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Krasner in Shanghai; take three

*****I am showcased on the PHOTOGRAPHY OF CHINA web site which is written and curated by Art Historian Marine Cabos*****

SELECTED PHOTOGRAPHS from the PAST MONTH IN CHINA are posted at this link: HERE.

 

RECENT POSTS:

Krasner in Shanghai: take one
Krasner in Shanghai; take two (Part 1, A Trip to the Country)
Krasner in Shanghai; take four (Part 3, A Trip to the Country)
Krasner in Shanghai; take five (Part 4, A Trip to the Country)

 

FORWARD
To follow my plight below, may I suggest you start with part one of “A Trip to the Country” before you continue….

“A Trip to the Country Part 2 of 5”

We left off in the middle of my kidnapping somewhere out in the Provinces of China……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY TWO

Wednesday

 

O.K., this is VERY confusing, I mean EXTREMELY confusing, and I’m feeling really uncomfortable….but I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

So Eddy, who I am also confused by the relationship to why my friends Susan and Peter know him, but that is entirely my fault for not paying attention to when they told me……I think Eddy is a waiter at the Chinese Restaurant they go to who they only see WHEN they go there, in Virginia….so I have a funny feeling, they know him probably a little bit more than I know my friend at my Chinese restaurant….but that is hardly the problem at the moment.

When I met Eddy at the train station to buy the tickets, of which, as you know, I bought ALL the tickets, he kept stressing to me, that I should NOT WORRY…and that I WAS NOT GOING TO BE KIDNAPPED!!!! And that everything was SAFE!!!!!…..You know, just like when the cops put a wire on a pedestrian in the movies and they get freaked out and say to the man they are trying to capture….and WHY DID YOU KILL THE MAN WHO SOLD YOU THE COCAINE?????!?!?!?!?!?

So….I was thinking…I don’t know these men, and really, how well do Susan and Peter know this man…and now there are two involved, and Eddy, no matter how many times I ask him WHO this man is, or WHO he is related to or WHY is he coming, he just keeps referring to him as “the Agent”. O.K., so Eddy tells me that I have to bring everything I need, like my own soap, towel, shampoo…and that this place WAS NOT the Swatch Hotel, and it was VERY RUSTIC. All right…so I brought everything, toilet paper, everything, and food for 8 hours for the train. We get there (where ever THAT is, he never told me) at 5 p.m. and walk outside. It looks like a train station in South East Asia, maybe India…and I asked how long we would have to wait, and Eddy said about 30 minutes…so I’m thinking…huh…it’s probably going to be a beaten up cab, or some really old decrepit car…, so while preparing myself for the worst, a SPANKING BLOODY BLACK BRAND NEW AUDI pulls up, and Eddy says, “This is our driver Mr. Wu.” Our driver????!?!?!!?!? What the hell……so I smile and they make me sit in the front…which I figured was because they were doing business in the back, and I was thinking, that Eddy would now turn from this sweet understated not very talkative person, to this nasty clever disreputable business man, and “the Driver” started speeding down the road about 100 miles an hour, and the road…well, you can imagine and we’re in the middle of no where, and I started thinking about this Chinese film I got out of my moms library about this girl whose father sold her to these men as a slave/breeder and they locked her in a room….the whole thing was totally depressing….and I kept thinking, what the hell did they want from me…which was also depressing me, because I thought, well, I’m too old to sell as a sex slave, I can’t really cook and clean too well, and if they WERE planning on kidnapping me…well….I can’t think of anyone who would really care enough to actually DO SOMETHING about it except my 81 year old mother….AND….we don’t really have much money to give them, AND the government doesn’t care AT ALL about me because I’m not important and then just thinking about THAT started depressing me even more….and then I thought…well, I could give them my cameras, my laptop and my passport, but then they would probably have to kill me because if they didn’t I’d go back to Shanghai and turn them all in…after, I was thinking…having to walk all the bloody way back to the train station from where ever it is they are taking me, wheeling this heavy Chinese wheelie cart thing I bought to schlep my camera around in…….so, all of this was going through my head, and then I thought, what the hell, am “I” going to have to pay for this crazy expensive chauffeur ride AND the agent, AND the tickets AND probably give money to who ever is putting us up in this shack with the latrine outside…and having to get to the latrine in the middle of the night…OHMYGOD, it was just too awful.

So the scenery becomes so much nicer than I have seen almost anywhere in China…but of course it took 8 hours to get to it, and now I’m going to have all my stuff taken from me and then they’re going to kill me…but maybe that doesn’t really matter…I mean, I thought to myself, would it actually REALLY matter if they killed me, and I decided it wouldn’t though I thought I’d probably prefer to remain alive because it’s probably going to hurt a lot…so I started to think about how they would kill me…and then I decided to stop thinking about THAT.

So we turn off the main road onto a private fancy cement, recently poured VERY long driveway through cast iron gates, secluded in the woods and I see a KID, and I see a WOMEN and I think, MAYBE they will not kill me…but still, maybe they will. So we get out and this handsome man comes over and he takes us to a restaurant for dinner and there are about 12 people there and there is a ton of food, and I’m thinking, why in the world are they feeding me if they are going to kill me.

                     Me and my captors. I have no idea who these people are or where I am after traveling 8 hours.

