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Here the curious reader can follow the progress of the forthcoming new two-volume novel "Brent" by Norwegian
author Morten Jorgensen a.k.a. me. Here you will find
links that will give you some background for the books,
problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
for "Brent" may appear, news may break on this blog,
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Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


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Saturday, 17 September 2011

BEIJING DIARY, PART 03: A love affair

Before I arrived, I suspected that I would enjoy Beijing. But this is as close to love at first sight as it possibly can get. I actually feel slightly ridiculous, like a teenager. I simply love this city, irrevocably, enthusiastically, and nothing can change it.

It is not due to the fact that I get bottled Guinness here, it is not because of the yummy beef dish that I ate somewhere in the Ghost Street-area, not even caused by the woman who left her car and crossed the street because she saw that I was lost, it's not one thing or one experience, it's Beijing.

I am of course fully aware of the danger of superficial orientalism, but it's not that. It's love, pure and simple. Walking the streets, meeting the people, the scents, the sounds, the lack of pretentiousness. It's the diversity, the relaxed atmosphere, the friendliness, whatever. It's something. A something that is - it must be - unique.

Today I was planning to get acquainted with Beijing. When out on a research mission, I never use the normal channels that most novelists use. I walk. Until I get it.

So today I got lost, as I tried to get to the city center, but fortunately I came - by chance or by the will of the Gods - back to where I started. Then I went out to eat, and got lost once more, but I was soon found by a great restaurant in the Ghost Street-area, where I ate a delicious beef dish and was served - out of politeness, I guess - a Carlsberg. To finish a good meal, I asked for a glass of brandy (cognac, rather), but got a quart of some medicine-smelling Chinese spirituosa instead, and got unintentionally drunk.

Then I went back to the hotel, intending to go to Mao Live, but when I finally got there, one-ish, it was closed. Through errors I find my goal.

So instead I ended up drinking Guinness and talking Jaco Pastorius, and I got an offer to perform at an extremely low-key place here in Beijing. The rest of the evening is none of your business, but let's put it this way: I am in Beijing on a mission, and I expected to use at least the weekend before I found the help that I need to fulfill that mission. But unless my ability to judge character has degenerated severely on the Aeroflot Airbus that brought me here, I have already all the help that I need.

Hey, I'm all right. And if you didn't look forward with anticipation to BRENT before, you should start doing it now. By the prickling in my thumb, something brilliant's gonna come.
Because this is going to be just great.

Blame it on Beijing, not me.

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