapped in the car and thought it best to take some steps to get out of this situation. I called Angela.

She talked to the driver for a few minutes and then told me that she was on her way. So then we waited. At one point, while the two men were having another heated argument, I picked up my bag and slinked off only to be tracked down by the driver. In retrospect I should have started running as soon as I was out of sight and I don't really know why I didn't. After a while, perhaps 30 minutes, they tried to get me, from what I could understand, to give them some money. They were asking for five with some Chinese characters behind it, but I couldn't understand. I didn't really want to give them any money, especially as I thought it wasn't my fault, but I insisted on waiting. Angela, Marco and Simona eventually showed up (I had given them the wrong directions), and Angela, after speaking with the men and examining the car door, thought it best to call the police. It was around 1AM and we were looking at a much longer night. All of us had to work the next morning. The driver said he would be happy if we gave him 50 RMB, which we did, and then went home ourselves. On the way home, Angela received a call back from the police asking where we were and she told them that we had taken care of it. Who knows how long we would have been there had we waited for the police to sort things out. We may have even had to take a little trip somewhere.

It's cold and sunny today. It has been getting progressively colder over the past week. No more lounging around out-of-doors, sitting at curbside bars and restaurants or in parks, now that it's a little uncomfortable. We also had a few days of spitting rain last week, but nothing that made us run for cover. Winter is coming, though, and, in a way, I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure why. Deep down inside I'm a home body and, I suppose, the possibility of staying at home, out of the cold, watching movies and reading books, is promising.

At school, we're getting ready for our annual Halloween carnival. Me and some of my coworkers took a trip to a nearby market to track down some Halloween essentials, but left empty handed aside from a few feather masks. Mainly, we were hoping to drum up some Halloween decorations. We went to a Chinese market to search, which was a mistake, and we really need to hit an ex-pat grocery store to get what we need. Personally, I'm hoping to find some makeup so I can put on a nice skull face.

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