June 5, 2007
The 100th Hot Flash!

Indeed — with today’s Hot Flash, the official number of Hot Flashes finally comes to 100. For those of you who’ve been wondering what happened to me these past couple of weeks, I was away on a short trip overseas to Shanghai, China, which will likely be the focus of several Scary-Crayon features in the coming weeks. Today’s comic provides a sampling of my adventures on Nanjing Road, which I read was the definitive place to visit for shopping in Shanghai. I had no idea how far “shopping” went, however, as — in addition to the numerous people trying to sell me bootleg Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton handbags, Nike sneakers, and pirated DVDs — I was approached by roughly fifty people (you read that right, 5-0) trying to entice me into hidden massage parlors/brothels. I have the surprised “wtf” thought here because that was my reaction to the first encounter (and all such subsequent encounters, really, but still), but the “little hole” dude was actually the very last guy I met on Nanjing Road. In fact, when I angrily informed him that I was in the process of trying to hail a cab and get the hell away from that street, he showed me the proper place to stand in order to attract their attention and wished me a good night. Weird.

Anyway, the sex merchants all followed more or less the same script: first they’d offer a massage and, failing that, they’d proceed to push sex. They didn’t lower their voices or imply that their offer was anything but on the up-and-up in the least. When I met the “little hole” man, I was standing on a street corner with a pedestrian woman standing directly to my left (the merchant was on the right), and I looked right over at her when he said it and jerked a thumb in his direction as if to say, “Can you believe this dude?!” Seeing as how she just kind of smiled and nodded, I don’t think she understood him at all, which could be why the brothel spokespeople don’t feel the need to whisper when soliciting foreigners. You can say whatever you want when nobody understands what you’re saying!

What was even more amazing than the frankness and sheer number of the people who approached me, though, was their persistence. Sharpie Wes and the brothel merchant look pretty stationary because I’m lazy with the comics, but keep in mind that we were moving the entire time — these people would pretty much run up to me and walk with me until I finally convinced them that I had no interest in entering their hidden dens of corruption through my consistent and repeated refusals. But should it really have been so difficult for them to believe that a person would be uninterested in having sex with some random woman in a hidden location in a country where said person can’t even order a soda at McDonald’s because he can’t freaking read the menu?

I mean, all of the merchants seemed to be under the impression that foreigners will buy anything if the price is low enough, whether they want it or not (and admittedly I did buy several things I did not want while on Nanjing Road, though less because of the low prices than because in some cases buying something seemed like the only way to get people to LEAVE ME THE BLOODY HELL ALONE), but buying sex just isn’t the same buying as a bootleg Spider-Man 3 DVD. And while I can’t imagine ever buying sex ever, let alone under the circumstances of Nanjing Road, I suppose that they wouldn’t have been so bloody persistent and attacked in such hordes if all travelers were as unreceptive as myself. That thought both frightens and disgusts me.

Anyway, all for now — see you next time. 🙂

P.S. Is there anything about the trip that you’d be particularly interested in reading about in article format? Perhaps a more thorough discussion of my day on Nanjing Road? A roundup of all of the toys that I was able to procure? Or something else? Do let us know.

-posted by Wes | 10:58 am | Comments (12)
  • An Eskimo says:

    Toys. That’s most likely what most people want.

  • I agree. Toys.

    At any rate… wow. That’s… quite a story there, Wes. Ummm… ya. I guess the world really is a big place. Heh… I have to wonder if those people ever approach a man who’s very obviously with his wife and/or kids…

  • I’d like to hear about it all — your hotel, flight, the things you saw on walks, etc.

    I got the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset soundtrack CD from the library today. I haven’t listened to it yet, but, it’s got the song “Come Here” from the record shop scene that I adore.

  • Matto says:

    Wow, Wes… that was…wow. Go with toys, China is the land of bottlegging; who knows what kind of weird crap that bottleg over there?

  • RADIX says:

    Sweet merciful crap.

    And to think I thought China’s bootlegging ring was one of the best places to find fascinating-yet-shitty replicas of actual products. I now stand corrected.

    …”little hole”?…

  • Hey, haven’t been to this site in awhile, But I just went through and read everything I’ve missed

    WOW! You went to Shanghai?!


    Seriously, that’s like the coolest thing I’ve ever read about you doing!

    Frankly, the only thing I’m interested in hearing about your trip to Shanghai is EVERYTHING!

    But, I do have a few specific questions…

    – Did you only go to the seedy parts of Shanghai, or did you check out the more upscale areas?

    -If you did, is Shanghai anywhere near as glamourous as it looks in movies? (Shanghai is suppossed to be China’s answer to Paris or Milan in the glamour department.)

    -Did you eat any interesting food there? (I heard strangely enough pie-crust had become a trendy ingredient there, but that info is about 8 years old)

    -Any chance of an aricle chronicling all of the weird crap you bought there?

    The most interesting thing happening to me lately is that I wrote some subpar fanfiction (feel free to check it out though).

    That’s nothing compared to your trip to Shanghai, but I do have a story involving Odd, roaming the halls in a Dr. Frank N. Furter costume, trying to find out if Jeremie and Yumi had been screwing behind Ulrich and Aelita’s backs. That’s gotta count for something, right?

    Back on topic: Please, don’t leave us in the dark about your journey’s in the “Middle Country”. “Wes’ Shanghai Adventure’s” is a tale I must read!


  • Wes says:

    Welllllll the trip wasn’t all that amazing (especially since I spent roughly a third of it vomiting and crapping my intestines out), but more about that later. Hoping to have the toy piece up sometime tonight (emphasis on hoping) — then we’ll see about a more thorough piece regarding my Shanghai experience.

  • keldTerlada says:

    You don’t really need or want that lifestyle, it might hurt y’all slowly more…….Just tell him you
    don’t wanna repeat something your not too proud of z7uas.

  • Interesting massage post-sounds like your trip was full of adventure!

  • Etiketer says:

    Thanks! Really interesting. I wish i could spend my time on writing articles…just have no time for it.

  • DeeflyflumP says:

    There was this guy see.
    He wasn’t very bright and he reached his adult life without ever having learned “the facts”.
    Somehow, it gets to be his wedding day.
    While he is walking down the isle, his father tugs his sleeve and says,

    “Son, when you get to the hotel room…Call me”

    Hours later he gets to the hotel room with his beautiful blushing bride and he calls his father,

    “Dad, we are the hotel, what do I do?”

    “O.K. Son, listen up, take off your clothes and get in the bed, then she should take off her clothes and get in the bed, if not help her. Then either way, ah, call me”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad we took off our clothes and we are in the bed, what do I do?”

    O.K. Son, listen up. Move real close to her and she should move real close to you, and then… Ah, call me.”

    A few moments later…


    “O.K. Son, Listen up, this is the most important part. Stick the long part of your body into the place where she goes to the bathroom.”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad, I’ve got my foot in the toilet, what do I do?”

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