Don’t come! They want to kill you
So it turns out we made a couple of friends last night in Xushui. That’s 130 kilometers south of Beijing, a city with 600.000 inhabitants. We didn’t want to stay there. But who can say No to a dance? Well, we couldn’t. Even if we’d wanted.
Vlad, please don’t make such a sensual expression
The boulevard was an alley of gigantic chandeliers. This looks like a ballroom, Vlad said. There was this public place. In front of a mall. Big rotating advertisements illuminating a group of guys who beat huge spinning whirl gigs with big whips. Like they were chasing raucous rats. Behind them a tricycle with a boom box. Couples dancing a sort of a Chinese tango. A soldier standing on the side, watching.
Don’t go better into the night
A man with a big golden ring on each hand pulls my sleeve. Dance, dance! With his other arm he gets a hold of a woman in a black dress and overcoat. 1,2,3 – 1,2,3. She is leading generously. A guy plays trumpet. We waltz over the parking place, the night swirls around us.
Where to sleep?
The music pauses and people group around me. They wave their smartphones. They want to become friends on WeChat. Vlad is calling me on the phone: Come over here and beat the whirl gig! I can’t, I say, I’m in the middle of something.
Have a chance to Xushui, I served you
WeChat! WeChat! Scan QR code. Add friend. Add friend. Add friend. The guy with the golden rings, he made a video of me dancing with Lady Waltz. Vlad joins us. The music sets in again. We swirl. Vlad has a Lady Waltz too now.
Put on more clothes on
She wants to take a photo. Everybody wants to take a photo. Ookaayy! Ookaayy! They put our arms around them. We make some 30 selfies and go.
Where are you two?
It got too late to ride our bicycles to the next village as planned. We search for a hotel. Vlad, I think, this is the red light district. In the lobbies girls in very shot skirts sit and rub their smartphones. Three hotels send us away.
Foreign friends. You sent a big red envelope
One of my new WeChat friends texts me in Chinese. He video-calls me. He is lying on his bed, wearing a bathrobe, licking his lips. Come here, his index finger says.
Still, I’m the police. Let you call her sister
Another hotel owner won’t take us. But this guy, he says, he can take you. This guy is a slim man around 35 years old, dressed all in black, wearing a huge golden ring. Dead drunk. Oh, yes, you my friend, he says. He has very soft hands. This looks a bit shady, Vlad says.
Someone call the police
Lady Waltz sends pictures. „Last night went to the station to send sister dance shoes need them“, she writes.
We get a lot of messages on WeChat now.