Warnings in May 2007

I know this guy. He’s one of those dudes who’s happy all the time. It’s as if some invisible comedian is constantly whispering in his ear. Tony Soprano would hate him, and he is a bit over the top, but in general the guy is cool to be around. Life is short. Is it not? Why not have a laugh when you can? He owns this little business in some far away land, and it gives him what he needs. On any given evening, he’ll ask a bunch of people why they just can’t be satisfied with the roof overhead, and the food over-plate. What more does anybody need in life? You work and you work, and for what? To pay the doctor to cure your high blood pressure? To buy a bike for the son you hardly ever see? I personally like to work as long as I’m getting money when I’m doing it. I treat it like a profitable hobby, which could be the reason I don’t make as much as some think I should, but that’s another story. I agree with happy dude. Life shouldn’t be so difficult. I disagree at the same time. Growing up in Tony’s neck of the woods, could have something to do with it, but you’ve got to work right? The glasses can’t be too rosy. On to the point. The guy told me a story I think is worth sharing. It’s about a little local bar you might know, and it’s about how its owner once took a gamble. I warn you all to roll the dice every now and then too.

It all started in Yunnan province on what most likely was a cool, sunny day…

Happy Dude was sitting in a cafe in Lijiang, probably blabbing away in typical fashion. He’s in the same business, and judging from the way he frequently travels, he must be good at it. I can imagine him going on about how this little cafe needed this, and should make that. The owners couldn’t have understood much of what was going on, and their son couldn’t have known that the guy was a successful coffee shop owner, but he listened, and was apparently intrigued. The dice were rolled. He approached Happy Dude, and asked him what he should do with his parent’s place. Uncharacteristically, Happy Dude refused. he said that if the curious kid wanted his advice, he would have to pay him 100 kuai an hour. (Here Happy Dude says we shouldn’t work so hard, and here he’s asking this kid to pay him for some coffee talk.) The story goes that the kid didn’t blink an eye, slapped the bill on the table, and asked the hour to begin. It never ended. Happy Dude never took the money. The kid absorbed like a sponge in the Sahara. After an application of Happy’s advice, and an increase in cash, mom and dad’s son moved to Hangzhou on a hunch back in 2000 to open the first backpacker-style cafe in town. We loved it. For years prior, we had talked about how we should open a place that did simple food, and drinks for reasonable prices. This Lijianger did it. Now, though it’s in a different location, and it’s called a bar, it’s still got a lot of vibe. If you look, I’ll be you can find it.