Saturday, June 10, 2006



Started crabwalk by gunther grass a few weeks back. Reading a few paragraphs on and off intermittently and now only into the first 15 pages or so…I’m that slow… and being dragged down by so many other books half read and all the internet stuff don’t help…incidently, crabwalk is the first fiction I read that have internet stuff –chatrooms, websites, forums… mentioned and described in the way only mr gunther grass can do…

currently juggling between kurt vonnegut’s bluebeard (3/4 way) , a couple of non fictions - Paul Theroux’s ‘Riding the iron rooster’ a travel book on rail journey through china and an old Turkish prison escape adventure ‘midnight express’ which was made into a memorable film by alan Parker in the late seventies. One of the reasons why crabwalk has gone sideways is because I was absorbed with John kennedy toole’s ‘confedaracy of dunces’ but I left the paperback in the back of the hotel limo on the way to Beijing airport last week so perhaps I can get back to the heavier read by the great Mr Gunther Grass now.

Oh, while in Beijing this time, went to lido as usual and got a great box set of 7 dvds from BBC Art collection series – on monet, Picasso, rodin, whistler, Pollock and ‘seeing salvation’ (on evolution of portraits of jesus in western arts over the ages …very fascinating even for non Christians like me) – all fantastic stuff as only bbc can come up with. And another valuable buy was a box set of the whole monty python flying circus comedy classic…every single episode of them! And all these for a very cheap 10 yuan per disc. But the next day went to sunlitung bar district for a drink with some friends and before you get to sit down this old lady came up and shoved a copy of da vincy bloody code up your face (there’s no escaping dan brown anywhere in the world) but we asked her to bring all she have and in ten minutes she brought a huge collection in a black garbage collecting bag and offered each dvd for just 5 yuan! Half the price of what I paid in TOM’s DVD at lido! She did not have all these box sets of course but bought three movies that may be interesting…George Clooney’s ‘good night and good luck’, Spike Lee’s ‘Inside man’ and a Palestinian film ‘paradise now’ by hany abu-assad…

Don’t know when I’ll watch any of these films what with all this soccer madness season now….

And oh oh…went to panyayuan weekend market again and bought three coffee table books on Russian paintings (still life, landscape and potraiture) and a few past years chinese art auction catalogues and one fairly good copy of celadon ceramic with fine crackles…the owner’s initial asking price was 800 yuan, I just took off one zero and asked it for 80 and without hesitation she accepted it straight away. The right price probably is around just 30 yuan!

And oh oh oh… was dragged up the stage in the famous muslim restaurant ‘a fun ti’ to do a male belly dance …the whole place got a comedy sketch for free and what fool I made myself ..and what a riot…my friends laugh and laugh until …well, they stopped.

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