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The Han River Ride 5 & The Shengshuisi Temple

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Time my friends, It passes so quickly that most of us don't even notice its arrival or departure!

I've just had the most wonderful weekend with Aussie Brad, his girlfriend Mickey along with English Sarah and NZ/Aussie Nicko Mc Dude. Friday night Sarah and I sat up till sunrise watching endless episodes of 'Skins’ and Saturday night was spent at the Tropical Rain Forest restaurant where we all shared our friendship over steak with black peppered sauce and cold beers and cocktails before heading back to my apartment for a more beers and a DVD or two over many hours of chat which consisted mostly of time and how it passes whether we make the most of it or allow it to pass by as wasted time.

No matter what we do with the time we are personally apart of I actually don’t think it is wasted if we are doing something we really love. The trick is to actually look past the emotional reality of how it has made us feel and to actually find some reasoning behind it all.

I now believe that I actually don’t have to look much further than what I have mostly been without this term to get past the ‘wasted time’ feeling and to then spend more future time appreciating them in the future. I have though promised that I wouldn’t waste anymore of ‘your time’ on that subject so I will silently and personally take it onboard. This blog though is not about that, it is simply about time and for those who have been reading my blog you may have already read most of what is below several years ago but after sitting on my couch for many hours listening to music and pondering ‘time’ past, present and that of the near future I then now find that I was simply trapped in a vortex of time!

Once again time has passed and we (all of the above) will soon move on and not surprisingly no one will be staying here in Hanzhong next term as we all have future plans to either further ourselves or change to a better place but that is but a small amount of time in our lives.

Sometime in the next few weeks we will all begin packing in preparation for our future footsteps on our individual pathways in life. Mine will most likely take me back to pre-ridden bike paths in Fujian Province, Aussie Brads will take him back to the Land Down-Under and to the western deserts. English Sarah’s will take her to a new and vibrant university campus somewhere in England and Nicko Mc Dudes will take him to a new school anywhere in China other than here in Hanzhong City.

After packing my belongings I believe I will move my things to Fujian Province (plans change and needless to say they have before) and after catching up and partying with friends I will then head to Yangshuo to spend time with Owen and Jennifer Buckland for the first time in four years after which I will then head a little north into Guizhou province to travel for a month and then maybe I will move on to Hunan province.

Time though really does pass by with the blink of an eye. The problem is though, that it passes by withon a blink of our own eye. Both our days and nights pass by under the ungrateful and greedy eyes of time. These are the very grains we are made to rely on to give us some sort of structure to our lives.

Forever taking from us, yet unkindly never giving in return. Our sands begin to flow from our very first breath. When we receive birth we given new life.

Yet strangely at the same time are we not also taking the same life, for do we not also begin our pathway to death from the very same first breath that gives us life? Time and life, how confusing it really can be when you sit back and think about it so how you spend your time is up to no-one by yourself and what you do with it is also personally up to you.

What is the best way to use your time? It's an age old question.

Do we follow the rules, not drink and smoke and do our best to follow our chosen dogma to be then collected by the 8:15am train on the way to work when strangely you are not at the station but in your car listening to the radio when WHAM, the 8:15 decides to collect you anyhow.

No one on the 8:15 will go to work that day as time has caught up with you all!

Prior to you unwillingly catching the 8:15 train did you do your best and fulfill all your dreams? Did you relax on a mountain top sipping green tea in the destination of your dreams? Did you give birth and raise the child that will carry on your name? Did you find the love you have always dreamed of?

Did you did you did you?

Or have you simply continued doing what you have been taught to believe is the right thing to do with your time? Are you still near to and unwilling to break away from your parents protective arms, help and love.

So much time....or so we are led to believe we have! Time has a way of quietly sneaking up on us! Before you know it you are losing time!

Sometimes simply relaxing and reading about how others spend their time is a good way to use your own time. But how much time reading about 'others' time is the right amount of time? That's a good question for all of you readers out there. I have spent a LOT of time reading about 'others' time, so much so that I allowed a decade of my own time flow by without doing much at all with my own time. I dined on so many people’s dreams that each week was like feasting on a banquet of 'other peoples 'dreams and time’.

So when is 'your' time to stop feasting upon others time? When is it time to begin living your own dreams?

Why not simply throw it all into the big wok of life and create your own stir fry of time by living your own dreams and taking a book or two with you to feast upon along the way. Why not take the kids out of school and head overseas for a year teaching English in a remote third world country. Most of these countries have what are known as International Schools and their timetables and teachings are very much the same as the schools back home. Or better yet, for all of you who have more than enough savings that you are keeping for a ‘future time’ (I know many), simply pack up and use it to now to live your own dreams which in return will help create future dreams for your children other than those of the norm.

