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Photos from China: Don’t drink and shop!

I didn’t, actually, not at the same time, so that advice is misplaced.

I spent yesterday with my amazing co-worker Sosena: she was born and grew up in Ethiopia, went to university in St Petersburg and Odessa (BSc in Statistics!), visits her family in France regularly, and came here from living in Queens, New York.  Sosena’s in her second year of teaching, so she knows of sights my other friends don’t yet.

Zhongshan is called China’s “Garden City”, and it really is. The parks are gorgeous — plants, architecture, and art! — and well-maintained.  And as people earn more and open up to “the West”, more expensive, fusion shops are opening.

Sosena took me took me up Zhongshan’s “most beautiful street” to a mall called Holiday Plaza, where the subtle Christmas decorations are up, and there are lots of beautiful, very expensive shops to look at. I got presents from an incredible bookstore to send home, and scented sachets to keep the mustiness (and maybe insects) out of my wardrobe.

And then, in the evening, my much younger co-workers asked me out for a drink, which turned into drinks plural, which turned into a cab ride, which turned into meat sweats at the “night market,” where one can eat lamb which has been slaughtered and butchered minutes before eating it, while losing at poker. (That all happened the night before last, to a friend.)  Viewers of my Fringe play Allergy will remember that my endo has resulted in me not being able to have alcohol — I simply can’t have any without feeling immediately ill.  It had been about four years since my last drink, and last night among my friends, I decided to throw caution to the wind.  I had one glass of excellent Shiraz, was instantly drunk, and — despite drinking water between sips and eating all the meat — had the nausea and headache within an hour. Time to admit there’s just some things I can’t have anymore.

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Yes, This Woman too.

Following on from my post yesterday:

The incident in Isla Vista happened in part because a gun was allowed to get into the hands of someone who should NOT have been permitted to own, or keep, a gun. In that instance, and others before, another direct cause was misogyny.

I don’t need to draw anyone’s attention to the #YesAllWomen discussion that happened next.

This is a statistic that gets heard – and derided – a lot: “1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime”.

25 per cent. One quarter. At least one out of every eight people on planet Earth.

I haven’t said anything about what happened to this woman. Me.

In my entire life, I have only told two people about it – two friends, in junior high, neither of whom I’ve spoken to in years. No one in my family, none of my closest friends now, even know.

For me, me, the internet is not the place to do it. I think I’m okay with saying it now, in the right place, which will be in the one-woman show I started last year.

For now, I will say, believe it: one in four women. This one woman is telling you it’s true.