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WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2007 -- PART 3 OF 6

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  • Not A Granny
    WOSSNAME - NOVEMBER 2007 -- PART 3 OF 6 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 3 - LU-TZE ... AND WEIRD ALICE 13)
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2007
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      WOSSNAME - NOVEMBER 2007 -- PART 3 OF 6 (continued)
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      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ====Part 3 - LU-TZE ... AND WEIRD ALICE

      13) LU-TZE'S YEARBOOK OF ENLIGHTENMENT: REVIEW
      14) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      13) GENTLEMEN, START YOUR BROOMS

      Lu-Tze's Yearbook of Enlightenment 2008
      Reviewed by Annie Mac

      Lu-Tze's Yearbook of Enlightenment is a very small and very
      enlightened book. Well, diary. Well, combined diary, display of Paul
      Kidby's fabulous History Monks-related artwork, and the collected
      non-Eastern wisdom of Mrs Marietta Cosmopilite of Quirm Street,
      Ankh-Morpork.

      This is a very useful book. Not only does it tell you what day of
      the week it is and when the local Days of the Gods and holidays of
      the polis fall in 2008, it also gives you vital information about
      the Way of Mrs Cosmopilite and how to practise it. And in its pages
      you will also find articles about the History Monks of Oi Dong
      Monastery, the Balancing Monks, the Listening Monks, the Monks of
      Cool, the legendary Sweeper himself, the Disc-famous Floral Clock of
      Quirm, the Way of Lobsang Dibbler, and the true lowdown on Mrs
      Golightly, the Ruler of Darkness.

      I particularly love the Discworld art of Paul Kidby, and I have to
      say that his renderings of Lu-Tze and his fellow monks are
      breathtaking. Be sure to turn to the merry month of May -- there
      you'll find a unique portrait of Marco Soto. *And* his Hair. It's a
      wonder both of them managed to fit on the page.

      Not exactly cheap but well and truly worth its not-exactly-cheap
      price, Lu-Tze's Yearbook of Enlightenment 2008 is a must-have. No,
      you can't have mine! Just follow the orange-robed monks to your
      nearest bookshop. As Mrs Cosmopilite says, "How do you know you
      don't like it if you haven't tasted it?"

      --

      Lu-Tze's Yearbook of Enlightenment 2008
      by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
      Illustrations by Paul Kidby
      ISBN 978 0 575 07724 9

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      14) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC

      Post 8. AURIENTEERING FOR FUN AND PROFIT

      First Clog: "All aboard the Aurient Express..."

      So. Bes Pelargic. Who'd have thought it? Well, B.S. Johnson,
      presumably, when he designed Empirical Crescent...though it's never
      been very clear whether or not Johnson actually knew what the
      results of his various efforts at design would be. Still, as a mode
      of travel, multidimensional folded-space topology beats flying
      carpets and sprung coaches and camels hands down.

      As I mentioned in my previous post, we had a surprise waiting for us
      when we arrived. Two surprises: the first was our unceremonious
      arrival in the outer kitchens of a very busy restaurant. A very
      busy, very delicious-smelling restaurant. Where there were
      unattended golden platters piled high with all manner of exotic
      delicacies. Oh, yes. As we hadn't eaten at this point for many hours
      and several continents, the first thing we did was grab the nearest
      platter and bolt for the nearest broom cupboard where we bolted
      first the door and then the food in short order. Strange food, but
      delicious, and only vaguely resembling the Agatean food in takeaways
      on the Plains and Circle Sea nations. There were dumplings in sweet
      sauce, odd slimy things that tasted of the sea, rice with curious
      black beans, weirdly wonderful vegetables, and..."Thif tashtes like
      Difhtreffhed Pudding," Cert said through a mouthful of something
      wobbly in little ornamental dishes, and offered me a spoonful. And
      he was right! -- except it tasted like what Distressed Pudding might
      dream of becoming if it's been a very *good* and well-behaved
      pudding. We were puzzled, and once we'd eaten our fill we decided to
      explore quietly. The first thing we encountered was also strange --
      a rack of very mixed clothing hanging on hooks on the wall -- silk
      kimonos side by side with old-fashioned Morporkian tunics, doublets
      and hose, and something that looked suspiciously like an A-M Watch
      uniform!

      "Are we in a restaurant or is it someone's fancy dress party?" I
      mused aloud.

      Cert waved a large book of lacquered cardboard, covered in Agatean
      pictograms. "Both, it looks like. Says here WELCOME TO BARBARIAN
      LUCK INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT, 221B POLITE REVOLUTION WAY, BES
      PELARGIC, FRAGRANT DINING PLEASURABLY 8 DAYS WEEK NOBLE
      INTERNATIONAL CUISINES."

      "You read Agatean?"

      "I have a fish in my ear. But look, it's written below that in
      common Morporkian."

      "Definitely weird. It's the first time I've ever heard Distressed
      Pudding described as noble cuisine."

      The second surprise was the proprietor: none other than the Disc-
      famous Twoflower himself! First and greatest of tourists and later
      Venerable Father of the Revolution, Twoflower opened the Morpork
      Luck Teahouse during the reign of Cohen I, the Sandalled Emperor,
      and has been doing land-office business ever since. This explained
      some of the more...unexpected items on the menu, such as Sticky Rice
      Slumpie and Sweet and Sour Knuckle Sandwich, as well as the
      unexpected clothing, which is worn by staff in the main restaurant.
      As soon as we introduced ourselves and told him how we'd got there,
      he led us to a private dining room and laid on oceans of tea and
      mountains of desserts...also introduced us to his daughters (Pretty
      Butterfly, who's the general manager, and Lotus Blossom, who's at
      school but works part-time in the restaurant)...and after more
      conversation, booked me for a gig and informed us he was going to
      take some time off to show us around Bes Pelargic. We've definitely
      landed on our feet...

