Chillin With Doctor Jing, Part Two


[This is the saga of Dr. Jing, a guy who works in the convenience store below my apartment. A real motherfuckin’ G. Some nights we drink some Suntory Beer mixed with Chinese rice wine and discuss where to eat lamb, real estate in Shandong, Chinese drinking culture that will allegedly take over three weeks of non-stop discussion to explain, and the ills of modern life. Dr. Jing is not on LinkedIn so don’t even ask.]

Part two of the Dr. Jing story starts like they all do, in the convenience store by my house drinking local beer and listening to classical music on laptop speakers. It’s mostly high frequencies anyway right? Dr. Jing knows as much about classical as I do about hip hop, possibly more. I wonder how he would feel about James Blake.

So this 24 year-old kid from Yangzhou comes in looking sad and starts crushing beers and MSG-laced snacks, says he just broke up with his girl a few hours ago on the stairs out front. Says before he met her he saved 100,000rmb from working construction and now it’s all gone.

Dr. Jing asks where this ex-girlfriend works, and kid says the hospital. Dr. Jing says don’t ever date girls who work in hospitals or schools, because these are “comparison centers” – places where women stand around comparing what they have, i.e. jewelry, cars, clothing, etc. to other women.

The doctor and I agreed that breaking up with hospital girl was a 小事情 (small matter), but spending 100,000RMB in six months??!! This was a serious problem. “There’s lots more fish in the sea,” we insisted, but leave it to [outdated] traditional Chinese values to crush the spirits of the young and unmarried, even in the face of impending modernism.

Yangzhou kid is like “What am i gonna do? I’m gonna go back to Yangzhou and my parents and neighbors are gonna be all ‘why haven’t you married yet!?'” and I says “relax, you’re 24,” and that he should meet lots of girls until he finds out what kind of girl he really likes, or just focus on himself, hobbies, and work, until eventually he just runs into the right girl or she finds him. Maybe try some white girls or black girls until wifey rolls around. Dr. Jing agreed and opened another Suntory. The good doctor was quite the ladies man back in the day. He said back in the Mao days, there was a slogan that Google Translate rendered “Any dating that does not lead to marriage is bullying.” Like many, Dr. Jing has mixed feelings about Mao.

To ease the broken-hearted, Dr. Jing started to sing. He sounded like an opera singer, belting “我的太阳!!!” (“my sunshine!!”). I could hear him from the tiny bathroom. That’s the first time I ever used the restroom in a Chinese convenience store.

The Suntory kept flowing, steamed buns, mushroom skewers, and chips came out with minimal presentation and maximum MSG, and the kid from Yangzhou felt a little better after hanging out with the good doctor and yrs truly. Unfortunately we learned that two weeks later he was back with the girl from the hospital, but perhaps there’s still hope.


Get ready for part three, where the good doctor and I enjoy Shanghai’s finest lamb up in Baoshan district, blinded by sunshine and Baijiu.


love bang shirts have arrived

Realized it was not feasible to hand-draw 100 of the Love Bang T-shirts I’ve been wearing the the past year, so we finally screen-printed some. Would not have been possible without Adam and his girlfriend, who handled all the printing work in their home studio. I just did the drawing.

Took the original hand drawing and then vectorized that with Adobe Illustrator.

Turned it into a screen wit a UV Lamp and, ummm..fabric screen?


Po’ some paint on dat…

note, the ink on all the shirts is black, not blood red like this. this picture above is from my first attempt at screen-printing, when i came to pick up the dope. i printed on a nice, 9RMB canvas bag. it’s really easy, and really fast.

the front = “super ayi cleaning team.” this name sounds really strange in Chinese, and that’s the point. the concept behind this shirt is to give Chinese people the same feeling that native English speakers get when we see Chinglish. this isn’t gramatically incorrect, it’s just not natural (or grounded in reality, for that matter).

the back = two smalls ghosts. one says “不要宅” (bu yao zhai). 宅 is a fairly new term in Mandarin to describe “staying at home [and e.g. watching dvds on a laptop, chatting on QQ messenger, playing video games, social networking, or similar activities one can perform from the comfort of their nest].”

a lot of young people are “stay at home boys” or “stay at home girls.” it’s hard to get these people motivated to do anything outside of their house. it’s unfortunate, so these ghosts are saying “don’t stay at home!”

we’ve got a bunch of shirts in grey, and a FEW in pink, white, and blue.

