John reminds me that it is almost 14 years to the day since Tiananmen Square, which just reminds me that it was 14 years ago that I was living here, in predictably unrequited love with Mary, a waitress at Stavros’ Irish Bar (see also) and one in a long line of bargirls who spurned me, drinking in life in massive great draughts, careless and happy and free and burning away brain cells at dizzying speed. I remember when one of the gorgeous French girls who worked in the time-share office at the hotel (whose front desk I was managing and software I was geeking) told me about Tiananmen and showed me the newspaper, I remember it like it was yesterday. I also remember that she was inexplicably and vocally impressed with the girth and sturdiness of my treetrunk-like thighs, although I can’t for the life of me remember her name. Guess I didn’t kill all the braincells, just the ones that counted.
That was one of my favorite places in a lifetime of favorite places :


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  1. I was nine, watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a Saturday morning when Tom Brokaw broke in and told us to get our parents because something bad was happening in a faraway place called China. Doesn’t have nearly the ring of your story, nor the attraction of the Greek isles, but I’ll never forget it nonetheless.

  2. Mykonos looks absolutely stunning. I can’t remember the exact moment of hearing the news about Tiananmen Square, but I remember writing a poem about it, which I later burned without showing to anybody because of another poem I had read, by Jon Stallworthy I think. It was stupid because I didn’t even like his poem much.
    I remember particularly the footage of that guy standing in front of the line of tanks and stopping them from rolling on into the square. I would have been about 17 years old at the time, and still thought that it must be possible to make the world a better place for everyone to live in. If it wasn’t for people like that tank guy, I would have given up that slim hope long ago. Funny how one sometimes finds ones silver linings amidst the very darkest of clouds.

  3. Every New Year’s I recall 1989’s celebration, when the USSR fell. Whoa.

  4. For some reason, when I hear mention of Tiananmen Square, always think of that tasteless joke that went “Did you hear about the new Chinese Army knife? It has a device for getting bicycles out of tank tracks”
    *consigns self to hell*

  5. I wish that I could laugh about Tiananmen Square. I can’t though, because I had a laryngectomy about a year ago. So, I ask you, Sir, do you understand why the forests are full of the stillborn silence of the treadmill barley malt? Please deposit fifteen cents for the next one minute.

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