A slightly wrinkled but well-preserved Chinese woman with a whitened face, her hair very straightly parted and tied into a tight knot, greeted the guests and with a barely noticeable nod sent the two teenagers to wordlessly fill the guests’ cups with weak green tea. The newcomers joined all those gathered at the table and sat down on the carmine cushions breathing in the smell of opium. Everyone was observing the four players smoothly rearranging and removing the tiles with mysterious signs hand‑painted on them. The game of mahjong was intense.
At the same time, the guests on the upper floor were having a very different and more disrobed type of pleasure, the entrance to which was guarded by an equally whitened, though more wrinkled Chinese lady sitting between the kitchen and the corridor with her bowl of noodle soup and slurping silently, ignoring the excited voices coming from over the mahjong table. The players, on the other hand, were ignoring the excited voices coming from the upper floor.
Do you know the feeling when your boss lights his joint, approaches you, pats you on the back, says that he couldn’t have found a better employee anywhere in Europe and opens you a fourth bottle of beer, while dancing and barking to the beat of music? No?
31.12.2016, as midnight struck, I sent a lantern towards the Kyrgyz sky. We started the year by tracking it all the way up. And then we took a bath in a frozen river, visited the Avatar land, Piotrek became a Chinese TV star, we did not get eaten by Komodo dragons, we had silk worms for dinner, I learned how to open coconuts with a machete and Piotrek – how to plant pineapples and banana trees. We crossed over 23 000 km, most of which hitchhiking. We’ve eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks, spoon and fork, hands, bread. We’ve survived together almost every day and night in the past year and we still want to keep surviving!
We’ll be celebrating the end of this year in Timor-Leste, on the very edge of Asia.
Ua-ua-ua-ua! I’m in love with your body! Bombastic, ele fantastic, pa pa l’americano, asi voce me mata, ai se eu te pego, ai aiiiii so hot in here! so ice ice baby… ice ice favorito baby! pasito pasito oppa gangnam suave suavecito gangnam style poquito a poquito, mista lova lova sube sube!
A muscular red tomcat with a scar just by his snout and a bitten tail circled around my legs for the fifth time. I took a critical look at my plate: nasi lemak – rice steamed in coconut milk with fried egg, hot sambal sauce and – aha! a few fried tiny anchovies… The look in his eyes was friendly, indulgent even. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed five of his smaller, bony, far less friendly-looking cat bodyguards gathering. I just met the cat Al Capone. I could say goodbye to my anchovies.
Wanna go to China? Go, go, go! But do prepare a bit beforehand. Whichever country you choose as your next destination, there will be always something to surprise you. It will be odd, it will be peculiar, it will be more fun or less fun than what you’re used to. In China, though, it seems that the elements of surprise are lurking around every corner. Let’s find out whether you’re ready to travel there, shall we?