Well, not too much more news to report on now. Yesterday (Oct 1) was the much-heralded 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. They had this gigantic ass-rimming, motherfucking parade on Tiananmen Square that I saw on TV. Too bad every foreigner was banned from getting within a mile and a half of the square. Then at night, I went for the first (and hopefully only time)(Ed- unfortunately, I've since wasted a couple of more nights at Beijing discos) to a club in Beijing, which all seem to be aimed at extracting money from the foreigners. It was like this $6 cover to get in but it was unlimited free drinks. So I spent it hanging out in the back corner with my hoodlum from London friend, Faisel, packing down the Heinekens, talking about The Roots, and tsk-tsk-ing the hoes from UC, who spent the night drunkenly rubbing their groins together.

We have a week long break this coming week and I'm going to finally get out of Beijing. I'm heading off on Monday to Tai Shan, which is considered by the Buddhists as the holiest mountain in all of China. It's an 8 hour or so train ride from here; unfortunately, the train leaves at about 9 PM and gets in at about 4:30 in the morning. Other than that, for some random reason they doubled our stipend recently. Whereas before I was living on a diet of bowls of noodles and pork dumplings, now I'm ravishing myself with Beijing duck and Korean food every other night and hitting up the wacky pirated CD scene. Madonna's "Ray of Light" at $1.50 - yoink! Unfortunately, Madonna's the most underground US artist you'll find around, except for perhaps Yanni. That's about it. I'll keep you posted.