Chapter 17 – Money For Nothing, Chicks For Free
Just before I’d visited Beijing back in the fall of 2012, I got in touch with my high school buddy Richard who was back in Chicago at the time, but had recently spent about a year working and living in China’s capital. Of course it’s not easy to tell the way people are feeling solely by reading an email, but judging by how fast he responded and the amount of information he provided, to me it seemed like he was very excited to hear I was about to visit his old stomping grounds.
One of the few touristy things Richard had recommended checking out was the daily flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square. He said it was pretty cool to watch the soldiers march about before taking their positions around a giant pole and seeing one of their giant red commie flags being pulled up it to the sound of horn instruments being blared over loudspeakers. But he also said that they do it very early and that he’d never purposefully get up just to see it. He’d only come across it by chance when making his way home from the bars around six in the morning. This tidbit of information then segued into his next set of recommendations which’d focused on his favorite places around Beijing to get fucked up at.
Among mention of several neighborhoods around college campuses that had happenin’ art scenes and some good places to party, the one that he endorsed above all else was Sanlitun Bar Street. If I went to Sanlitun, he guaranteed a great time – cheap booze, fast women and easy-to-get drugs from the random packs of shady-looking African guys that hang out on the streets there.
Rich also offered me a few helpful Chinese phrases to make my time in the country go more smoothly. “Nihao,” he said was “hello.” “Xie xie” is “thank you.” “Mei wenti” is “no problem” and, most importantly, “xiaojie” is “prostitute.”
“Don’t be afraid to pay for sex,” he coaxed. “Everybody out there does it.”
At that point in time I’d never paid for sex per se – only for a blow job from two hookers in Madrid two years beforehand – and wasn’t really interested in continuing my career as a punter. Nevertheless, a personal anecdote Rich regaled me with had me second-guessing my reservations.
“After a long night of drinkin’, I was on the dance floor at some bar, tryin’ to get some pussy and spillin’ all over the place. I could barely stand. I must’ve been makin’ a real mess ‘cuz next thing ya know the bouncer’s draggin’ me outta the place. So, I’m outside fumblin’ around and smoking cigarettes or whatever when some mamasan asks if I’m interested in getting a girl. I tell her that I am and she leads me over to some massage parlor.
“So, I pick out the chick of my choice, do my thing, have sex with her in the massage room – whatever. But before I can even get my clothes back on, a bunch of shady dudes bust in the room and demand that I give ‘em all the money I have. I reach down into my pants which remain crumpled on the floor, pull out my wallet, open it up and there’s absolutely nothing in it. They ask me how I was gonna pay for the girl and I just shrug. They’re not happy with me at all.
“These guys then make me get in a car with ‘em and they drive me over to the nearest ATM where they demand that I withdraw a thousand Renminbi – that’s a little more than a hundred-and-fifty bucks. I was livin’ paycheck to paycheck out there and that was more than I could afford. But what choice did I have?
“So after I hand the cash over to these guys, they speed away and I’m left standing by this ATM machine pissed off about everything that just happened. I decide to pull out my phone and call the cops. In Chinese, I do my best to tell ‘em what happened – well, tell them my version of what happened. I say something along the lines of, ‘I went to this place for a massage’ – nothing else – ‘and these guys stormed in the room and started demanding money from me.’ They ask me how much money. I tell them ‘two-thousand Reminbi.’ They tell me to stay where I’m at and that they’ll be right over.
“After a few minutes, the cops arrive and I rehash the details of the robbery from the minute those fuckers busted into the room all the way through the ATM withdrawal. I hop in their car and guide ‘em back to the massage parlor. We enter the place and the guys are there. The cops start talkin’ to ‘em and, after a brief powwow, make the bastards give me back my two-thousand Reminbi. So, essentially, I ended up getting paid a hundred-and-fifty bucks to fuck some Chinese massage hooker.”
