Welcome, traveller ...

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,
excerpts may be published.

Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


Please scroll down

Join BRENTBLOG'S Followers (bottom) and/or Subscribe (sidebar and bottom)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


When I left Oslo, I defined nine tasks for the BRENT Research Mission to Beijing, China.
#1: to locate a restaurant that does not exist.

Check. I have even found a brilliant way to make it reasonably invisible.

#2: construct a real world flight route from a certain existing hotel in the city center

Check, although I modified it slightly, including moving the hotel out of the city center, to Sanlitung, adding more texture to that particular chapter in BRENT. The changes are all to the better. I am particularly happy with adding the hutong culture of Beijing into the plot.

#3: find and connect with as many as 10-15 people from a certain sociographic group that will participate as model characters in this sequence.

Check, although it took only one person to help me, and as I did not manage to get in touch with the punks and tradskins of Beijing in beforehand, I had to change the plot. But again to the better. The new story solves a more general problem in both volumes, a problem I have been struggling with for quite some time. It even includes a great punchline.

#4: locate a block or two, preferably not too far from Beijing's "main street", Wanfujing,

Check, although it is located slightly round the corner.

#5: locate an existing, rather posh day-time café, where a lunch is served and a stranger shows up.

Check, although not a café, and the stranger will show up in Brussels. The former change was another improvement. It adds a sense of History to the plot. The beef was delicious, the green tea sensational. I actually bought & brought 1/4 kg of this particular type of tea home to Norway. Yummy!

#6: find a given scientific Chinese institution.

Check. Not only that, I was given a tour of the entomological department of the Chinese Academy of Science, talked with or was introduced to up to ten of China's and Beijing's greatest experts on insects and their very talented assisting students: Jackpot.

#7: locate insects belonging to the familiy Syrphidae in some park

Check. Actually, I have several species to choose from, even if I did not get to see them physically in some park myself. But I saw dragonflies and butterflies, and my good Chinese friend Kun was stung by a wasp when we got into the cab, just as we were leaving the Tienanmen area after wrapping up #2.

#8: I shall stay at one, maybe two luxury 5-star hotels, preferably in a suite

Check. However, I decided for logistical reasons a.k.a. avoidance of stress, to stay in just one hotel while I was in Beijing. But I was given a tour in one 5-star hotel, and ate a grandiose lunch in another.

#9: eat dog
Check, although I was saved from actually eating dog. It is a myth that the Chinese eat dog. No standard Chinese restaurant in Beijing serves dog, although there is supposedly dog being served by Koreans, and there are regions in China where dog is eaten. But the Beijingers love their dogs. And cats. However, I did eat donkey, and I did gag at the table.

In the original planned plot, before arriving in Beijing, Brent was fearing that he would have to eat dog, and, alas, and to his
shagrin, his nightmare comes true at a formal reception dinner, where he's not able to refuse. It would have been absurd to stick to the original plot.
So I can happily state that my mission to Beijing was an indisputable success, but what more is, I got what I
really wanted: A glimpse of how the world will look like in BRENT, when China - and India - are the dominant powers on Earth. I was lucky enough to get friends already from day one, and with their help and their patience with my many questions, I think I also got a pretty good notion of how the modern grass roots Chinese man and woman think, at least in Beijing, something which will most certainly prove invaluable for the entire BRENT project.

All the 9 #above-mentioned tasks are related to events taking place in BRENT Volume 2, but the dominant Chinese global position will be obvious also in Volume 1. I could not really bargain for this insight. I mean, I was staying for just 10 days. It took me four or five trips before I even started to understand the soul of Scotland, just to mention one example. In Finland it felt as if I was on a another planet, despite the regional closeness to Norway.

But, thus, I can now see clearly before me the 4-star Chinese general and the stunning daughter of the future Chinese president, both appearing in Volume 1. Yes, I can even see how she's dressed, what make-up she is wearing.
Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in my Beijing trip on different social media. A special thanks to Otto Malmgren for his invaluable advice on Beijing. I hade very little time for anything but Norwegian Facebook updates while in Beijing. But my observations and analysis of China will be parlayed on my general blog INTERMASHONAL TIMES in the weeks to come.

Read all about the Eagles of Chinese skyscrapers, the Beijing dress code, the Steroid Man from Australia, my drinking challenge, China vs. Greece, pork soup served from the pot deep inside a hutong, why Chinese hipsters don't care a damn about Facebook, a Jaco Pastorius fan playing "La Paloma Ade", Foodstuff Ltd and the Merrilyn Hotel, the Beijing street with ten guitar stores, Eurocentric myths and China's answer, and more.

*"If DVDs can have Extras, I can have pre-Exstras for BRENT." (M. Jorgensen, 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment


This is the Dassault Vehra, a compact small spacecraft of great versalitity and flexibility. An impressive machine, indeed.