Sunday, March 27, 2005

China | Beijing | Shopping | Snakes

Popped down from the Big Buutz to the Big Dumpling (Beijing). Was stunned when I stepped out the airport by 72 degree F. temperatures. Still snow on the ground in the Big Buutz. The Apple store on Wanfujing now has Mac-minis and iPod Shuffles in stock. Bought more tea, which was my real reason for coming to Beijing. Then went out to a strange Hui restaurant where a very louche-looking woman with red (I assume dyed) hair danced in stage with a five-foot long snake around her neck. She then enticed drunken Chinese businessmen in suits to join her on stage. She made them dance, as best they could, although their best would have shamed a dancing bear, and then hung the snake around their necks while they gyrated. All this accompanied by the cheers of their fellow diners, who were seriously into their cups. There must be some very esoteric symbolism to this but I am still trying to figure it out. All and all a very bizarre place . . . Then to the book store . . . bought a copy of Karen Armstrong’s Islam for my friend so she could read about her religion in English. Oddly enough, she also wanted a copy of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.

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