China Diary

Day 179: Branching out

On Tuesday, we screened the film once again to Max, based on the last round of feedback we had, both mine and Max’s combined. The flow was now pretty good, I didn’t get bored at any point, and mostly all of the changes we made made true sense. After the screening we had a lengthy discussion with Max on how to improve some bits, and although there’s one scene we disagree on, I’m beginning to lean on his side on it, while he has accepted some changes I find essential: all in all, we’re pretty well in shape with the film.

Feedback now digested, we sat down together with mrs. Fang for the last round of actual editing together at this time, implementing the feedback and even came up with a brilliant (possibly) solution for a scene that was still sticking out like a sore thumb. I haven’t seen the full run just yet, but I believe it might very well be the correct way to go about it.

But mostly everything is now just about getting the film ready for delivery to the VFX department, for them to get their job started full speed. Tomorrow, we would be going to them and screen the film with them, spotting the visual effects and explaining in detail what to do with them.

It was already quite late when we finished the work, but I was craving for some food, so Tanja dug out a nice hot pot joint for me which was still open and I went there – by myself. I actually assumed since Tanja chose the place that she’d join me for company, but that’s really not how it works. She walked me to the restaurant, helped me order and then went on her merry way, leaving me by myself enjoying what turned out to be a delicious meal of hotpot.

A lonely dinner.

I really have a dream to bring this hot pot tradition to Finland and set up a chain of restaurants focusing on the simplicity and beauty of hot pot food in Finland, a country not aligned towards shared dinners. This place had a special system: they had pieces of meat on wooden sticks, and you just chose as many sticks you wanted from the fridge – each cost 1 yuan – and stick them in the pot. Later on, the waiter counts how many empty sticks you have and the price is there. Again, brilliant and simple.

A Finnish version of hot pot would offer in addition to typical meat, also reindeer, cabbage, herrings, a variety of mushrooms and rieska for the wheat bread. I even have a name for the place: Pannu kuumana. Anyone wanna join? Let’s branch into restaurant industry!

The hot pot restaurant is just across the street from Moli, the small whiskey bar I frequented with Mika back when we were doing prep here, so I decided to refresh my memory and went in there, reading Annika’s latest article she sent me for reviewing and enjoying a nice Godfather drink. The place is really a beauty: nice smooth jazz, very dark and beautifully furnished, makes you feel you’re in 20’s Chicago instead of ’10’s Beijing – only giveaway is the waiter who speaks absolutely no English – even the word “beer” is completely out of his vocabulary.

Overground wiring in Beijing can be quite… Tetsuo-like.

Then, I walked home through dark Beijing night, with a twist of whiskey, chili tasting in my mouth, hiding the metallic taste of the pollution in the air.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s