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Happy Birthday Candy N the Aussie Village BikeRide

Hey Hey and a Big Birthday G'Day Toya What a wonderful day followed by an evening of celebration. A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend Candy. I hope you had a beautiful evening and thank you for making me part of it! I had such a great day today. After rising around mid morning due to a night of cards with Martin and Georga (the Aussie Couple) and beautiful Joyce, the Aussies and I put foot to pedal and headed out into the villages. I took them on my Village and Temple bike ride. The weather was excellent and we spent many hours riding through rice fields and assorted villages. I showed them that even poor yet happy villages even have a difference between poor and even poorer. Those that have a large amount of land and farm to sell have a more comfortable life to those whom have a small amount of land and farm to eat. There is a big difference in housing and the cleanliness of the village they belong to. Though both belong to the nine hundred million people well below the poverty line, Some sadly belong to the 'extreme poverty' category. It makes me happy that none of my friends whom come from villages actually come from the later. They live a life I can not comprehend and one that makes me feel guilty about my own each time I pass through. Though I have no belongings and have no idea what I will do and how I will live when I return back to my homeland, the fact is I will easily obtain employment that will allow me to live in comfort and happiness.

It may not be the job I want but I would son be able to change that.

Sadly once you belong to the extreme poverty category here in China there seems to be no way out of it. Most can't afford to put their children through middle and high school and the thought of university is out of the question. Their children have no choice but to remain in the village and farm to live. Those belonging to villages above the extreme line can afford to do this and many of their children go on to become teachers and live away from the family village. Of course some don't and remain in the village to continue the family life there. These are my observations and may be indeed incorrect but from asking questions to me it seems that way. Anyhow, enough of that.

Our ride was an excellent one and the Aussies had such a wonderful time. They were amazed at the amount of animals roaming freely without the restrictions of fences and cages etc. Ducks were in abundance and chickens could be seen racing around followed by a family of chicks. After telling them stories of groups of ducks being looked after and 'walked' by a farmer we rounded the corner and there we found a farmer 'walking' is ducks. After discussing what his job should be called we then dubbed him a Duck Flocker'. Georga was so taken with the little buggers as they waddled through the rice fields until they reached the road where they regrouped and were herded along the road by the 'Duck Flocker'. After a million photos were taken we acted like Duck Flockers and got the flock out of there. Our next stop was the unmaintained Temple that marks the half way point in the ride. There are pictures of this entire journey and temple in my blog entry named 'My Afternoon Village and Temple Bike Ride'. From viewing photos on one of the temple walls this temple really was a grand place once, sadly now it has fallen from grace. It is still used by the local villages and the reason for its decline I really have no idea. We then headed across the fields to the next village and then headed back the way we came. I then took them through the more 'extreme' village. Photos of this village can be found in my more recent entry named 'The Village and Temple Bike Ride Second Part'. I didn't take many pictures whilst riding through this village, more out of respect than anything. The people who live here seem to be happy folk and I've stopped and shared smokes with a few of the men. One afternoon I spent some time with as one of their prized huge Mr Pigs shagged a Ms Pig. It was a real event believe me. Afterwards poor Mr Pig was shaking so badly that he couldn't stand and after a few seconds fell to the ground trembling and completely out of breath!

We all then shared a few shots of rice wine and I continued on my way. We then had to have Martins tyre repaired as he ran over a thumb tack somewhere and for those who have been reading my blog for sometime would know that if this happens, here in China you have no worries as there will be a bike repair man just around the corner. Once back in Shaowu we sat for noodles that were a little too spicy. Like lip numbing spicy! We were then to continue on to the next little town and go on another of my village bike rides but time had caught us and it was time to head home to get cleaned up and ready ourselves for the nights birthday dinner. The second ride I was going to take them on is a much more green and lush ride than my usual Village and Temple bike ride. It was the ride I took yesterday during a huge lightening and thunder storm. It was a totally awesome time. I haven't any pictures for this ride yet as every time I head that way dark clouds are looming and I never take my camera just like yesterday. I'll post that entry soon as yesterday was Children's Day here in China.

An awesome day for all who have children and have the beautiful job of teaching them. After showering the dust and sweat off ourselves we were joined by the most beautiful Joyce. She really is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. We then headed out into the stormy afternoon in search of a birthday present for Candy who is Joyce's best friend and fellow Chinese English teacher at our school. The evening was spent at a local eatery devouring many awesome dishes and beers for Candy's birthday with many of her friends. It was a surprising evening as most of the people there could actually speak English. There was also a Middle School Chinese English teacher whom sadly didn't really contribute much to the English conversation. So out of the group, including the Aussie couple and I there were six English teachers. How cool is that. It seems Shaowu is full of surprises! After the fun filled dinner we all headed up stairs to Candy's parents place for a little tea time where we all sipped upon several types of green and black teas. Love Chinese green tea mate! After our tea time and several of the guys headed to the Miami or Maiam Bar depending on which sign you read the rest of us sat for a DVD and the DVD of choice was none other than a personal favourite of mine. Man how cool was it to sit and watch The Naked Gun Part 1!

It's been a long time but it seems it just keeps getting better each time you sit to watch it. Sadly all nights must come to an end and the Aussies, Joyce and I were soon paddling our way up the road to find a taxi. Of course after waiting for some time a Chinese man who was walking past decided he was more important than us and jumped into our taxi without any feelings of guilt! One thing you have to remember here in China is the fact that 'it is all about ME!'. There are no lines or even a thought about those who have been waiting. I want, I need so I will take seems to be the thought process that has been handed down through the generations. But I guess with 1.4 billion people it is the only way to get what one needs. So as the thunder continues to rumble in the distance and the rain continues to bucket down outside it is time to say..... Beers N Noodles to you and thank life for the wonderful journey I get to live each day! The soundtrack to this entry was none other than 'The Blue Oyster Cult' The album was 'Agents of Fortune' Stephen King's 'The Stand' man, not only is it one of the greatest movies of all time but it is full of excellent tracks including 'Our' Crowded House. Though from New Zealand we Aussies have no problem claiming them as 'our own'.

I also want to thank the world for English versions of Windows XP, XP Office and a boss that went out of his way to obtain a copy of each and send it to me. Owen Buckland you and your team at Bucklands China really are an awesome family to have whilst here in China. Thank you for helping me live my dream!

Those sitting at home or at work spend a minute and try to comprehend trying to use Chinese Versions of Windows XP and XP Office. Though I'm comfortable with some of the menues and their (?) letters it really is an impossible task sometimes. Stop laughing you buggers, it really was frustrating! Huh!

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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