Windmill Pulp 1624. Chapter 8: Chinatown, Jayakarta
I was not born Chinese. If you could see me you would know. You would see my white features that I could only ever mask into a mangled form of Chinese features. I would know, I have tried. I was born across the ocean from the Chinese, across multiple oceans, across incalculable overland terrains. I was sprung into this world directly from a womb having no obvious Chinese characteristics. And the semen too, unretained, that impregnated that womb had no traces of the far orient within its build up, other than those that characterise all humans. I must acknowledge our similarities, while admitting our differences, I do not want to upset the Chinese. A Dutch man, with a Dutch cock, fucked (while being in love) a Dutch woman with a Dutch pussy. Two pure white people fucking. Dutch semen injecting into a Dutch womb, impregnating that womb in glorious copulation. I think of my genesis as a pornographic event. I think of it as a cosmic event. The big bang created the universe. The universe was black and empty like a dead chart, no activity, no candles, no trading. The chart is a pornographic event. Trading is a sexual game. Especially when it's going up, especially when it's violent, but even more so when it's going down, the most when you are being punished, or doing the punishing. And then the cosmos was filled with burning celestial objects. And then the chart was filled with glowing candles and bright indicators. And then I was born. And soon after I was drawn to the graph. Therefore, I am a Dutch person. As far as the Dutch can be said to actually exist. As far as the Chinese can be said to actually exist. They do exist. There can be no question. What makes me so certain? I can smell it right now. I am currently distracted by that smell. It is the smell we all love. Exotic temptation, Chinese spice and fat, the lure of Chinese food.
The scent is being carried up to me by the Chinese wind from the Chinatown of Batavia down below. It's clouding my head and drowning out all other possible thoughts but Chinese thoughts. Chinese spice is a drug, especially for the trader. Unlike opium, the other temptation of the Chinese, Chinese spice pricks one up. A trader must be sure not to fall into the Chinese smoke trap, and disembarque their vessel of productive forces, however strong the lure. Except of course as a trader, buying the opium or derivatives on the market to sell and make a profit. Chinese spice however, is in sync with the market, it is the flavour of the chart. Hot green peppers, hot red peppers. To stay in tune, to stay in focus, the chartist is always on watch and must always be alert, always under the influence of spice. A navigator is forbidden to drink on duty, a sailor is forbidden to drink while on watch. Getting fucked up comes afterwards, or when the navigation has gone so horribly wrong there is nothing left to do but forget. Forget all the losses and suffering, hungover, eating Chinese food and trading small market cap shit coins just to find a little bit of excitement on the dull empty sea flooded planet.
There can be no louder proclamation of a people's existence than the tasted and verified existence of their cuisine. A lack of cuisine arouses suspicion in a lack of reality. The less distinguished the cuisine, the less distinguished the people. As the cuisine becomes less distinguished, more like its neighbours, more generic but without the simplicity of quality and the quality of simplicity, less precise, less flourishing in multiple directions, less real as it hits the tongue, so becomes less real its people. Although they can be said to exist on some basic level, a people without a distinguished cuisine are more accurately defined as a byproduct of outside dominating forces such as their rulers and corporate or charted entities having economic and social domination over them and their resources. A cuisine doesn't have to taste great, it doesn't have to be exciting. What it has to have is a cultural power that can influence the chart of seismic forces. To understand and assess this power, one must open their eyes and brain to its stream of cultural visions. A seismically distinguished cuisine is a cuisine where it is possible for a drop of its sauce to hit the tongue like a drop of LSD and instantly, or slightly delayed like an after taste, produce a live stream of the entire culture itself with all its myths and rituals and artistic productions pumping high on the chart. It is one that brings the fellow humans eating together into a collective consciousness to feed not just off the food, but feed off each other into a common enterprise of seismic exploration. In this regard, we must concede that the Chinese are likely the most existent of all people, perhaps even more so than the beloved Japanese, whose dear place in the cultural heart of the earth only lacks real potency in the very place it tempts itself before us… Has any European person here, especially one infatuated with their culture, actually ever had sex with a Japanese woman? Man?
