Dear Mom and Dad,

Things are going well here in China.  The food here is especially wonderful and I’ve lost a good deal of weight because it doesn’t tend to stay down for very long.  I’ve been buying my meat from a street vendor down the road, who I think might be a little crazy.  Every time I try to ask him what part of the cow the meat comes from he just smiles and barks like a dog.  Maybe Chinese people just have a weird sense of humor!

I’ve been seeing a girl named Candy that I met at massage parlor in Beijing, and she’s very nice.  She doesn’t speak much English but in the little bit that I do understand she says she’s very excited about going to America, although I don’t know when she plans to visit.  She’s been very tired lately, and sometimes she gets sick in the morning.  I tell her that it might be because of all the strange food she likes to eat at odd times of the night, but I’m not sure she understands because she usually just responds by rubbing her tummy and smiling.  In any case, I hope she feels better before she goes to the States.

China has many inexpensive things to buy, like shoes, jackets, and even passports!  I traded in my boring old passport and bought one that’s much more pleasing to the eye.  It’s orange and blue and has lots of funny little stickers in it instead of the plain ink stamps that they gave me at the airport, and it only cost me 50 dollars!

I don’t know if you know this but opium is actually legal here, and a very nice guy from Australia offered me as much as I wanted if I let him grow his marijuana plants (Which I guess is legal as well) on my balcony.  I often have visits from the local police, who say that there is a tax for living in my neighborhood.  They are very nice but most of the money that you gave me has run out, and they say that if I can’t pay them I will have to move to a neighborhood called Jay La.  I’ve asked some of the locals about this place and they say that it’s very dangerous, but my Australian friend said that he could help me find work carrying backpacks into Laos.  Apparently Laos has a severe shortage of backpacks!

I’m going to a party at Tiananmen Square today for the Dali Lama’s birthday (or maybe it’s something else, but I know it has something to do with the Dali Lama) and they’re going to give out lots of free Tibet!  I’m not sure what that is, but all the foreigners here are very excited about it so it must be very nice.  Apparently the Chinese people don’t like it very much-or at least whenever I bring it up they change the subject. I guess that’s why they’re giving it out for free.

I met an American guy that works for Google yesterday, and he was bent out of shape about something or other.  Apparently he had fallen down a set of stairs, because he was covered in scrapes and bruises, so I took him back to my apartment to clean him up.  The police came by to collect the neighborhood tax when he was there and they seemed happy to see him there.  I left him in my apartment this morning but he wasn’t there when I got back.  Maybe the police helped him with whatever he was having trouble with.

Well I have to go now, Candy’s old boss is here and they seem to be having some sort of argument so I better attend to that.  Can’t wait to see you when I get back!  Hope all is well!

Sincerely,

Christopher

P.S. I got a refund on my return ticket and bought a much cheaper one that connects through Somalia, but I’ve been told it might take a bit longer so I might be arriving a few days late.

Disclaimer:  Don’t worry Mom and Dad, I’ve never met anyone who calls herself Candy, I still have my passport, and I’ve never smoked opium.

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