Note: If you're new to the site and haven't read the past articles displaying just how psychotically stupid your humble host is, you're really gonna be lost on this one. Before you continue, make sure you check out the Quest for Bulbasaur and Quest for Ivysaur sagas!
Now, as some of you know, I've fallen for a silly little Pokemon creature named Bulbasaur. Our torrid love affair and my resulting obsession has taken me to many far away places on Bulba Quests...I've met some interesting people, seem some pretty fucked up stuff, but until today...I never realized just how much of a global scope this little guy really had.
It all started in NY's famous Little Italy. At least, I'm pretty sure it was Little Italy. There was a pizza place and all the guys were staring at my friend's ass. It seemed pretty Italian.
Matt: You know, the pizza here sucks. And it smells like urine.
Lolita: Yo dead up, I don't know how they're even getting away with calling this 'pizza'.
But it wasn't just the pizza that soured our tastes. We were in perhaps the most ridiculously decorated pizza parlor on the planet. Trust me, this place wasn't making a living off their ambience. Take a look...
How could anyone eat trying to figure out what the poster on the left signified? The only thing plaguing my blood more than tar and tobacco is my guinea heritage, and I'm sure through all the various escapades at Aunt Sadie's house of fun, I would've once heard one of them mention how Italy was famous for their lemons. Fact is, lemons have about as much historical significance to Italy as Screech Powers does for the French Revolution. The poster begs the question: 'do you know the land?' Hell, I thought I did...but now that fucking lemons are the crucial point to my vague historical background, I'm really not so sure.
And what else? Listen, cultural restaurants should have a decor to match. You don't go into a sushi bar and expect Van Halen to blast over the stereo, and you certainly don't go into an Italian restaurant expecting to see a huge homage to Kubrick's The Shining glaring at you from the wall. Aside from the fact that Chinese food would be more fitting in this place than that poster, is it really something you want to look at while you're eating? 'Hey, that's the part where Jack's trying to spill everyone's blood. Pass me the ketchup.' Nuh uh, no way. By this point, we were absolutely disgusted!
Matt: I want another Bulbasaur. But they don't sell Venusaur dolls.
Lolita: You're not looking at the big picture, fool! Remember that time you went to Russia and found that kid who looked exactly like you?
Matt: Yeah, only his name was Mattkeil and he actually thought Tori Spelling was a good actress.
Lolita: The point is: if you, a lowly, filthy idiot could have a double, there's no way Bulbasaur doesn't. And you know what, I bet he's Chinese.
Matt: Shit, you're absolutely right! Let's go to Chinatown!
Lolita was right. Somehow, someway, I was going to find that Chinese Bulbasaur. Even if I had to go deep into the trenches of Chinatown itself, he would be mine. So without further adieu, brace yourselves for a trip into NY's seedy underbelly. A place where the street vendor's fruit is dirty, and where the fresh fish is so fresh it's alive. Oh yes, I was gonna find that Pokemon doll. But I'd have to survive Chinatown first to do it. With that, we present...
Chinatown isn't really China, and it's not really a town. It's a bunch of street blocks where most of the stuff is in another language and where thousands of tourists congregate to get snapshots of the strange, as-of-yet unknown species of people known as the 'Chinese'. Honestly, I don't know where these people are coming from, but they act as though they've never seen Chinese people before. They have all these wonders around them...fresh prawn, weird fruits and vegetables, an endless stream of bootlegged anime stuff, fake jewelry...yet the only thing they can think of doing is pointing at a poor Chinese worker while shouting 'look at him! Look at him!'.
What amazes me the most about this is that Chinese people were the absolute least interesting thing going on in this sea of debauchery. Honestly, if you really look at what's going on in Chinatown with a reflective mindset, you're in for a big time scratch on the head. An example:
They don't sell food in Chinatown. They sell partially mutilated and/or alive animals. See, I always thought the trick with getting people to eat animals was to make them look as unanimal like as possible. I'm not gonna eat a chicken if it's head and tongue are hanging off it.
In that first picture, there's a beheaded animal that I'm at a loss to identify. It looked something like a cross between a pig and a dead baby. Browned to perfection as only Chinatown could do. What do you say when you go into the restaurant? 'Oh..hmm. I think I'll have one of those giant, disgusting carcasses hanging in the window. No, not that one. The one with the flies on it. That's it!'