We live amidst the Chinese winds. The wind coming from the ocean blows through Chinatown and carries the Chinese atmosphere up to us. Constantly. I am haunted by the Chinese. I am pretty sure it was the Chinese who did it to me. Only the Chinese traders could have had enough liquidity to cause such massive liquidations, only the Chinese would sell at all at such an incomprehensible moment. When it comes to the markets the Chinese are in control now. The Dutch can move oceans, the Chinese can move markets. Spicy delicious Chinese markets. The smell of their spiced meat dominating this economic region. The atmosphere is witness to many things. The chart is witness to many things. You could find evidence of every important bit of news in the price movements of the charts. You could detect every bit of important human experience in the particles of the atmosphere. But the wind, as it blows the atmosphere down over the entire East Indies region, through the templed jungles of Siam, the spice pod rainforests of Borneo, the coffee bean warehouses of Sumatra, and through the atmospheres of the ocean itself with saltiness, algae blooming surface ecosystems, scum and flotsam, dead fish and circling seagulls... the atmosphere, with all its atmospheric absorbency, witnesses all this before making its way to us, but none of that dominates the atmosphere as the Chinese do. The activity of the Chinese down below is the master of the atmosphere up here. Once the atmosphere has absorbed its atmospheric content to the point of saturation, there is no escaping the strict domination of its rules. And no one has as strict atmospheric rules as the Chinese. We must obey, if we want any success, if we want to make any money.
But we will always have Chinese food. And it comes without struggle or compromise, and at a decent price too. Well, one must behave themselves and be respectful while eating around the Chinese, but it is not so bad, even nice, to take a calm meditative period for a meal. I have many dealings with the Chinese. I have poured over many charts on the tables of Chinese eateries. My primary job is advising and consulting the local Chinese merchants on their trading activities between here in Batavia and the greater island of Java with their counterparties in mainland China. I supply them with custom handmade charts as well as verbal and written strategies and ideas. The Chinese have been in Batavia for much longer than the Europeans and have much better connections to the natives and access to their goods and supply chains. However the Chinese are not good traders. They never buy the goods for as low of a price as they can from the locals, and they never sell them for as high of a price as they can back to the Chinese merchants on the mainland. Furthermore, they do not take advantage of the futures markets for hedging and augmenting profits with insider information which can be so easily gathered. Well, can be so easily gathered by me, with my skills. That's where I come in. I was by far the best trader on the Amsterdam stock Exchange during my time there. No other trader knew how to use charts. Before me there were no trading charts. I used my experience as a chart scribe for sea navigation to invent the trading chart. I used my knowledge of the currents and trends of the sea, of the movements of the stars and planets, of the circulation of goods around the globe to come up with the very idea of plotting price information on a flat pictorial plane. And, I must admit, I did steal part of my idea from the Japanese rice trading chart scribes, but only the general form of their candle sticks, which were so rudimentary, more of an accounting tool than a trading engine. They did not understand the atmospheric nature of the chart which binds it to the soul of the earth. Anyways, Amsterdam is over, I was financially ruined. I am here now and the best use of my skills is to sell them to the Chinese.
Andries Beeckman, 1662, Het kasteel van Batavia, Oil on canvas, 108 cm × 151.5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Tiger’s Canal, Batavia. From a 1682 engraving by Johannes Nieuhof.
Chinatown, Jayakarta. The Chinese use the original name for this city. They have been here since ancient times, before the Dutch named it Batavia. They populate the city at the will of the Dutch East India Company. There are no women in the company and the men need women to breed with to grow the strength of the city. All immigrants are good immigrants. The Chinese here are also mainly men, except for the ones born here. The Chinese often breed with the natives. This has the additional advantage of deepening connections to increase business opportunities and access to the local markets, where native women have lots of power. A native wife is a good wife, especially if she will cook pork. It is a multicultural society with plenty of marriage opportunities for all. The Chinese here are considered outlaws from their native land as they have abandoned China in pursuit of riches. Nobody cares. There's money here. There's drinking, drugs and prostitutes. There's good weather, food and the possibility of getting in on some massive market pumps.
I must explain to you my Chinese problem. I walked into Chinatown with a folder full of charts. I grabbed a bowl of spiced pork noodles from my favourite stall. The old man looked at me, wondering if I wanted the sauce. I come here every week but still he doesn’t recognise me. His attractive daughter crouched down behind the counter stood up with her smile of exotic features and told him to give me the sauce, he likes the sauce. A deep warm brown sludge, oil densely packed with all varieties of flavour’s punctuation, oozed on top of the dish like volcanic overload. Thank Hermes the god of trading for Chinese. There’s more than one place to get food in Chinatown. And there’s more than one merchant to sell my charts to. With the spice fire in my veins I made the rounds. I walked past the office of the Kong Koan, the Chinese council of civil affairs. A well dressed man was being hauled in. I recognised him from the trading group. We’d swapped a few contracts. A pod of well to do whores told me they caught him selling company secrets to Chinese pirates controlling the waters from Fujian to Taiwan and down as far south as the monsoon winds would let them go. Chengdong, that sadistic pirate fuck. But it wasn’t him, he and his men were just hired by the mainland Chinese merchants. They wanted our asses. Fuck it. I went on.