The shirts are RMB150 ($24) – The shirts are from Uniclo, and they’re all hand-printed on the front and back. Could have gone with cheaper material but I want these to last.

You can grab one at MIDI Electronic Festival this Saturday; we’ll be giving away a few and have more for sale. Otherwise, you can holler at me on Facebook or in real life. We’ll have these in some stores around town soon too, stay tuned.


dat CD market

spent a couple hours digging through the CD market yesterday. used to dig for records a lot more but at this point i’d rather have WAV files of older tracks made with analogue equipment, e.g. “Push It,” “Poison,” Motown jams. still got love for vinyl but it’s a bitch to lug around, and more and more clubs have CDJs with a USB slot, so I can easily just throw like 1,000 songs on a thumb drive and just turn up with that and my headphones…so much easier than burning CDs.

came with the intention of grabbing some soul compilations but walked away with a lot of R&B for my “Take It Home” playlist (D’angelo, The Dream) plus a few Motown comps, a Doo-Wop box set, a Trax Records comp, and one of my favorite hip hop albums ever – Black Bastards by KMD.

all for RMB 5 each!!

didn’t find this one at the market, but as I mentioned yesterday, Kode9 is coming back to The Shelter this Saturday. DO NOT SLEEP on this. and make sure you get down EARLY, like before 10PM. something wild happening around 10PM but doors will be locked from 10PM – 11PM so get your spot. Here’s the first of some Kode9 tracks I’ll post throughout the week, this one with the one and only Cha Cha. Sorry no DL on this – people gots to eat.

Kode9 featuring Cha Cha – Love Is The Drug

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that hood, that market.

found this boombox in the hood last week. really wanted to cop but it’s RMB900. possibly worth it…mint condition, loud and clear, PHONO inputs, mic hookup for karaoke…  bought my vacuum cleaner from the same lady last year, still works..

there’s a LOT of albums/EPs getting released in Shanghai these days.

this is awesome.

REMEMBER – almost all cabs in Shanghai have a CD player, and I’ve never met a driver who wasn’t happy to let me rock my own tunes. so carry those discs in your bag yo. actually cab drivers have been the biggest test audience for the Super Ayi Cleaning Team remixes of Chinese pop.

speaking of the hood…

Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street

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Shanghai Glasses Market/Problemas de los Ojos

People always tellin me, “yo Heatwolves, you always tell me where the ill party be at, but I’m blind/my Ayi broke my glasses/my cab driver drove off with my bag, which contained my passport and glasses/I want ‘smarter’ frames,” or some shit.

Lucky for you, the folk at the Yanjing Shichang (Eyeglass Market) can make new glasses for you in about thirty minutes. Should cost about RMB150 ($25) or less, unless you want some fancy German turtle-shell, hounds-tooth titanium, but really though?

Just bring your prescription (English is fine) and take Metro Line 1, 3, or 4 to Shanghai Railway Station (NOT South, NOT Hongqiao). There’s no English sign, but across from the train station there’s a large fruit store on the first floor (peep the sign in the picture below). You can also enter the market from the second floor of the KFC. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and dey it go, glasses everywhere. Some peeps even speak English. Lots of bootleg makeup and electronics on the 3rd and 4th floor, and again, delicious KFC on the 2nd floor. If you get lost, just ask peeps “Yanjing shichang zai nali?”

Remember – frames cost almost nothing to make here. Bargain hard, but keep in mind that if you have really bad Mr. Magoo eyes, you will need to pay a bit more for thicker frames. Feel good about your bargaining skills if you walk away with two pairs for RMB300 – 400 total.

For my contact-wearing peoples, don’t let anyone remove/insert contacts for you. Bring your own contacts case and solution too.

Some rock musics. This brings me back…way back.

Modest Mouse – A Life of Arctic Sounds

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this is not a restaurant

Went to the pet and plant market near the Line 10 Laoximen station last week. Got a man-eating plant, no chinchilla. Lots of grasshoppers up there. Plants are affordable, like $150 – 200 for a big, nice house plant. [update: 12/28/2011 the plant i bought is still alive and better than ever]

More on that and other strange markets coming soon. Just a track for now. Been bumpin this one on the company bus for months. Distal = a producer to watch this year.

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Distal – Grape Donut