WOSSNAME - NOVEMBER 2007 -- PART 3 OF 6 (continued)
====Part 3 - LU-TZE ... AND WEIRD ALICE
13) LU-TZE'S YEARBOOK OF ENLIGHTENMENT: REVIEW
14) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC
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,
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
"Are we in a restaurant or is it someone's fancy dress party?" I
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
"You read Agatean?"
"I have a fish in my ear. But look, it's written below that in
"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.
End of Part 3, continued on Part 4 of 6.
If you did not get all six parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2007 by Klatchian Foreign Legion