China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

The Night Light


Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 37


Hello old man standing in your underwear in what used to be a restaurant where we ate dinner only once. Yes, only once, because the food was bad and the service worse. Terrible, in fact.

We were the only customers that night and the drunk teenage wait-staff took it upon themselves to occupy the nearest table, rest their heads on their hands and moan while staring at the increasingly uncomfortable foreigners. Neither the stares nor moans contained mocking undertone; instead it was the unconscious babble of simultaneously amazed and bored intoxication. Get out of my restaurant I want to go home, it said, but also, wow those are real foreigners and they are sitting and eating.

But that was days ago. After the tables were gone there were mounds of sand like giant ant hills scattered about the empty space and even pouring out where the door used to be. And now, here you stand gloriously silhouetted in no more than your skivvies and slippers, mothlike in your single light-bulb fixation and unaware of the busy traffic walking past your display windows as we take advantage of the cooler evening air. I suppose the location is great, across from a post office and high school, surrounded by restaurants and mini-marts – a large open space unimaginable in most local apartments. An ideal place to squat.

But sir, I was alarmed by one thing: I noticed you at first, and walked on chuckling, asking my walking partner if he had seen you, and after his answer of no, described you to him in full. Ten minutes later, after we’d turned around and were heading back home, there you stood, as if fulfilling the character I’d assigned to you, unmoved, eerily mesmerized by the light source, as mysterious as any masked action hero – or villain.

Ah, now you understand that we have arrived at the point and we are onto you.

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