Stickman Readers' Submissions March 12th, 2013

A Special Police Person

Thailand is famous for the Boys in Brown, who are so underpaid, that they need to earn money on sideline activities. But I do not remember ever having seen a Woman in Brown, who pointed her natural weapons at me. Was it just my bad luck, or are they placed out of the market by scantily clad rivals?

In neighbouring countries you find different mores. One late morning I arrived in Hong Kong after a night flight from Frankfurt. Somewhat tired I was sneaking through the Transit section, when an announcement on an airline counter caught my attention. A table said: “Next flight to Amoy in fifty minutes.”

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I asked the attendant: “Do you have still seats free?”

“We have and you can pay me with your credit card.”

“I have no visa for China.”

“No problem. You will get one on arrival.”

That was unheard of. You could get a short term visa at the border crossings form Hong Kong to Shenzhen and from Macao to Zhuhai, but never so deep inside the country.

I calculated: before I passed Immigration and detected a hotel in Hong Kong, I might well be in China proper. Luckily I travel long distances only with hand baggage.

The flight left on time and took no more than an hour. At the airport Immigration I got a one-week visa stamped in my passport without waiting.

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I took a taxi in to town and asked the driver, to recommend a hotel to me.

He suggested the Overseas Chinese Hotel. There the service would be better than in the international tourist hotels and the price much lower.

“Do I look like a Chinese?” I asked skeptical.

“You speak the language. That is enough.”

The hotel was in the center of the city. They gave me a quiet room with a large bed.

Under the roof there was a Sauna / Massage Club, where I chose only the massage part. The masseuses liked to play the Chinese game of “Da feiji” (Literally: shoot down an airplane. But the aim of the game was not to hit a jet, but to make it rise high into the sky.

At the ground floor there was a Chinese restaurant which offered delicious dishes. At a neighbouring table I watched a real business woman, who splashed a full bottle of “Black Label” into the glasses of her three business companions, urging them all the time to drink “Gan bei” (bottoms up.) When the four of them left, they could hardly walk.

It was a warm evening, and I strolled down the main road toward the harbour. The city was full of gaiety. Something special went on in Amoy, but I could not find out what it was. In a minimart I bought a small bottle of local brandy of the Cognac type. Not the clear brain killer of 65 percent, the Chinese sell as “wine”.

Back in my room I swallowed a sleeping pill against the jetlag and downed it with a third of the small bottle of brandy. Then I got into my pyjamas and looked for the coolest place on my pillow.

A loud knock on my door woke me up from half-slumber. It was midnight.

“Open the door!” an authorative voice demanded. I got up und opened cautiously. The next moment I retired into the farthest corner of my room. Since my childhood in Nazi-times I have a phobia against police uniforms.

“What do you want from me?” I stuttered. Probably they had discovered that I stayed at the Overseas Chinese Hotel without being Chinese.

“The question is,” came the answer, “What do you want from me.”

With this the police person took its stiff cap off, removed the jacket and stepped out of the long trousers. Now a beautiful girl in flimsy underwear stood in front of me.

The sleeping pill had already caused a reaction in me that Viagra promises to cure. The brandy supported this phenomenon. Not even Marylin Monroe might have stimulated me.

“Sorry,” I said, “I have no money. Look for yourself.”

I had my wallet on the table. She picked it up and found currency only in the value of a few dollars.

“Goule,” she said. “That is enough.”

I returned to my bed, and she convinced herself, that all my airplanes had already been shot down. She looked a little disappointed, when she dressed again.

When I wanted to leave Amoy on a slow ferry to Hong Kong, an Immigration officer pointed out to me that I had overstayed my visa by one day.

“Impossible”, I retorted. “I arrived last Wednesday at noon. From Wednesday noon to Thursday noon it is one day. From Thursday noon to Friday…”

“Wrong!” he interjected. Wednesday was one day, Thursday was one day, so you are now short one day.”

“Maybe my counting was wrong. Your counting is right. What can I do now?”

“Just enter the boat.”

I mention this to warn my readers not to make the same mistake in counting their visa days. Not all Immigration officers might be as generous as this man.

Only after I had left Amoy, I discovered the reason of the gaiety in that place.

The city was under the rule of the playboy Liang Changxin, who was able to make a present of 150 million US dollars cash to a minister of the central government. This enabled him to lead the greatest smuggling empire of East Asia. Many officials were involved, even the secret service of the Red Army of China.

If you want to learn more about this episode in the history of China, please turn the pages of Oliver August’s book “Inside the Red Mansion – On the trail of China’s most Wanted Man”, available also as e-book at Amazon.

Stickman's thoughts:

Nice adventure! I guess in time stories like this will become legendary as such occurrences become less common.

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