In the second picture however, the crimes were a little more heinous. Lolita, who's a vegetarian depending on who she's dating or which cause she wants to support on a given month, actually had to run away from this one. Yes, it's a fish market. That's fine. I don't eat fish, but it's a good smell to clear up the old sinuses. But here's something interesting - most of the fish you see plopped on the ice there are alive. Cool huh? So not only do you get the sheer pleasure of watching the poor fish beheaded before your very eyes -- it's completely up to you to decide how long to stand there while the fish gasps for air! Entertainment and nutritional sustinence? Only in Chinatown, my friends.
Lolita and I felt that, since we were in Chinatown, it'd be a good idea to get in touch with our inner Chinese roots. And what better way to do that than to buy the most stereotypical Chinese products we could find?
I turned into Ninja Matt, savior to the oppressed. Lolita turned into Concubine Blossom. When her fan unraveled, someone was gonna get fucked. I love the way the people here price their items. It's really obvious that they make up whatever price they think you'll pay. I'm sure a hundred people ask how much those nunchucks cost every day...yet when I asked the woman, she sized me up for about 45 seconds before coming to the grand conclusion that they cost 'six dollar'. Sorry lady, I'm saving the cash for a certain Pokemon doll with my name on it.
Speaking of that Pokemon doll, where was Chinese Bulbasaur? We couldn't find the fucker anywhere. Oh well, time to consult the Lion of Eastern Intelligence.
Matt: Hey Lion, where's that damn doll at?
Okay, so the lion couldn't talk. That's the last time I listen to my father before going out on one of these trips. Last time it's the old 'you're semi-solid today. Cars can go right through you.' This time it's the old 'Talk to the lion statue. It works!' trick. It's fucking bullshit...and I vowed that if I survived Chinatown, I'd be sure to tell Dad that none of his children ever particularly liked him all that much.
Moving on, we noticed that some of the street vendors were selling some pretty fucked up fruit. Fruit that no one could identify. Fruit that's been sitting out all day getting touched by more hands than Christina Aguilera at a Limp Bizkit party. So of course, we had to buy it.
It was at this point that I finally realized how to get all these people to agree to take a picture - you had to buy something. I must've told at least half of Chinatown to strike a pose, but this fine gentleman was the only one who'd do it. But not before he took our four dollars for his mysterious passion fruit.
The fruit looked kinda like rotten mini-kiwis, only a lot dirtier and with some totally unecessary orange spots on them. One of us had to eat it. And it wasn't going to be me. One double-dog-dare later, and Lolita bit the bullet. Almost literally.
This is the before picture. Notice how Lolita looks kinda happy. That's because she has no idea what she's about to taste. I omitted the after picture from this article because I really don't think anyone wants to see poor Lolita vomiting all over her pretty new bookbag. Fuckin' passion fruit my ass. More like Napalm.
Matt: Excuse me, have you seen Bulbasaur? He's a little Pokemon dude that's a cross between an animal and a plant? Kind of like Chris Reeves nowadays, hardy har har? No? Bulba? Anyone? Bulba?!
No luck. The search continued on into some of the many fine souvenier shops all over Chinatown..
The decision was tough. Giant Chinese pop-rock tapestries...or Buddha statues. Giant Chinese pop-rock tapestries...or Buddha statues? Not since Coke gave you the option of buying New Coke was I at such a loss. Oh fuck it, I'll just pass on the both of them. I've been going for the sparce look in my bedroom anyway since the rabbit pissed on everything. But who said anything about my wardrobe? Hats, baby...hats!
Chinatown is really giving the China a bad rep as far as headgear goes. If I wanted to look like this, I'd just take the shade off my lamp. You should've seen the other hat they had - a sweet little painter's cap with 3' dredlocks perpetually attached to it. Nice.
This store wasn't all posters, statues, and hats though. Yes, this was...the store. Some tears and eight dollars later, my mission...my glorious mission...was complete...
Sometimes at night I feel kinda down. I ask myself what I really have. A website, some toys, and a vast collection of Corey Haim movies. But you know, looking at this, I've come to realize...I lead a charmed life.
Ivysaur: Who the fuck are you?!!
Chinese Bulbasaur: Ah, thousand pardons for the intrusion, sirs. I am Bulbasaur of the Chinese variety, direct imported China bootleg, agreement?
Bulbasaur: Chinese Bulbasaur, huh? You look like a fuggin' mutant frog with a big tumor on it's back. Get out of our way, Diff'rent Strokes is on.
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