We can all do these things. These and so many other possibilities are open to us.

Yet most people continue to say 'I wish I' or 'I would love to’ and when they are met with the question of ‘time’ they are so full of 'Oh you are so lucky to have'. How do I know? Because I used to say them all. It takes but one open and honest moment with yourself and the courage to follow it through and then all of your dreams will lay before you. You may hurt others along the way and I guess this is why so many of us never follow our dreams or take so long to do so.

Anyhow, enough from me about time. It's your time and it is your choice what to do with it. Some spend it wisely yet many allow time to pass living a lie.

Over the last few months anything could have happened in the outside world and I wouldn't have noticed at all as I have been too caught up in what I believe has been a total waste of my time one morning though I woke and after reading for an hour about the many Primay School and Kindergarten slayings (one of which happened right here in Hanzhong City with eight students and two teachers being hacked to death) I rose and began thinking about packing, what to pack and what to leave behind prior to moving on to my next destination. I then realised that that was all that was personally required of me to simply move on. I then looked at my book which was lying on my couch and I simply decided that it was time to relax and read.

In one month’s time will begin the ‘2010 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure’ and I will once again walk myself to near exhaustion trying to satisfy my hunger to see and do as much as I possibly can but these holidays I will try to take things at a much more relaxed pace and take a look at 'Time'.

Not everyone wants to see as much as they possibly can each day. Not everyone wants to walk for six or seven hours to see all the little things.

Sadly though most of us actually do miss the small and important things each day that make life worthwhile. We miss them and allow them to pass us by each morning and afternoon while driving, catching a taxi, bus or train all of which will take us to the little spot where we sit or stand and allow ‘our’ time to pass by.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: The photos for this entry are from what I have named the Shengshuisi Temple Ride.

<u>The Shengshuisi Temple Ride</u>

It has become one of my favourite rides here in Hanzhong City and it begins in Langon City which is to the south of Hanzhong city across the Han River. It begins not far from where the main auto bridge (which can be found east of Hanzhong city as the main auto bridge collapsed a year ago) which meets Langon city and from there I ride several hours east to the eastern most bridge of the city (where my god damn peddle arm fell off during one one of my last blogs).

I then ride east toward the Shengshuisi Temple and then on to the &#8216;Far Away Bridge’ which is the very last bridge across the Han River before continuing on to Xian City. From there there are three very different options on how to return to Hanzhong City. Firstly you can ride along the very busy main road and hope not to get hit by a bus returning from Xian or secondly there is the option of quietly riding back to the city for two hours along the river side track.

This is more than a good choice!

Thirdly though (which is my personal favourite) you can choose to make your way back to the city through the central the villages all of which have never seen or experienced a foreigner riding through the serenity of their fields, all of whom are more than happy to gather in groups and yell &#8216;Hellow’ as you ride by. This option though will always add an extra several hours to your already many hour ride as not all fields offer a passage way through to the next set of fields. Most of your time will be spent retracing your peddles and not only trying to continue your way west but also trying to find a small local store that offers a bottle of cold water to quench your dusty thirst.

Or for the lazy non-bike riders;

You could catch Bus No: 109 which will not only take you to the quiet and peaceful Shengshusi Temple but also the entire route back to Hanzhong City. It will of course take the main road back to the city and pass by the quiet river side ride along with the central villages.

<u>As For Tomorrow (Tuesday, 1st June)…..Tomorrow is Children’s Day</u>

Tomorrow marks yet another public holiday here in China and thankfully in my school we are blessed with a full day holiday…..sadly for most it is now a half day holiday. Wednesday at this stage is a bit iffy as it has been raining for several days BUT if we are blessed with no rain then the students will be able to participate in the Children’s Day Parade they have been working so hard towards for the past two months and not only will I have to NOT teach a full day of my disrespectful Grade 4’s but I will no doubtfully have to re-live the memories of how actually wonderfully and dreamlike they can be when I do get a chance to actually teach them.

Needless to say when the sun does actually shine I will be overfilled with joy and pride yet selfishly also overcome with the feelings of regret of all the wasted time and fun that has taken away from us due to mismanagement and the simple lack of classroom assistants that would have benefited us all past, present and future! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by a Band of Horses The album was &#8216;Cease to Begin’ ___________________________________________________________

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The Shengshuisi Temple Ride

The Shengshuisi Temple Ride

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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