Thursday, April 16, 2009

A short love story (for Luddo)

since he is asking for it.

Xi'an. Where it all begins. Where all roads would lead to if history were written in the East.

We were on our way into the city after seeing the terracotta army. Our guide Echo who would have made an excellent drill inspector has already informed us that this is nap time and she would not like to be disturbed. Bill happily dozes off. I look out of the window. BM starts fidgeting.


"What do you think is considered handsome in this country?"

"Come again"

"Its not a difficult question"

"I know. But why would anyone have such a query?"

"I want to know. My Chinese colleagues at work think someone is handsome, I don't think so"

"Why don't you ask Echo? Obviously I can't provide you with an answer"

"She said she wants to sleep"

"Nonsense. Echo - we..BM has a question for you"

Echo wakes up with a start and turns around. "Sure. How can I help?"

"Do you think Takeshi Kaneshiro is handsome?"

"Dude, he is not even Chinese"

"He is half Chinese" She turns to Echo. "I am trying to figure out who is considered handsome here"

"Yes, he is cute"

"Not handsome?"

"I don't think so. But I am from the South"

"What does that got to do with Takeshi Kaneshiro being handsome?"

"In the South, we prefer milky men"


"Yes, milky intellectuals. In the North, women prefer strong men with moustaches who are generous"

"Generous? You mean rich?" I couldn't help myself.

"Rich too. I prefer milky intellectuals who are rich"

"Those exist?"

"I haven't found one yet"

"If you do, let us know. We could do with a few"

"What about women? What kind of women are considered beautiful?" BM again. For some reason, she had to analyse this thing to death.

"Hmm..." Echo is thinking now.

"Do you like Gong Li?"

"No" Echo replies immediately.

BM turns to me. "She is like the Aishwarya Rai of China. Everybody casts her in movies but she cannot act"

"Gong Li is just another model / actress. She is okay but not beautiful" says Echo.

"All my colleagues love her"

"Yes, all men love her"

"That makes sense. So what kind of women are preferred in China?"

"Dude, you just asked her that"

"No, I asked who is considered beautiful. Now I am asking what kind of women are generally preferred"

"I wasn't aware you were on a groom hunt"

Echo: "It depends on what the man is looking for"


"Most men prefer stable wives who are kind and considerate and intelligent"

"I see"

"Who will take care of the house work"

"Of course"

"But if they are looking for a short love story..."

"A short love story?"

"Yes, like in the movies, then they prefer a vase"

"A what?"

"A vase. However you say it"

"Oh, like that"

Needless to say, since then, every time we encounter a vase, we feel like we should take it away and offer it to people looking for a short love story. This special Ming one for Luddo-san, may he have a lovely short love story.


Bonus: One more love story.

At the terracotta place. We were walking from Pit 1 to Pit 2. Echo is telling us about the men excavated from Pit 2. I was walking a few steps ahead of the three and could hear only parts of the conversation.

"The most well preserved exhibit is from this pit. He is exhibited outside the pit in a glass case and you can even see colours on his body"


"Yes, the kneeling archer is quite famous"

I stop dead in my tracks. Turn around. Bill is walking faster. He smiles.

"Kneeling archer. That's what she said"

"Oh. That makes sense"

BM: "What did you hear?"

"That only"

"Liar. Bill, you tell"

"The love of her life only"

"I thought that was you"

"Eeeks! No way"

"Dude, chill. I heard Newland Archer"


"So I started imagining Daniel Day Lewis with this terracotta warrior headgear"

"Man, that is cool"

"I know"


Space Bar said...

vase=short love story? i'm terribly mystified but i have ordered the popcorn.

blackmamba said...

@spacebar: There were a lot more pauses in that conversation. Searching for the right words. Discussions on high cheekbones etc. But I think Echo meant by,

short love story = an affair
vase = 36-24-36.

So attractiveness is for affairs, but for the real deal it is all the rest

does that demystify things a bit?

Space Bar said...

bm: i guess. only, not having seen any vases of that shape recently, it was all very bewildering. and of course, veena's photo doesn't help!1

didn't she mean hourglass?

Veena said...

SB: Ok. sorry for the confusion.

Ya, she meant hourglass only. Lost in translation. Which was why this proved to be an entertaining exercise on the trip - evey vase we saw we would immediately imagine a short love story girl in its place.

Anyway, i think this vase is all good enough for Luddo man. He hasn't complained as far as I know.

Szerelem said...

Sorry, but how can anyone *not* like Gong Li? And please can we not compare her to A. Rai Bachchan.

Also - DDL in a terracotta warrior headgear - ufff, hot. Now I have all weird images in my head. You are blamed.

Veena said...

Szer: Go pick fight with BM. I never heard of Gong Li until this came up.

And yes, exactly. Not that DDL needs more hotness but this hair style totally fits, doesn't it? Imagine a young and tortured DDL (as N. Archer) on his knees with this head gear. Doesn't get much better than this, no?

Actually someone should sign him for a movie on terracotta warriors. I am sure he will put full make up and go sit there in the pit for days together so that he could get into the role. And we can all go see. What fun.

Falstaff said...

Wait, men in the North have generous moustaches? As in, so what if you have handlebars, you should see what these whiskers of mine gave to charity last year?

And would these be vases in the first flower of youth?

and you have trouble believing in rich, milky intellectuals, but you let "stable wives who are kind and considerate and intelligent" pass without comment?

blackmamba said...

@Szer.. Ahem have you watched "the curse of the golden flower"? a.n.n.o.y.i.n.g.

What would you reco from her oeuvre to get a better impression of her?

@SB: think of it as a vase with an hour-glass figure and really really long legs.. ahem.. atleast I hope she just meant a hot woman and not a real vase.

@falsie, bill was sleeping when this conversation happened.

Szerelem said...

bm: haven't actually. But I liked her in Raise the Red Lantern and Farewell My Concubine. Also she's so pretty!

Veena: Can you please think of ways to fund this terracotta warrior movie? Don't you have any clients to whom you can recommend this idea? As in, if you want to make huge profits fund DDL movie with him in terracotta warrior gear - bound to be a money spinner.

Veena said...

Falsie: Yeah, all that milk oozing out of generous moustaches make the women of the South happy, I am guessing.

As for vases, blooming right!

And as a stable, kind, considerate and intelligent wife, there is not much to say, is there?

Szer: Unfortunately big evil insurance giants do not fund DDL movies :(

kevin hill said...

that's a beautiful love story :)

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Willie Sager said...

Nice post with awesome points! Can’t wait for the next one.

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