When you step into a convenience store in Shanghai on the late-nite tip, you could just buy a 5RMB ice cream and a water and call it a night, with a quick xiexie to the clerk if you’re not a cunt. But sometimes you might stop and chat with these peeps who keep the Lawsons, the C-Stores, and the Family Marts open all night, cause some of them have a story.
This is the story of Dr. Jing, a guy who works in the convenience store below my apartment. A real motherfuckin’ G. Over the past few months we’ve become friends and sometimes we sit down and drink some Suntory Beer mixed with Chinese rice wine and discuss where to eat lamb, real estate in Shandong, Chinese drinking culture that will allegedgly take over three weeks of non-stop discussion to explain, and the ills of modern life. He’s invited me to go eat lamb across town in the morning next week, while drinking beers and soaking our feet in cold water and I’m probably gonna go. Dr. Jing says I don’t know bout this lamb.
Dr. Jing is one of the realest dudes I know. Like tonight, he literally just got off a train from a city two hours away because his dad was getting surgery for a stroke. Who paid the bill? Insurance only covered 100,000RMB so Dr. Jing footed the remaining 60,000RMB. And he doesn’t get it all from convenience store money – dude works three jobs. Technically he has only two hours of sleep but he can sleep 3 – 4 hours at one of his jobs in a private room. All the money from the convenience store, a mere 4000RMB, goes to his daughter, a university student. He used to be a designer, used to work in Shenzhen making loads of dough when the economy was expanding fast like WeChat; and he told me I’m a pussy for turning down beer because I’m trying to lose weight. He knows the guy who designed the logo for Shanghai cigarettes, which are now called jing shuang xi (golden double happiness), and claims dude only got paid 1000RMB for the design.
Tonight we were sippin beers, eatin peanuts with chopsticks, and taking hits of the old Er Gou Tou (2GT wuDup R3DD1T F#AM). Local dude walks in wearing plaid pajamas and buys a milk. After he walks out, Dr. Jing says that guy came in four hours ago with 5000RMB ($800) in hand on his way to the gambling spot. Just came back for the milk empty handed, and that’s the fourth time this week. Dr. Jing sees all this going on, but he don’t judge. See, at night, Dr. Jing likes to drink Baijiu. Sometimes he’ll hit like two or three bottles of the 2GT and still hold it down at the cash register.
This is a dude who got divorced and still lives with his wife, who he never sees because she’s out the door when he returns home from job #2. Dr. Jing does everything for his family. Aside from the drink, he divorced because he gave his brother a load of loot to buy an apartment and didn’t tell wifey till five years later.
Tonight Dr. Jing told me that there were no sexually transmitted diseases in China before 1982. He says AIDS and money hit China at the same time. And dude sings.
More stories from sessions with Dr. Jing coming soon.
Eazy E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s
Three 6 Mafia – Late Nite Tip
Pet Shop Boys – Home And Dry (Rizzla Remix)