Following the dinner I spent as a third wheel to my buddy O’Shaughnessy and his girlfriend mentioned two chapters ago when I took a piss in the sink in the middle of that restaurant, the three of us decided to take Rich’s advice and headed over to Sanlitun Bar Street to get fuckin’ wasted. Since Osh and his girl didn’t seem to want to interact with anyone but each other, I got completely smashed while talking to random chicks – quite a few of whom turned out to be of the “xiaojie” persuasion.
Next thing ya know, I’d spent a solid eight or nine hours drinking in Sanlitun and ended up in the back of a cab with some Filipino hooker. She was probably about five years older than me and had a really nice ass which, as evidenced by my in-public, tearing-through-the-pants erection, I enjoyed rubbing against when she and I had been dancing earlier in the night. But she hated men – especially white ones – and had just about the bitchiest attitude I’d ever seen on a bitch. She’d become so jaded from being a hooker that she wouldn’t let me – a potential customer – forget that she knows how “men only want one thing” while continually expressing her lament for an ex-lover from the Netherlands who’d left her ass in the Philippines, went home and married a white girl. Her scornful attitude did a lot to bring death upon the boner into which her fantastic ass had previously breathed life.
While I kept suggesting we go back to her place and bang there, she insisted that we go to mine. I told her that that’s not such a good idea because I’d been staying in a dorm room with three other people that were sleeping in there and would be getting up pretty soon to start their day because it was already like six in the morning. Thinking with my penis, I eventually agreed to do it her way and told the driver to head to my hostel near Tiananmen Square.
After sitting in silence for quite a bit, I started to tell myself that this chick wasn’t worth all the trouble. In suit, I told her that since we’re gonna bang at my place where I didn’t want to, at the very least she’d have to split the cab fare with me.
“I’m not paying for anything!” she shouted as we sat at a red light. “You pay or you get the fuck out of the cab!”
I looked around to see where we were. It turns out we were only a few blocks away from Tiananmen Square in an area I’d explored the day beforehand. I’m sure that since she thought I’m just another man who “only wants one thing” that her ultimatum would put me in my place. When she said those words, there’s no way she imagined I would pass up on her pussy over a measly five extra bucks in cab fare. But I would and I did. After I’d opened up the door and started running away in the middle of the wide-ass eight lane Beijing thoroughfare, she started screaming out the window after me. I never looked back. Without using my penis or paying a cent, I managed to screw that hooker big time. Then, as suggested by Richard, I drunkenly stumbled upon Tiananmen Square and was able to catch a bit of the flag-raising ceremony which, I must say, had been as pleasant as projected.
The next day, after I’d managed to drag my ass outta bed around 4:30, I once again tricked myself into believing that I’d never drink again. I’d even cemented the false promise by arranging sober activities to take up my time and get my mind off the hangover. That night, I went by myself to a place called Chaoyang Theater for a 7:15 acrobat show where I’d ended up sitting next to an Australian brother and sister – twenty-six and twenty-eight years of age, respectively.
During the intermission, the brother turned to me and asked me how I liked the flexibility on them Chinese acrobat chicks. I responded with some uncouth assertion about how’d I like to bone ‘em every which way and he snickered in return. Once he knew I was his kind of dude, he told me that he and his sis were goin’ out for drinks afterward and asked if I was interested in tagging along. The no drinking vow I’d made to myself three hours beforehand went right out the window.
“Hell yeah I’m down for some drinks.”
“Cool,” he replied. “I live in Shanghai though. I’m not too familiar with Beijing. You know any good spots around here?”
“Yeah, I think you’d like this place called Sanlitun. It gets pretty rowdy.”
After watching those lovely ladies of the Orient bend their bodies in ways from which I still get a partial chub thinking about, the three of us split a cab over to Sanlitun, posted up in front of some barbecue street vendor who’d been selling chicken and skewered silkworm larvae and ordered ourselves a round of beers. One Tsingtao turned to five for the fellas as the sister of my new drinking buddy seemed increasingly more irritated by our behavior and the stories we told.