      ***

      Spent the night in lodgings. Not as posh as the Great Pyramid Hotel,
      but clean and tidy. Very Auriental.

      ***

      Next day: taken on a tour of Bes Pelargic. Bes P is a medium-sized
      city and shares that same "feel" of port cities everywhere -- a
      little bit rough, a little bit cultured, but mainly a place where
      people pass through, mostly coming to trade and rarely staying for
      long. There are a few settlements of foreigners, though. There's a
      Genuan community (apparently their Fat Tuesday parade features extra
      added dragons and Barking Dogs), a Hublandish community, a community
      of Ankh- Morpork ex-pats, a Little Klatch, and even a small Dwarf
      community (drawn, no doubt, by the smell of all the gold), and
      everyone seems to get along rather well. In fact, the current High
      Official (that's the local version of a Lord Mayor), So Ho Sixpot,
      has a distinctly Klatchian cast in his ancestry. Everyone seems to
      know Twoflower, so we were treated as honoured guests. I was told
      that's a far cry from the old days of the Empire, where even in Bes
      P foreigners were treated with distaste and often arrested and
      expelled on suspicion of being foreign. We were taken to restaurants
      and tea-houses and temples and then shown the Red Triangle District,
      and the Shu District which is where the docks are. There were ships
      from as far away as Howondaland there, and even a few NoThingfjord
      longboats in from the Long Route via Slakki and Ting Ling (we stayed
      away from that area, in case someone recognised us).

      ***

      Day after: we were taken to Bes Eisley. Oh, my.

      Bes Eisley, also known as the District of Unmended Shoji, is
      definitely the downmarket area of Bes P. It's down at the far end of
      Shu and it's where the most disreputable of the foreigners hang out,
      along with the local criminal element (always wondered which element
      is the criminal one. some isotope of narrativium, maybe?). I'd like
      to be able to say I've never seen a more wretched hive of scum and
      villainy, but a) I've been to the Shades and b) there was plenty of
      scum and villainy, but surprisingly little wretchedness. Especially
      at Threepenny's House of Tea and Poppy Products, where all the
      customers looked astonishingly happy. And the band -- Sammy Shen and
      his Sizzling Shamisens -- was brilliant! Sammy's something of a
      local Personality and an old friend of Twoflower's. He got Mayor So
      up to play the chi shells, which sound rather like Lancrastian
      spoons. The Mayor wasn't very good at playing the shells, but no-one
      in the audience seemed to mind,even though he kept dropping and
      breaking his *instruments*...not that that's a problem, as Sammy
      Shen also sells chi shells by the Shu shore and has a plentiful
      supply. I was asked up for a few songs. I already had a lot of sake
      in me, and by the time I finished I had a lot more sake in me
      because nearly everyone in the place bought me a drink...

      Sake is even better than beer, once you get enough down you to get
      past the taste (like rice that came to a bad end after
      leading a disreputable life). Sake is also even better than beer for
      getting wandering bards into sticky situations. Like the one I found
      myself in with Ten Blue Ox, Sammy Shen's koto player. I mean, we
      would have got along well anyway -- he has some fine riffs -- but
      sake has a way of lowering inhibitions to somewhere below ground
      level, or at least below waist level. And making a person make eyes
      at another person. And making a person smoke something funny-tasting
      from Threepenny's private stock. And getting back onstage to do some
      more requests and taking part in a cross-cultural jam session.

      The last thing I remembered clearly that night was kneeling in front
      of Ox and playing his koto with my teeth. The next thing I
      remembered was waking up next to a very happily sleeping Ox in a
      room that definitely wasn't mine, with a hangover and a limp...

      Cert didn't speak to me for two days. Not until I introduced him to
      Breaking Dawn, a friend of the band's who's deeply into
      technomancers. When in Bes P, do as the Bes Pelargians, that's my
      motto. All's serene now. Plenty of sake. We still haven't dared try
      the Sweet and Sour Knuckle Sandwich, but I've written an advertising
      jungle for the Morpork Luck International Restaurant; the name is
      too long to use repeatedly, but it has a catchy chorus: "You can
      get anything you want at Twoflower's restaurant..."

      ***

      Day something: we've met many interesting people with many
      interesting names. It seems there are regional naming conventions in
      different parts of Agatea; some families use single names and
      diminutives (usually numbers), some are named for their connection
      to the five Noble Clans (Fang, Tang, Hong, Sung and McSweeney), some
      have three-part names (usually consisting of a number, a colour or
      state of being, and an object), and some have names that are just
      plain weird. There's Three Blin'd Mice, the greengrocer; Five Spilt
      Sake, the barman; Lo Hung Wan and Lo Hung Fang, local nobs;
      Fourplates, the dentist; Zero Rabbit, who runs the apothecary shop;
      One Stone Dragon, who plays bass shamisen in Sammy's band and should
      really be called One Stoned Dragon...it's hard to remember them all!
      Girls and women usually have two names, like Beautiful Poppy and
      Fecund Doe. Sammy's real name is Shen Sing Ho. And they all think
      *our* names are strange!

      There's so much history here! Everywhere! I've taken many, many
      iconographs and written loads of notes. I think I might end up
      writing that travel book after all...

      Time to sleep. Here endeth this post.

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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      End of Part 3, continued on Part 4 of 6.
      If you did not get all six parts, write: interact@...
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      Copyright (c) 2007 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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