The name of this blog has never been as appropriate as it is now. So in honor of the occasion I made myself an image macro. I loves me some photoshop. Anyway, the Cage Match proudly presents:

Round 1: Kevin Vs. Xi’an

Might be a little Scott-Pilgrim-ish, but I feel like having a blog that has 'match' in its name gives me creative license. Plus I had the idea for this long before I saw that movie, but just never got around to 'shopping something up

Before I tell relate day one’s rather stupid series of adventures, though, I do want to make a correction to last post — I’m not alone. Last night made this painfully obvious. I might be halfway across the world but I’m still connected to a truly humbling amount of people who care about my well-being. My family scrambled all the fighters immediately, and my facebook and gchat and skype exploded into a gigantic web of support that I honestly can’t claim to deserve. Connor was up at five in the morning giving me his credit card info so I could buy more skype credit to call actual phones if I needed it; my parents figured out a system to wire me cash (that I hopefully won’t have to use) within a few hours; Billie offered to put me in touch with her parents’ friends at the embassies, and about a dozen or so people called me on skype or IM’d me on gmail to make sure I was ok and to ask if they could be of any help. Collectively you calmed me down, talked me through every option I had and every step I needed to take, and a whole lot more.
It was a really moving reminder that there’re a whole whole lot of people out there who care about me for god knows what reason, and in what is probably the most heartfelt remark that’s ever appeared on this blog I want to thank you all.

Saving the what-I-actually-did-for-most-of-the-first-day post for another time, I’ll just skip to last night. Having spent the day eating mass quantities of random street food in the Muslim quarter and chasing most of it with Red Wolf beer — actually pretty damn good — 9 pm found me with a stomach ache and a pretty significant buzz.
I was with this guy named Eric, but again, he probably deserves a blog post all to himself. Sparknotes — he is a 40 year old dude from shanghai who is a Nicolas Cage fan (favorite actor! no joke!); he’s christian to the point where he refuses to go inside the grounds of buddhist-related tourist attractions, eats about three lunches a day, has a traditional Chinese outlook on guests (read: pays for pretty much all my food and won’t hear a word to the contrary), and has served as my language partner and translator since about minute five in Xi’an.
Anyway. We go to a bar, at nine, which is apparently pretty common in China because the places were already packed. I go to the bathroom and when I come back he’s ordered six more beers. And yes, he’s straight and not creepy, I swear. He’s just a good dude. In any event I get increasingly intoxicated and at one point take out a hundred kuai to buy some more beers which was a bad call because a) i shouldn’t have been drinking more and b) when i put my wallet back in my pocket, i either missed or didn’t put it in very well because when the bartender came back with my change, my wallet was gone.
This was, as they say, rather distressing. I was fairly calm at first, thought i’d just dropped it or put it in a weird jacket pocket.
Wallet wasn’t anywhere on the ground or anything, we looked all over for it and the people around us helped too. Nothing doing. Checked all my pockets four times. Started to panic a little. Realized the wallet had half of last month’s salary in it, was annoyed. Shortly thereafter I realized it also had my debit and credit cards, drivers license, insurance, wildcard, etc. Started to panic in full. Was escorted to the front of the bar. Told everyone present that they should start checking people who were leaving (this is the only solution that occurred to me). They wouldn’t. So I suggested it again, a little more… err.. assertively. Shouting. Mandarin, plenty of English curse words interspersed. They didn’t quite know what to do with me, and Eric wasn’t having any luck calming me down, so they took me upstairs to meet the bar’s manager.
When he told me that there was nothing he could to to help, I kinda snapped. Maybe broke down is more fitting. I didn’t remember at the time that I had a thousand kuai in my hotel room (good thing the hotel key was in the wallet, yeah) so as far as I knew I had like 60 kuai — the change from the beer — to my name and no way to get any more. Bar manager said he’d call the police, I pulled out the exaggerated 怎么 again to ask as incredulously as possible how the hell they were supposed to do anything. He called them anyway. They showed up, and said they couldn’t do anything. To which I had a brief moment of ‘I-fucking-told-you-so,’ spiteful happiness, before I realized that they were pretty much my last hope. Somewhere in this sorta whirlwind of running back and forth through the bar, up to the room where the manager was, out to the street to talk to the cops, and back in again, Eric stopped me and asked how much cash was in the wallet. told him the truth, which was about 800 kuai, and he straight up just gave me 800 more kuai. Did I mention how much of a badass this guy is? Holy hell.
Anyway we leave the place eventually and go back to the hotel, I use the beer change to buy a new room key, and I get upstairs and write the blog post under this one. I had somehow already forgotten about that extra 800 by that point, but remembered it this morning.
Then the facebook statuses, calling home, calling banks, everything. Then the aforementioned flood of support. Then sleep, around 3:30.

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