Little Lotus Flower! August 6, 1997 (and more)

Ooooh My Little Dim Sums!

I am at about 30,000' over the South China sea, sitting here in "Dynasty" class on China Airways. I did not wear my wide brimmed hat, but feel ever so Joan Collinsesque.

I know that I have been very remiss about writing, but you will soon know what I have been doing!

I have been traveling all over Asia looking for a new location for the trailer and me. You would not believe how difficult this is, since most of their "Trailer Parks" consist of a set of shanty shacks, some naked children running around and strange hairless dogs who do not respond to my English commands of "Shoo...go away...go on!"

So where have I been? Well I started about a month ago with a trip to Miami. Sitting at the now famous "News Cafe" I realized that the scandal rocked trailerpark Queen should give up her title and move on. Actually, at this point I know a little too much about things that could bring down some major corporations and rock the whole "Palm Beach" set with a scandal extrodinaire! Because of several legal matters, I will remain silent but leave you with this hint...kept women should not piss off their "financiers".

Anyhow...I have to leave...I should see the world and report back to you on my findings. No? I finished a lovely weekend with Quentin Crisp, and I realized that I would not want to be 87 years old before I see and experience it all! (Quentin is a sweetie, if not a bit flatulent).

So I enlisted the help of Mama, packed up the trailer in Raleighwood, gave the pusses away (sob) and headed East. I will not bore you with the details but the trip included London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur ("KL" for those in the know), Seoul, Bangkok (more later), KL again, Singapore again, Taipei, Hong Kong, and I am now sitting up in "Dynasty" Class on a flight to Beijing. Just Tokyo left, and I am all set to finish my grand tour. I will be officially "Circumnavigated" (the other operation was done when I was just a little Trailerette).

So, my sweet brother sent me his views and opinions on Asia, so I thought that I should now add mine (and plagiarize some if his!)

  1. Everything smells. Some terrific; floral, incense. Some horrible; garbage and fish. And if you do not have those smells, then it's all the cigarettes!

  2. Apparently the western art of matching clothes means nothing here! Colors and patterns are completely interchangeable. They think. I see a huge market for fashion consultants. Rhonda, now that you are on the court, you need to share your advice!

  3. Taxi drivers will, if you let them, do any/all of the following:
    • Eat their lunch while driving
    • Light up a smoke while driving
    • Read the newspaper while driving
    • Play the horrible wailing music loud enough so THEY can hear it in the front seat, forgetting that you are between them and the speakers.
    • Get out of the car to check that the river that you seem to be sitting in is not rising too quickly, since the traffic is not moving and the rain is pouring.
    • Have the same price. Does not matter if it is a Mercedes or a little Tuk- Tuk (a three wheeled cart, bolted on (loosely) to a motorcycle. It's always 100___ (fill in the blank).

  4. Chinese use a multitude of electric socket styles. Do not be surprised to find them ALL in you room.

  5. Toilets can come in a million different shapes and sizes and you usually have to guess how to use them and how to flush!

  6. Suspension on taxis seems to be entirely optional (same fare however, 100 ___!) The good news is that all of the driver seats are pulled so far forward, that that you do have lots of leg room.

  7. If you get into a cab with the Virgin Mary superglued to the dashboard, immediately get out. These Asian Christians have some sort of sick death wish.

  8. You will eat a full meal for breakfast (chicken, noodles etc.) and then go to an all you can eat buffet lunch. Yet there are no fat people. However, do not take a taxi for one hour after eating.

  9. Slurp and belch like a pig while eating. Your mother will have a heart attack, but you will fit right in. While you are at it, go ahead and pick your nose. It's OK!

  10. You can impress the heck out of your country hosts, by picking up and eating, whatever they put in front of you. If you realize that it was a plastic decoration, simply spit it out, laugh out loud, and belch. They will get "the joke".

  11. CNN gets very boring, very quickly. You soon find the Hindi Soap operas quite addictive and the Asian videos are fun to hum along with!

  12. Be careful of typos. Wishing to whip up a new outfit, I entered a "Smocking Room" in Korea, only to be overwhelmed by the densest cigarette smoke fog imaginable. I also loved the one "Management not responsible for any loss", quite all encompassing no?

  13. You can get quite a good bath with those ubiquitous hot towels. They are not just for your hands (do be discreet however, when trying to reach those hard to reach places).

  14. Musak is pumped in everywhere. Especially popular is "Memory" from Cats (Now and Forever). I guess we now know who has been going to see that awful production when they visit the Big Apple...everyone of these people. You'll soon find yourself humming along.

  15. If you are a big, 6', blond gal, you will stick out like a sore thumb here.

  16. Asians will place small 1 to 2 inch step-downs or step-ups in the most bizarre places like the toilet. While saving on pedicures, the pain of removing your toenail, is horrendous.

Well, this is what I am getting into with my move! Asia in a nutshell! Did I confuse M. Butterfly with Papillon? I am going to be isolated on a sweltering island with more rules than a penal colony. But I will be happy. I must be! Even if it takes my last bottle of Valium! I'll be back in Raleighwood this week. I promise to write again soon!

Verlene-san

(Trudy's note: Write to her a verlene@datalounge.com and remind her how we weep at her absence. )