Slightly Surreal Coffee with Gay(?) Porn
Sometimes life in sleepy backwater Palma de Mallorca can be slightly surreal - fortunately! Yesterday was yet another festival; this time it was Sant Antoni, the patron saint of animals, when people take their animals to be blessed by a priest. That would make for some good photos, I thought, and sure enough. The streets were full of dogs and musicians, and it was really fun. But after a couple of hours of walking and waiting I got bored, and besides there were too many people to get a good shot of the actual blessing. So I dove down a mysterious looking side alley and into the first coffee shop, or cafeteria, for a coffee.
Oh joy, there was a Chinese guy behind the counter! I greeted him with my usual "哥們兒，怎麼了“（'Dude, what's up, in Mandarin). Yes it has come to this - after two years in Spain I now automatically address Chinese people in the imperialist crap language Mandarin. He mumbled something. Then I looked closer. That face! It could only be a Cantonese face. Oh the relief! He brightened up no end when I started with the real language, and we had a good old natter.
I asked him to write his name in Chinese characters, but then he suddenly looked wary: "Are you a missionary?" Ha? No! Only to get the whole world to speak Cantonese. Yes I still haven't given up on that one. Anyway, Mister Lau had been here 30 years and had only been back to Guangzhou six times in those years. The only Chinese food available in his (very Palmaese) café was cup noodles. Waaah. (Expression of admiration/surprise/head shaking in Cantonese.) He spoke fluent Spanish, naturally, and quite excitedly told the other customers about my, or should I say our mutual background, in southern China. The two women by the window listened particularly raptly it seemed, amid much cackling. I talked Spanish too, made silly jokes, got cackles - oh! What a laugh we had! I enjoyed myself tremendously.
And: beer is beautiful again:
When I stood packing up my photo equipment, one of the women (not the one in the photo) came up to me, slyly it seemed: "Do you speak English?" Yes of course. "Good! Look, only for you." She showed me her phone, from which blue swirling lights and some kind of thumping music were emanating. Was it a fashion show? I looked closer. A procession of male models(?) Naked. Very toned. Walking around some kind of stage. The music must have been very thumping indeed or I had missed part of the video, because they were all in a state of bobbing, metre-long tumescent protuberance. OKAY, gay porn. I hope! The cackling became deep roars and screams of fishwifey laughter.
Hm. Did I look like a gay man? If not, what could possibly be the reason for showing me this? But surreal, definitely. She must have been 75 or 80. I know age is just a number. Like, 75 is the new 12.
Still, a new Cantonese person has been discovered! The fourth one so far.
TAKE LESSONS PEOPLE. Save the culture. I'm on Skype every day!