Warnings in March 2006

I thought I wouldn’t write about it, but here I am. It’s not about Hangzhou, but it’s about me, and I guess I’m kind of about Hangzhou, so that’s enough. Last month, while you all were eating jiaozi and downing baijiu for the New Year, I took a little journey. Never mind where I went; it’s what I did that’s worth sharing. A couple of months ago, I heard about this fasting program from two different people who had never even met. Both told me about this strange body cleansing course in a strange land. Stuff like this doesn’t happen. There had to be a reason, so I googled it, and one day, when my headache was more than I could bear, with no regard to how big a dent it would put in my already dented bankbook. I was determined to go on the purifying fast. Some people called me insane. It was my first vacation in well over a year and a half, and I was going to spend it not eating. I called it necessary. By the time I finished, I called it absolutely amazing. Why hadn’t I done it earlier? This month, I am warning you all to get out of here every now and then. We’ve seen enough of your ugly face. So show it to somebody else.

Last year, I think I spent nearly all 365 days in Hangzhou. Don’t get me wrong. I live here, it’s my home, and I enjoy it, but a year is a little too much. So I escaped to do this fast. I left the city, the food, the people, the work, the cold, the mobile phone, the booze, the cigarettes, and all of you fools behind. It was just fantastic. People ask me if it was hard to do. I tell them, it was hard to stop. Seven days without chewing on anything, and I was in heaven. Who knew these hippies could do anything, but make bongs and tie dyes? This Woodstock veteran was doing me wonders. I did this seven day fast with a group led by this cool lady who has never left the sixties, and then followed it with another week of eating tree ripened fruit and raw vegetables. I got clean, and damn did I need it. I felt like I was human again. The only bad thing about the trip were the colonic irrigations, a.k.a. sticking a tube up my ass, then filling it it with coffee, green tea, and other things the witch made. By the end (ha!), I was even almost used to them. Almost. Kind of. Well, considering what they did, I should have had the bag bronzed.

I got back home, and people looked at me differently. Maybe I was looking at people differently.  I was ready to tackle the year. Then an old friend mentioned how stupid we are. We don’t get out enough. Shanghai is no New York or anything, but it’s cool for a day, and is only under two hours away. Then you have Hong Kong, and though the trip is a bit longer, you do have the cheap rooms at Chung King Mansions. You got Yellow Mountain, Thousand Island Lake, Wuzhen, and even Meijiawu which are a stone’s throw away if not just around the corner. Go. Living here is alright, but coming back is great.

By Tim Hoerle