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Pee Pee massage.

They get all excited at the thought. Going to a health club with the big daiye, is always an experience.

Pee pee massage. You hear the young women whisper to each other as you walk down the hall. It's not common that they see an American, in fact, during this trip (November 2002), and, even during my last, back in July 2002, damn I'm coming here a lot lately, Americans were the last thing you would see in Beijing. Or Dengfeng. Or Shaolin. In fact, the only Americans I saw in China during my entire last stay here, were two that went to Decheng's school, on my " facilitating". No, you don't see Americans in Asia. I stick out, horribly so. Being six foot three, two hundred and fifteen pounds, and, bald, well, makes it all much worse.

Pee pee massage. I was shuffling in these tiny little slippers, made for tiny little Chinese feet, as I wore these tiny little cotton pajamas. Funky little designs on these pajamas, damn, I'm glad no one had a camera to record this. Going to a health club in Beijing, like, well, the discos, and the karaoke bars, and, well, lots of places, is quite the experience. And, like everything else in China, it's not what it appears to be. This place was right across the street from the four star hotel uncle got me in. Uncle, or, the daiye, as I refer to him because of all of his high level government connections (daiye means brother or uncle; in Chinese slang, it has mafia connotations. They like to refer to me as the "big daiye". It amuses them), got me a suite, at less than the usual standard room price. You learn something in China. Once you get to know people, and they like you, you get taken care of. I'm usually well taken care of here, which is one reason why I like coming. The health club, well, that's another story. It's based in the basement of yet another huge nondescript Beijing building. But, what's fascinating, is the huge culture of people that you find scattered througout the various rooms and hallways; older, and fat, Chinese male visitors, young healthy "assistant" males, that try to help you shower, bathe, dry off, and dress (Hey, fuck off. Do you understand fuck off?), and, a multitude of young, sometimes really beautiful Chinese women, placed strategically, here and there, in various states of dress and undress. Wow. Where they find these women, I'll never know. You just don't see them walking the streets of Beijing. Now I figured it out. There are no beautiful women on the streets of Beijing. They're all sequestered away in health club basements under these huge buildings.

Pee pee massage. I could barely hear the girl moan it to her friend as she walked in front of me. I didn't have the slightest idea what the fuck she was talking about. But, I found the admiring eyes of all these young women, and their lightning quick smiles, fascinating. Smiles in Beijing are interesting, as are the typical Chinese interaction with Americans. Or, at least, with me. I could walk along a street in Beijing, or, in one of the fewer and fewer hutongs, amidst large crowds, and find that these people, fiind me, well, curious. They'll sneak a peak at me when I'm not looking, and, if I turn quickly to capture their glance, sometimes, they'll just stare in horror. Or, amazement. But, a slight smile, which is about all that I am capable of at this old and tender jaded age, just brings absolute delight to the Chinese stranger's face. They truly are warm people, you just have to let them know that you're not the monster you appear to be.

The visit to the health club starts at the entranceway, where you take your shoes off, and don these tiny little plastic slippers. You're escorted down this hallway and that, through this room, down these stairs, and down, yet more stairs. How deep they dug this damn basement I'll never know, but, it seems, like the deeper I go, the better looking the women get. I started thinking of Dante's various levels of his inferno, which brought a slight snicker to my face. Yes, at this rate, bring me down to the bottom of hell itself. She's gonna be gorgeous. But, it was not to be, for we had to stop at the changing room.

Pee-pee massage. The young men, all half my size, that wanted to help me undress were damn lucky they weren't whispering that. Three of them stood by, wanting to help me remove my shirt. Well, that may be their culture, but it wasn't mine. I made it clear to them, the last person that routinely dressed me was my mom, and that was many, oh so damn many, years ago. I certainly didn't need any help now. Once undressed, it was in to the showers, which were adorned with images of young, and very unclothed, western women. I found that curious, the whole fascination with western women. After all the time I've spent here, with Asian women, I've noticed quite a few differences between the two breeds. As I showered, in this little cubicle of a shower stall, with no door to speak of, and, with quite an ever increasing gang of young male employees, and a few older clients gathering to watch, I thought of the many Asian women I've spent time with, and, their attitudes that they had towards their men. I thought of the hundreds of western women I've known, and the attitudes that they've had towards their men. As the gang of Chinese grew, watching me shower, I just had to laugh. This whole concept of adoring western women was just so misguided. Poor bastards. The idea of what a typical Las Vegas girl would do to one of these guy's minds, was just hysterical to me. I was going to have to educate them about western women one day.

The sauna was rather nice, except for the fact that Chinese men don't seem to care much about self or nakedness, nor, do they really seem all that concerned about sitting wide legged, with their little packages hanging out, on an untoweled wooden seat. Well, I didn't have much trouble with that, but, my sense of nakedness was not going to go that far. Wrapped up in a towel, I sat and sweated, listening to this old guy occasionally suck up his lungs and hurl huge lugies onto the wooden clad floor. I thought, that I must try to remember, with my horrible memory, where each and every one of those little slippery land mines were, before I left the sauna room. After a few minutes, and after a few well placed lugies, I left, careful to navigate across the dangerous zone.

Another shower, another audience, another viewing, and then it was time to don the small pajamas. Without my permission, and without much notice, I was surrounded by a few young men who, each armed with a towel, proceeded to dry me off. It was quite the shocker to me, until I noticed that yet another small gang had been drying uncle off. I guarded the parts I wanted to keep wet, and next, it was time to don the stylish pj's. But, first, came the paper underwear.

That was fun. Paper underwear. Kind of reminded me of the surgical hats we wore in the OR. But, these had little holes for your legs to go into. I tried, it ripped, and ripped, and ripped. I quickly jumped into the pj pants, donned the shirt, and cruised out of there, before a new gang of young men tried to dress me in unripped underwear. I followed some young girl, who whispered to yet another on the way down to new depths, "pee pee massage". Apparently the fun was about to being. Dante didn't have it this good.

There are many options, in these health clubs. You can rent a room, for about ten dollars an hour, which includes a bed, a television, a shower, a sauna, and a girl. Not a bad place to stay if you don't mind being way the fuck under a huge building with no windows. You can get foot massage, Chinese massage, and Thai massage. Time limits vary, from thirty minutes, to, I guess, a few weeks. I made a mental note of planning to move into this place, upon my return to Shaolin next year. Gong fu? What's gong fu? Screw that stuff. I've found my new passion. This basement living could be fun.

Uncle and I decided to get the Thai massage, which, as I was to discover later, had nothing to do with a real, traditional Thai massage. As I was walking down this hallway, before entering my private room, with this rather short bed on the floor, of the many little Chinese girls who smiled at me, one stood out. She was cute. Lovely little smile, great little walk, appeared to have one hell of a little personality, lovely soft and shiny vibrant hair. And, she had breasts. In the land of the eternal A cup, she was a trophy. I grabbed her, gave her a little hug, and motioned with my massaging hands, as I pointed at my back. "I want you", I said, not sure if I was pulling a major bozo no no in this little counterculture world. She smiled back, "OK. Pee pee massage." God, these girls think of nothing but. Whatever the hell it was...