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Slow Boat From China

Long ago I dreamed of taking a slow boat to China… To get away from this caterwauling madhouse that we call the United States. I even went so far as to buy a boat, which at the time was a half-sunken wreck full of bilgewater, then I hauled it up onto a drydock at Seal Beach, California and proceded to slave away on the encrusted hull. It took me weeks to shave off the giant beard of seaweed, barnacles, and dreck that had accumulated. Eventually, with the help of a curious shipwright from Belize, Wally Flowers, I re-caulked the seams of those hardwood planks, pitched and varnished the hull, and painted it with shiny lead-saturated marine white. What a beauty that boat was, the Lady L! But that’s a different story… The point is that I always dreamed of sailing away across the ocean and making it to China. A mad dream perhaps. A sordid capitulation from my dream of being a Tea Baron, you might say. But nonetheless, a vision of the great sea, of towering slow rolling waves, of flying fish hitting the deck, and of being gazed upon by the weird eye of a Leviathan as it floated up from the deeps. Thor Heyerdal put one hell of a monkey on my back, it’s true! And today, it turns out, that similar mad fools have been dreaming of their own slow boat journey from China! In a reconstructed Chinese junk, no less! Welcome, sailors, to the Golden Mountain! Don’t let go of your wallets!