As I’d learn, the dude’s name was Tom. He was a foreman at some company that employed rural-ass Chinese peasants to build entire houses in Shanghai, load them on a boat and ship them down to Australia for cheaper than it’d cost to just make ‘em on the spot in the land down under. As the conversation tends to drift among foreigners from countries where the rules of the road are actually obeyed, our talk briefly touched on the havoc that is Chinese traffic. He told me that during his time in Shanghai he’d witnessed, firsthand – two separate deaths on the road.
“This guy on a motorbike was trying to merge into traffic but hadn’t been paying attention and sideswiped a bus which caused him to lose control and wipe out. The guy wasn’t wearing a helmet and when he hit the ground, his body went sliding head-first into a curb and his skull exploded. It cracked wide open and his brains went everywhere.”
“Whoa! Shit!” I laughed. “That’s fucked up!”
“I know, right? Totally fucked up.”
“Ew,” Tom’s sister spat. “How can you guys even talk about that? It’s so fucking gross.”
We shrugged and went back to ignoring her while continuing our discussion on topics crass and boorish.
The three of us eventually made our way into some Sanlitun bar where we kept drinking for another couple hours until his sister finally got so disgusted with us that she said she’d had enough and made her brother take her back to her hotel. The straw that broke the camel’s back was told by Tom as follows.
“A few years back, I woke up in Bali one morning in my hotel room with this fat chick in my bed. I don’t even remember porking her but there was blood all over my dick as well as bloody handprints all over the ceiling. It must’ve been a wild night. And before I could even gather my thoughts enough to ask any questions about what’d happened, the chick got up, scribbled her name and email on a piece of paper, handed it to me and was out the door. I looked at the thing and her name was Jo Frost. Do you know who that is?”
“No,” I responded.
“Jo Frost is that chunky British chick who does the show Supernanny – ya know, the one where she corrects the behavior of misbehaving kids?”
“Get outta here.”
“I mean, I’m not certain it was her. It could’ve been another fat British chick named Jo Frost. But I have reason to believe that, in Bali, Indonesia, I banged the Supernanny while she was bleeding from her crotch.”
After serving up that juicy tale, Tom was practically dragged out of the place by his sister. He told me to email him if I ever went to Shanghai and that we’d have “a minimum of three massive nights on the town.” As it often goes, when I emailed the dude about an impending Shanghai visit, he never responded. Perhaps his head exploded on a curb after a nasty motorcycle wipeout or he succumbed to some VD he’d contracted from the Supernanny. I guess I’ll never know.
Once we’d parted ways, I stayed at that same bar for a few more drinks. After not encountering anyone I felt I had a good chance of violating with my meat log that evening, I began walking up and down Sanlitun Bar Street seeing what else the place had to offer. Towards one end of the strip, I’d seen a bunch of the shady drug-slangin’ African dudes that my buddy Richard had told me about. A few were sitting at tables and more were just standing around, openly asking tourists if they needed drugs and handing out homemade business cards with one word names and phone numbers on ‘em.
Judging by his behavior, one of these dudes seemed to have gotten high on his own supply. He was a big tall African dude – in his thirties I’d say – who had no fuckin’ idea what was goin’ on around him. He’d just lean back, look at the sky and start shouting. Then he’d spin around until he was dizzy and out of breath and double over panting to catch it all before doing the whole bit again.
During one of the times this dude was bent over breathing, I snuck up behind him and pretended to start buttfucking him for an audience of random people. While I was enjoying a few cheap laughs, the guy unexpectedly returned to his howling-at-the-moon phase, leaned back into me, quickly spun around and caught me in the act of fake-buttfucking him. He was infuriated.
I quickly hopped away and he angrily marched at me with eyes bulging out of his head. I thought he was gonna give me a Roadhouse-style throat gouge then drink my blood as it spouted from severed arteries. To defend myself, I picked up one of the unoccupied cheap-ass plastic chairs from one of the nearby street-side tables of Africans and swung it around, using it to fend him off like a fuckin’ lion tamer in the circus. Thankfully, within a few seconds the guy grew bored with his attack on me and returned to shouting at the sky and swinging his arms around in circles. I kept my eye on him to make sure he wasn’t faking his return to sky-shouting so he could catch me off-guard and then beat my ass, but it was real. He’d actually forgotten about me that fast.
