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“old dudes rock”
Posted By Christoph On September 14, 2009 @ 09:35 In Shanghai,Things... | 5 Comments
There’s this shopping area downtown – a pedestrian zone flanked by large buildings and neon signs, usually packed with people. It’s called 南京路步行街 (nanjing street pedestrian zone).
You can find a wide array of luxury shops there, some department stores, lots and lots of fast food places, and maybe two or three corners where tourists like to take pictures of themselves. A sightseeing car that looks like a train offers to take people up and down the street, and more often than not you have to jump out of the way of a delivery guy riding his bike through the masses like a bullet through the flesh.
Then there are the hawkers and the hookers.
Both like to speak under their breath: “rolex, rolex” the first one whispers, “massage, massage” susurrates the other. The girls wink at you if you’re a man, especially if you’re a foreigner.
Today I saw this old western guy walk off with one of the girls. He must have heard the whispering call, I thought. He was well into his fifties, overweight, and had a pair of sunglasses propped up on his bald head. Both of them were walking very fast, and he was looking mighty happy. As he was following the girl into a side alley, deep into the heart of the neon lights, I could read the back of his T-shirt:
“Old dudes rock!” the T-shirt said.
I continued walking down the pedestrian zone.
The image of the old guy kind of stuck in my head for a while, then suddenly I heard a whispering voice next to me: “rolex, rolex” it said, “cheap, cheap.”
I told the man no, and did so in a rather polite way, so we got into a conversation and chatted for a while.
“What’s with all the hookers here, man?” I asked him after we had been talking about his life in the countryside and life in Shanghai in general.
“Hookers?” There was a surprised look on his face: “not really hookers!” he said, waving his hand, then went ahead to explain: “the girls drag dudes like you into shady bars and get them wasted on bad liquor, then…” and he made a knowing look that spelled trouble.
Old dudes rock, I thought.
Poor old dude.
Soundtrack: A.F.I. – “Girls Not Grey”
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