I came to the district square where the cookery fires are constantly burning. Concave iron vessels blackened thick with wooded flames and sizzling fat and spice melting off the bones of commonly domesticated animals and exotic local finds. Cassia and rendered hog fat swirling, innumerable spices, dried, oiled, fermented, preserved. Spices pulverised by hard rocks, the Chinese pulverising me in the market order books while I sleep. The Chinese are the reason I suffer but only the Chinese can save me. If only I simply lived in China already everything would be so much more convenient. Chinese flavours boiled down into a concentrate, salted, soyed, infused. Everything being prepared for digestion. Emulsification occurs seemingly randomly, fats, multiple types of animal fats from multiple different organs, boiled into, everything boiled into everything. Skewered on sticks, wrapped up in organs, flattened onto rocks, seared on hot surfaces, sizzling, crusting, encrusting around other encrusted digestibles, shrivelling and shrinking into textured meat topography, perfectly crisp and juicy.
The preferred meat in Chinatown is pork. But what about the tiger? As so much tiger imagery adorns the signage and wares for sale, even tiger furs are displayed in shops. Jars of preserved tiger organs stacked on shelves. Dried tiger parts ground into powders. Tiger extracts sold by the vial. Tiger embossed paper, tigered porcelain, tiger striped silk, herbs that get you high like a tiger. But the tiger is rare and hard to catch. Many traps are set around the edges of the sugar cane fields outside the city. Imagine pits and spiky contraptions. The Chinese operate the plantations and hire locals to work them. The workers must be protected. But also, the tiger is valuable. If a tiger is caught all the body parts will be bid on for their various uses, as the Chinese have various customs involving rare organs. I am always on the lookout for a tiger penis at a good price, and at any auction it's worth my while to throw down a bid. In fact many tiger body parts are useful in trading and chart making. I especially like to use concentrated tiger urine as my yellow pigment on charts. Only with this pigment can I get a truly accurate rendering of the mountain starlight pattern. The way it bleeds into the page and reacts to the other pigments, it truly is sentient of the market structure. Some of my best predictions have resulted from this pigment. Although many traps are set, few tigers are caught, at least compared to the catch frequency of traps set by the market. No trap can be as effectively deadly as a trap set by the market. Market traps can be theorised in their genesis, and the existence of a trap currently being formed can be speculated on, but they can never be accurately predicted until they've already happened. And since they can never be understood by simple traders, we faithfully accept them with fear and acknowledgement, and with no further explanation we must conclude that they are set by the collective Chinese. Not some conspiracy of a Chinese trading cartel, but since the Chinese trading style is so completely incomprehensible to us, we do not understand why they buy when they do and sell when they do. The only way the market could possibly pull off such sophisticated fake outs is if it's actually just the Chinese doing their normal trading activity which is the complete opposite of our own. Who knows what they even do with my charts. But the market is not the collective Chinese, if there is any meaning at all in this darkly charted universe, its collective humanity and collective earth. So why, I ask myself in bed at night, is this market trying to punish me at every possible opportunity?
I'm pretty sure the meat I smell wafting up the hill today is roasted rhino. Only the thick charred skin of the rhino’s armour has this pungent bitterness. The rhino is to Chinese trading mythology as the bull is to western trading mythology. It is the symbol of unencumbered advance, charging with its upwards spiking horn, puncturing and mutilating all the doubters and haters in its path. The rhino is even more useful for the optimistic trader than the tiger. The penis alone contains three times the concentration of testosterone. And the horn, as is well known, has so many beneficial properties we are only beginning to understand its mysteries. I wouldn’t dare go on to the trading floor, up against so many other men desperately trying to outtrade me, without the tip of a rhino horn in my rectum, or elsewhere that is easy to absorb its essence, even sometimes in the orifice of my wife or mistress, as a sort of talisman, if I want that extra little bit of the feminine animal spirit by my side. But as in real life, not all forces are positive, not all people want the rhinos to flourish. There are those who thrive off negativity and a hatred of life itself. As in the west they are known as bears, but rather than the brown bear, it is naturally the panda bear. And I can’t help but assume the pandas are deliberately cooking up a rhino down there as a personal attack against me, or if not deliberately, I must at least take it as a sign. All is not well in Chinatown, for me. For the optimistic on life traders. The pandas are preparing their attack. The assassination attempt on me was only one step. The mainland merchants want the East Indies markets to fail. The new big crash is coming. The eternal cycle of doom. Why do the good moments in the market feel so short, and the bad ones seem to last forever? I will get to the rest of my Chinatown story, but first, I am getting so hungry from that smell. Even if it is rhino meat, even if I generally do like life, am I not allowed to indulge in a bit of self destructive behaviour? Delicious, delicious rhino, forgive me.
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