Once I was sure I was in the clear, I went to set the chair back at the table from which I’d taken it. It’d been occupied by a chick and a dude across from where I’d removed my weapon of defense and, directly to the left of the open spot, another chick who’d been playing R. Kelly jams on her cell phone.
“Thank you,” I said as I tucked the thing back under the table.
Devoid of emotion, the dude stared back at me and tilted his head toward the chair in a way that indicated I should park my ass in it. Since I had nothing better going, I did just that.
“Where you from?” he asked.
“America. Chicago. You?”
I took a deep breath trying to get in touch with my prejudiced inner-Chicagoan to racially size up this dude’s features and accent. My instincts told me West Africa all the way.
“I’m gonna say you’re from Gambia.”
“No,” he smugly spat as he sat back in his chair.
“Okay. You’re from Sierra Leone.”
“No,” he repeated the exact same way.
“Alright, alright. Uh…” I paused for a second. “You’re a Liberian.”
The chick in the chair next to him started laughing.
“No,” he repeated.
I looked at the chick and she was nodding her head up and down.
“So, he is Liberian?” I asked her.
“No!” he said before she could respond.
“Yes he is! He is from Liberia! Ahh!” she added before laughing again.
“I knew it,” I said before making two upside-down west-side gang signs to form two “M”s. “You’re a Monrovian motherfucker – ain’t you? You’re Monrovian as fuck.”
The chick kept laughing and the guy finally cracked a smile. After the ice was broken, the four of us shared a round of beers purchased from some nearby street vendor for a fraction of the price they charge inside the actual bars there. While hanging and conversing, I’d find out that the chick next to him with the giggles – who was rather light-skinned and had green eyes – was from Eritrea and the chick to my left who didn’t talk much and had spent the whole time listening to R. Kelly on her cell phone was the Liberian dude’s sister.
One round of beers turned into an all-nighter and, just like the evening previous, the sun had been coming up by the time I left Sanlitun. I was plastered outta my mind as the four of us walked over to a nearby McDonald’s to get some breakfast together. I remember at one point in the meal, I’d jumped out of my chair, gotten down on all fours then started barking like a dog and biting at the pant legs of Chinese people in business attire who’d probably just popped into the golden arches to grab some breakfast on the way to work. And when I returned to the table, my new drug-dealing Liberian friend was more pleased than ever.
“Tim, Tim,” he said while gesturing across the table with an open palm at the chick who wouldn’t stop with the R. Kelly music, “I want you to take my sister.”
“Tee-ake my sister,” he reiterated in his thick West African accent. “I trahst you.”
“Oh shit, I’m glad you trust me and all. But, uh, dude, I don’t know if I feel comfortable with that.”
“I mean, she’s hardly said anything all night. I don’t even think she likes me.”
“I never said I don’t like you,” she piped up over her beloved R&B.
I looked over at her and she smiled. I looked back across the table and my man made an “I told you so” face at me before digging back into his McDonald’s breakfast.
When the four of us were finished, we hopped into a cab and headed to their neighborhood on what I believe had been the far northern outskirts of Beijing. It turned out to be an outrageously long ride thanks to the morning commute. And perhaps it seemed longer than it actually was because I’d been a bit nervous even in my drunken state. Because at that point in my life I’d never banged or had even made out with a black girl before and was feeling insecure that my Irish sausage would not measure up to the massive black guy boners she’d been used to taking.
Ya see, when I was eighteen, I came home from my freshman year of college in September to catch a Monday night Who concert at the United Center in Chicago with my shithead buddies Jack and Kutasi. Before heading down to the Madhouse on Madison, the three of us had collectively taken down a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine and a twelve-pack of Old Style. We were fuckin’ wasted. And using our bullshit Indiana ID’s that we’d gotten from illegal immigrants at a place called Foto Munoz in Chicago’s predominantly Latino Little Village neighborhood, we continued the party inside the stadium.
As Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and the two replacements of the group’s deceased members did their thing on the stage, the three of us were rockin’ out up in the nosebleed seats and spillin’ good amounts of our illegally purchased seven dollar beers all over the guy in front of us. He’d been trying to take notes with a pen and paper – he must’ve been a critic or some shit – and we were just dousing this guy. Sudsy showers all night long.
Following a few empty threats, at the point when his pad of paper became so wet he could no longer write on it, he went to get security. The security guards – two really young black guys – asked to see our IDs. Jack and Kutasi, out of fear of getting in trouble for having fake IDs, didn’t show theirs. I, not taking into consideration the possible repercussions, whipped mine out and handed it over. The two guys shined a flashlight on it, nodded, thanked me and gave it right back. They told me I was free to stay but that my friends had to go for underage drinking. I shrugged as they got taken away and kept partying by myself until the concert was over.
When the show finally ended around eleven, I’d spent every last dollar I’d had on booze and wasn’t carrying any plastic at the time. Unwilling to call my parents for a ride, I figured the only way to get the fourteen miles back to my house was to start running. So, I did just that. Somewhere along the trek, while drunkenly sprinting through some relatively shady west side neighborhoods, I encountered a twenty-something-year-old black prostitute standing beneath the entrance of an apartment building, smoking a cigarette. I asked her if I could bum one.
“Yeah, you can have one. They’re menthol though.”
I shrugged, took one and lit it up.
While standing there – still a virgin at the time, mind you – I skipped the small talk and gave mention to what an enormous penis I have.
“Is that right?” she asked.
“Yeah. I bet you’ve never seen one this big.”
She reached down with one of her long-nail-havin’ manicured hands and went to investigate my claim. After grabbing my junk through my jeans, she started laughing to let me know it wasn’t even close to being half the size of the biggest monster black guy dick she’d ever squeezed between her legs.
“How much money you got?” she said while continuing to fondle me.
“Well,” I pulled out my wallet and opened it to show her, “I actually don’t have any money. That’s why I’m running through your neighborhood, trying to get home.”
She again started laughing at my broke, small-dick-havin’ ass.
“You go home, white boy,” she said, shooing me on my way. “Go on home.”
Similar thoughts of inadequacy had been passing through my head during that cab ride. But I ended up reassuring myself that since she was the prostitute sister of a drug-dealer who’d probably been exposed to her fair share of pitiful Chinese and white guy dicks while posted up in Sanlitun, she wouldn’t be fazed by another drunken disappointment.
Eventually, the cab pulled up in a strange area that appeared quite rural. The roads were all fucked up and everyone was black. It felt more like I was in some African village than in – or at least near – the capital of China. The dude went back to his place with the Eritrean chick and the sister led me back to her cramped-ass studio apartment and put some more R. Kelly on to set the mood. She went into the bathroom and told me to get naked. I did, then strapped a condom on my joint and laid on the bed. She came out in just a towel, climbed across the bed and straddled me. After inserting my bone into her slot, she dropped the towel, revealing a nice set of tig ol’ bitties just before starting to grind away. No more than a minute or two into the session, I passed out with my dick inside her.
“Wake up Tim!” I heard her shouting. “It’s one p.m.! Get out of my room! You need to go!”
I rubbed my eyes and looked around. I was naked and the condom was still on my dick.
“So,” I asked, unable to think of anything else but how I’d measured up, “was the sex good for you?”
“It would have been better if you paid. But you didn’t pay.”
“But your brother said I didn’t hafta pay.”
“Yes, I know. And I am just saying, the sex would’ve been better if you paid.”
I figured that that response was better than getting laughed at by a Chicago hooker. And although I didn’t get paid to bang a hooker the way my buddy Richard had, I wasn’t too upset about having gotten a freebie.
After removing the condom, putting my clothes back on and stumbling out the door, I was approached by some other African drug dealer who gave me his business card and was nice enough to point me in the direction of the nearest bus stop. From there, I took a bus and two trains back to where my hostel was in the city center. Following two-and-a-half hours of hungover transit during which I’d contemplated all the ridiculous shit that happened the night before, I again swore to myself that I’d never drink again.
Photos from Chaoyang Theater and the second night at Sanlitun…