Saturday, February 28, 2004

The moon is rounder abroad

I didn't get a good night's sleep, Dan Min had some company over yesterday. All night long, footsteps rang above my head. I would talk to him but he's never in the house when I'm awake.

During lunch break, I decided to go talk to my new friend, Sheena, at a nail salon closeby. The set-up in her salon includes a rented private area, for massage therapy sessions. I saw ads for these places, they seem to be always looking for new employees, I would have applied but I have a phobia for touching strangers.

Sheena winked at me as I walked in, she motioned to the closed door of the private area with her french-manicured hand. "Must be a high-energy session... The client has been in there for more than 20 minutes."

The room has large glass windows, the yellow curtains are drawn and the door is shut tight. I wanted to walk closer to listen for any sounds, but after remembering what happened the last time I evesdropped, I stopped at Sheena's desk instead.

Right then the door burst open and a pale-looking man, in his late 20s, walked out with a backpack. He didn't look at us at all, just hurried out the door. His medium height and slim build made him look to be Cantonese, the excessive highlighting in his hair was a pretty good giveaway. When will trend-following Chinese guys learn that blonde highlights only work on Caucasians? They saw a few pop stars with them and all thought they could do the look too.

"Sheena, have you had lun --"

Delia, standing in the doorway, her hair a bit mussed, and wiping her hand with a cloth, stopped talking to gape at me.

Sheena stared at the two of us. I stared back. So this is Delia's gig.


When I told Dan Ming, he didn't look surprised. Of course, he must have been a client too.

"Don't look so self-righteous. How do you think all the "da gong zai" (working guys) deal with being away from their wives for years?" He said while chomping down pork ribs.

Watching him wiping the red gooey sauce off his chin, I felt sick to my stomach. "But..."

"Oh, I forgot I was talking to the white guy-loving -- "

I didn't let him finish. Here's one thing good about living in a house, you can stomp outside any time. No elevators to wait for, no waiting around.

The moon looks full tonight. There is a saying for those Chinese who think foreign countries outside of China are unconditionally better. "The moon is rounder abroad." If they can slap a foreign-sounding label on a domestically-made product, it's a fail-safe way to sell it to the foreign-worshipping public.

Tonight, the moon just reminds me of the face Delia had when she saw me. Wan, and a little drained.


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