 

Now, here is why this all got, and still is completely confusing. The good looking man is apparently Eddy’s friend, but I don’t think he’s seen him for 40 years and I have no idea how he knows him, because I tried to get him to explain this, but he just didn’t want to be bothered or he doesn’t know…it’s all a mystery…and I really do not understand why, because it just can’t be all that interesting. He told me on the train that during the Cultural Revolution he was sent out this direction to plant rice, his sister sent North and his brother as well; his brother died of starvation along with 40 – 70 million others…their parents stayed in Shanghai. So I asked him, if THIS is where he was and is THAT how he knows ‘his friend’, but he said something like, it was somewhere around here but not here but he wouldn’t tell me how he knows ‘his friend’ he just wouldn’t. I asked him once, to give me the name of ‘the Agent’, the name of ‘the Driver’ and he calls his friend ‘the Boss’ and whenever I ask him anyone’s name he says it’s Wu….so he’s told me that everyone’s name is Wu, but he only refers to them as the Agent, the Driver and the Boss….and I am pretty convinced he doesn’t know any of these people…I think he knew the Boss vaguely,  years ago…which would have made the Boss, like 6. But nevertheless…I was put in a room with a huge king sized bed and flat screen TV and the bathroom is fine…not great but it is fine…..and the place is HUGE and I have no idea who actually lives here…and after dinner, the Boss took us all around the property to show us a house that he had transported here from another province, all in pieces, every single bit of it, and he’s having the entire thing rebuilt on his property…so I asked Eddy if the Boss had a blueprint, and how exactly was this 19th century building going to be recreated, but Eddy would not bother finding out, so at that point, I realized I unfortunately would never find out anything about the Boss…who then walked us, to what clearly looked like an Olympic sized pool he was building (the next morning I noticed another one next to the house we’re straying in)…..with a building next to it, for ‘changing’ that looked quite fancy…we’re going to see it tomorrow morning…..at which point I realized that I DID NOT bring the right clothes, and I DID NOT bring the right shoes and I CLEARLY DID NOT BRING the right gift, 5 boxes of various sweets in pretty bright colored boxes. AND…..Eddy told me he DID NOT drink, which is complete and utter garbage, AND, I was NOT going to be murdered.

 

                                                    Eddie and “The Boss” in the dining room at dinner

 

Today we were chauffeured all around the area and taken to Wu Yuan, I think…it’s all unclear as no one speaks English and Eddy will not tell me anything anyone is saying. I am starting to think, that the Boss is paying them to take us around all day while he works and then sees us for dinner…that would make the most sense.

                             Wu Yuan, I think

 

 

 

 

 

I finally cornered Eddy this morning and forced…I mean I literally had to force him to listen to me……I just said, ‘STOP…you NEED TO TELL ME…..” Well…he didn’t, but I think I’ve pieced it together correctly, that the Boss is paying them. The only thing Eddy said to me all day was, “Guess how much this Audi costs!”…I said I didn’t know. He told me it was $160,000. I said, “I don’t believe that.” He said it costs that much because it’s imported. I said, “I still don’t believe that.” Clearly, no Chinese man would EVER marry me. Oh…Eddy also told me, that when the Boss finishes the Antique house and pool and changing quarters he’s going to open up a club.

One of the three Olympic pools on the estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sign pointing to ‘the Club’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of 5 massive sheds containing the entire antique house that was relocated to the estate

 

His son is in college in Austria…..I know……AUSTRIA. That’s so weird…wasn’t that where Audrey Hepburn went to finishing school? So before I went to bed and left all the men, I asked Eddy if he would ask the Boss if his son would return here and take over his business…(of making the ribbons you wear around your neck that have slogans and company’s names on them, which you put your card or keys connected to at the end. We went to the factory today…just like in the Chinese factory T.V. documentaries…Anyway…I said this to be polite, to have a tiny conversation before I went to bed but Eddy says to me, “He already told me his son can do what he wants.” Well…I thought this time I’d better insist… “Eddy, can you please repeat what I just told you to your friend.” So Eddy says something to the Boss and the Boss leans back in his chair and thoughtfully answers my question with meaning and with consideration and says a lot of stuff. When he was done, Eddy looks at me and says, “He said that his son can do whatever he wants.” Don’t get me wrong…Eddy and I are getting along fine…it’s just that I have now spent 2 days with him not telling me anything that is going on or speaking to me at all, as though this particular fact does not matter in the least to him….and…when I ask him to translate one bloody thing, he just won’t do it.  I’m sure Eddy means well, and he’s trying the best that he can, and this is REALLY such a much more interesting experience than anything in the world I could possibly do on my own, and to bring me on this excursion with him when he doesn’t know me AT ALL….and I’m not sure even knows these people we’re with, or Susan and Peter for that matter…so really, I just have to try and behave myself. The huge king sized bed I sleep on has a bamboo mat on top of it…that is what I sleep on. It’s probably better for my back than a soft mattress, but still…. Good night.

 

“the Boss”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Bosses Dog”  being walked in his coal mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED next wednesday…………

2 thoughts on “Krasner in Shanghai; take three

  1. Margaret says:

    I had much the same experience in Japan only I was PAYING the interpreter and she was having her own obviously interesting conversations. It was only when I threatened to sack her that she smartened up and started telling me what they were saying. Sadly that won’t work with Eddie….

    • admin says:

      My friends who connected me to Eddy in Virginia, told me while I was on this trip, that they watched a Chinese movie about a Westerner in China selling his own house, and even THEN they wouldn’t tell him what was going on AND spoke English. My friends said it was because the Chinese don’t like to show ‘difference’. My conclusion is that is was a combination of things but the outcome, was that I was never told anything no matter how many different approaches I took ;-)

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