Nov 17, 2011|
Everyone and their mother (oh yes someone brought their mother; I met her) wanted to go to check out the Shanghai Tang Mongolian Village on top of Central Pier 4. Thank God it rained heavily last Tuesday as that deterred a full horde of 1,200 (heard that was the number who RSVP’d) from ascending the steppes up to artificial grass and pop-up Mongolian tents (which are called gers; yurts are Turkic).
Usually you have to hunt down a waiter with a bottle who pretends not to see you even at an event with free-flow champagne; that night, it was freer flow: servers were plentiful and were imbued with the generous Mongolian spirit of offering drink. I don’t think I ever had a moment where I was allowed an empty glass in hand. And then came the Chinggis Khan Mongolian vodka shots in the VIP ger. We thought there was a faint odor of horse dung in the air, but it was probably just the Lammaites downstairs on their way home that we smelled.
I tinkled as I walked. I don’t mean that I have a weak bladder—I jingled and jangled with old Thai ten-baht coins on my embroidered Hmong jacket and ceremonial apron that I bought at a Hmong village high up in the mountains of Chiang Mai. I didn’t wear the full headdress and baggy pants, but mixed it up with black skinny jeans and boots, with my new Cat-in-the-Hat hat I had just bought in Seoul at Kaori, one of my new favorite hat stores in the Universe.
Some Canadian guy was like: “Your look is so Western.” I was rather bewildered at first, but after more gentle prodding (“WTF do you mean?!?”) apparently he meant “Western” as in “Southwestern,” as in Native American. Go figure. Some imbecile thought I was Peruvian. Whatever. I knew my milkshake brings all the boys to the yurt, and they’re like, it’s better than gers. Damn right it’s better than gers. I can teach you about ethnic fashion, but I have to charge.
The only consent I needed was from Raphael le Masne de Chermont, the ineffably French and classily erudite Executive Chairman of Shanghai Tang. “It’s Miao! I love it!” He said right away with just one glance at my outfit. NOT “Peruvian.” NOT “Western.” Thank you. (N.B.: Hmong and Miao are the same ethnic group; they call themselves Hmong, but are known as Miao in Chinese.) “You’re the best dressed here! I love Miao design!” he remarked again. Raphael le Masne de Chermont knows his Chinese ethnic embroidery. And he knows who’s the best dressed. Merci monsieur! ;-P
The next night I headed out to Asia Expo for Hennessy Artistry. The stage, complete with runway, was really well designed. The bars dished out Hennessy cocktails at an efficient pace. But there were so many children there who probably had school the next day, I doubt they took advantage of the bar—unlike me and an excited Cher, my former manager whilst I was a poor jazz singer.
Local singer-songwriter Aarif came right after Korea’s TIM, who’s the Korean king of R&B balladry right now (I pity anyone who performs right after TIM’s impressive pipes—he’s actually from Philly, and the son of a preacher man, so he’s practically BLACK in terms of vocal prowess). Fortunately, they then did a duet together, with versatile Aarif displaying his natural dexterity on the guitar, and their harmonizing was simply amazeballs.
Who blew everyone away was Jam Hsiao, who won CTV’s One Million Star (think Taiwanese Idol) in 2007. Damn that boy brought the house DOWN with his old-school Elvis-esque and MJ-like mojo. It was cheese, but oh so sexy. JAM IS PURE VOODOO!