A True Story From The Very South Of China

So I'm sitting here topless, like the locals, at an open-air internet bar at close to 2 AM when these 2 guys sit down next to me and say hi. They're nice young guys in their early 20's. I continue reading my emails as they peer over my shoulder attempting to read them too. They start to touch the hair on my upper arms and we all have a little laugh. Next they start to play with the hair on my chest. I keep reading my emails. They, of course, offer me a smoke. I, of course, (and for the ten thousandth time this month) politely refuse. So they offer me a Coke, which I also politely decline. Thus they, once again, offer me a smoke, which I, once again, refuse with a smile. They seem slightly confused as to why anyone would turn down a free smoke. But they're not offended, just a bit bewildered. They talk to me a bit in Chinese. I say "tin butan" ("I don't understand"). They smile and continue to try and read my emails. They can't understand either, so they throw their empty Coke bottles out into the street, say goodnight and go home. I'm still shirtless and relatively hairy. How about you?

Oredakedo (Mike Cowie)
May 24th, 2002 (Bob Day: Bob's Dylan's 61st birthday)