Hello Stranger (Part 2): Beijing, China

Meeting random people on the road is an easy thing to do, but getting a more intimate connection is a social skill I can only possess under the influence of alcohol. I guess that’s what they call “FUH-LIRTING!”

“Hi are you blind?”
“No!”
“can you see me?”
“Yes!”
“… how about tonight?”

NOT GONNA WORK!!!

It was around 7 degrees outside and the biting cold air made this lonely wanderer’s heart long for some warm snuggling, this hard and stiff-frozen HAND is in dire need of some thawing. Inside a backpackers’ pub, travelers found refuge as some reading their books, some chit-chating over a bottle of Jack, while I found my own hoopla just looking around, hoping to see another solitary traveler who doesn’t have a big palm that might land flat on my face after an unsuccessful pick-up line.

In these kind of places, you would see a lot of good looking poeple, but they may be too pretty that you would suspect they may have a colony of mutated chlamydia thriving somewhere under their (ahem) rainbows.

Not that I’m choosy, I’m no Colin Farrell but I know my market and I’m definitely not hooking up with someone that closely resembles an angry oyster!

Rubbing my bottle of Tsingtao beer… whispering to the genie inside to do his magic. But even before I spot a prey, someone sat beside me.

“Can I share your table?”
“You can share my bed”
“I beg your pardon?”
“BEER! you can share my beer!”
“oh, thank you! So you’re from…?”
“Philippines! And don’t ask if we still live in stilt houses. I live in an apartment thank you very much!”
“You’re funny!
“You’re cute!”
“I’m from Ohio”
“Wow! small world! I have a friend from Ohio!” (I don’t. This is in a desperate effort to keep the momentum rolling)
“Really? Where?”
“…errr… Ohio-no-po-lis (???, Holy crap)”
“Just shut up, you’re f***kin’ drunk”
“You think so too? I think I’m too drunk to walk to my hostel, I may need to stay in someone else’s room tonight”
“Nice try. You’re staying on the third floor, not far away from where you’re sitting now”
“AHA! You’re checking me out! Stalker!”
“Hahahahaha! No F**king way! You’re not serious, are you?”

Halfway between laughing and kissing my beer bottle, I malignly whispered in a sinister falsetto, “someone’s getting laid tonight! someone’s getting laid tonight!

I woke up the next morning (not) wearing the same clothes I was wearing in the last 24 hours. I knew right at that moment that the night was a Billy Ray Cyrus–a one hit wonder! But it’s ok, becuase I just sang a one hell of an “achy breaky heart” that even Miley would not dare singing!

As expected it was an awkward morning. So I gave my number and contact details… But I got disappointed by the fact that I did not hear a single word nor a non verbal response. I left the room getting just one inconsequential glance, like those of what strangers would give. For some reason it felt bad. I know it was silly to feel attached, because I knew I was playing with fire, but still I was not prepared when I got burnt.

It felt awful because I was half expecting that that night will lead to something else. Not a relationship but at least some casual connection. Silly me.

I left the city that same day, not looking back, just shrugging it off and headed to the next one. That’s another day and city in a travelers’ book. I arrived in Shanghai and the first thing I did was opening my corporate email, to catch-up with work back home.

I noticed a new message from an unknown email address, I clicked open and what popped out was something I wasn’t prepared for…

Hey Ron, I’m in Shanghai too, Tsingtao on me! see you at the Bund… 7 tonight!

I gasped and blurted audibly… “No F**king way! You’re not serious, are you?

I malignly whispered in a sinister falsetto…