Warnings in October 2006

Some say I’m famous. I’m not even close. I have been in movies, commercials, adverts, and the news. Magazines have interviewed me; Hollywood wanted to hear my story. I have been propositioned to be the host of all sorts of television series. I’m not famous. Google me and you get virtually nothing. Google this magazine, and you get nothing. If I were comfortable with shaving everyday and not cooking up a hangover every night, I might go for it, but I’m not, so I won’t. That’s not to say that I think it’s bad or anything; it’s just not in my cards right now. Most of you have probably had your fair share of tube time as well. It’s not uncommon. If you haven’t been involved with the media already, you probably will be one day. This month, famous or not, I warn you to be careful when dealing with these people. Now I try with all I’ve got to avoid stereotypes. I do hope it comes through in this magazine, but when it comes to taxi drivers, what I’ve got isn’t enough. The horn honking drives me nuts. There are three taxis at the red light. It turns green, and within seconds the two cars behind the first start going at the horn like Jerry Lee Lewis on the piano. Why even waste the paint on the road? Lanes don’t exist. Our taxi drivers suck! Back to the point. It was a gorgeous day a few months ago, and I was in no hurry whatsoever. I had just taken a few reporters from the Observer to this awesome hidden spot they never would have found on their own. Yeah, I keep some stuff out of the magazine. I’m selfish. I was feeling quite proud of myself and was just taking in the surroundings as I waited for a cab. Cab after cab passed me by with no one inside. They were changing shifts. But I wasn’t pissed. A swarm of African killer bees wouldn’t have been able to bother me that day. I turned my head, and before I knew it, a microphone wielding reporter was in my face asking me how I felt about all the empty taxis driving by. Without even realizing, I was going on about how they are people too. They have to eat too. Everyone likes to be home for dinnertime. It’s no big deal. I don’t mind the wait. It gives me time to think. What the hell was I thinking? My great opportunity to bash the taxi drivers, and on a major local news program. I blew it. Not only that, but I actually came to their defense. I really am as stupid as I look. Fortunately, I’m not the stupidest.

Last month a Qiangjiang Evening News reporter interviewed a local real estate broker. The guy went on and on about how close he feels to his customers. He then went on about how he cried when his first American customer left Hangzhou. What a nice guy. So nice that he makes 100,000RMB on good months. So nice that he often gets landlords 1,500RMB over their asking price. Apparently this dude’s customers “don’t care” about these things. What an idiot. He tells everyone how rich he gets from cheating people. My stupid ass can’t think of anything stupider. If I have to rent an apartment, and thankfully I don’t, at least I now know who to stay away from. Talk about shooting yourself in the balls. I’m getting a little rude here. Sorry. When it comes to the media, be smart. Even the blind can find out what’s in the newspapers.

By Tim Hoerle