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Hua Qiao Town & My New Bikes First Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

If you were to buy me a gift what would it be, but it cannot include Beers N Noodles. Actually I lie, it could include several cases of Tassies finest beers, Boags & Cascade!

To begin this blog I would like to give a massively mega-huge thanks to my boss and awesome friend Owen Buckland, his wife Jennifer and their son Jerry for one of the greatest presents ever, My New Bike! Several weeks ago a huge box arrived at the school gate with my name on it with no sender information except for the 'Forever Bicycle Store’ it came from in Shanghai.

It then took several days before the ‘Mystery of the Boxed Bike’ was solved and only then did I take it out of the box and try to put it together myself.

As everything was in Chinese I really had no idea what I was doing when it came to gears and disk brakes so I thought it best to take it to the one pair of hands I knew would put it together with care…enter Beauty Bike Girl! She owns the Merida Bike store here in Dexing and as most people seem to have Merida or Giant I’m sure she could put a bike together with her eyes closed. That’s her and her mother in the photos below, both are avid bike riders but sadly stick to roads so we don’t often get a chance to click peddles or chopsticks.

Last weekend I got the call that my new baby was ready for her first adventure.

Having never heard of the brand ‘Forever’ I was a little worried but after Beauty Bike Girl told me ‘Forever’ has always been one of the top three bicycle brands in China for over sixty years and that even though it was a little heavier than what I’m normally used to it would actually suite my off road riding much better due to its sturdiness and even though it’s only a little heavier, the added weight would help keep me grounded.

I then chose a direction, pointed my front wheel and waved Beauty Bike Girl good bye.

Not only was she three hundred percent right when it came to off road bumps, grooves and grinds but when riding on tar I also found my new Forever YE880 to be one of the smoothest bikes I have ever ridden, if not THE best bike I’ve ever owned since moving to China eight years ago.

Since then I’ve had and killed the best part of ten bikes. Several have been stolen but most have been ridden into the ground.

<u>So Why the Gift?</u>

For many years people wanting to come to China when researching the idea have found my blog and contacted me with a list of questions and after having answered them I’ve sent them Owens way and thankfully almost all of them have chosen Buckland’s as the provider of their future dream.

Honestly though, I just think Owen was tired of me whining about broken bikes!

Just joking, actually that’s the man Owen Buckland is, an honest man and one who is extremely thankful to those who are dedicated to and are thankful to Buckland’s for the wonderful life they help provide here in China. I’ve been with Owen and his fantastic team for over eight years now and even though each time I put the backpack on, travel and meet other foreign teachers who provide me with &#8216;a new and more financial future avenue’, I doubt that any of them could provide not only the security I need but also the family/team orientated life that Buckland’s continually offer.

Honestly, a school could double my salary, which they have done many times in the past;

But I doubt they could ever offer a team of people who care so much about their foreign teachers than those who work for Owen in Guangxi’s Yangshuo Town. No problem is too big or small, they are just a phone call away and 99% of the time it is Owen who will step in and personally solve the problem between you and the school. He personally inspects ALL schools that want a teacher from Buckland’s prior to Buckland’s providing a teacher. Some schools try to pull a shifty between inspection and accepting (yes it has happened to me) but he will step in and solve it and if not solved, he will find a new school for his teacher.

<u>So Who Am I In Backlands?</u>

I’m pretty much the Buckland’s ghost.

The two greatest bosses I’ve ever had (Gawnie & Owen) after several years saw and accepted that I simply need my own corner and when I am in that solitary corner I can then provide more than one hundred percent of what is required of me. Take me out of that solitude then I simply find the darkest corner at the back of the room and allow everyone else to take over.

Most new Buckland’s teachers form a bond with all of those they meet during the Buckland’s &#8216;inition week’ and some go on to become long term teachers. They all know my name and start off teaching with many of my provided games etc but the fact is, no one actually gets to share Beers N Noodles with me. They usually group up during holiday times and travel together but as most of you know, I prefer to slurp my Beers N Noodles alone and I only make it back to Yangshuo every third or so year.

Even then I manage to hide in the shadows and slip away un-noticed. I like it like that. I have my bike, my rice field and my backpack. In between I have the freedom of travelling China my way. Thank you Bubba Owen and Mumma Jenifer Buckland.

<u>The Noodles in This Blog</u>

Mien Ger/Gur Da. Translates something like: Special Double Flour &#8216;Things’ Boiled in Water.

They are not noodles but as they are made from flour they are still called Mien and when I asked several friends about them they replied with &#8216;I love those noodles’. I then quickly replied with, &#8216;So they are noodles!’ Apparently they aren’t but it’s easier just to throw them in the noodle pile simply because they are made from flour and cooked in water. I can’t actually find any information on this tasty dish but a month or so ago the restaurant owners whom are not local brought this delicacy all the way from Zhejiang Province where it originated and over the years around fifty restaurants have opened all over China.

Made from a combination of two different &#8216;flours’ it comes served as a noodle soup or directly on a plate as a curry etc. Like with most noodles, I prefer them served as a soup and the soup menu offers choices such as beef, pork, chicken and seafood along with tomato, green vegetables, corn, baby shrimp and egg and I would honestly say that they are some of THE best &#8216;noodles’ that I’ve ever had the honour of slurping!

<u>FOREVER BICYCLES</u>

&#8216;Forever Bicycles’ is one of the oldest bicycle manufactures in China and for more than sixty years has been a household name. The history of Forever can be traced back to 1940 and as one of the earliest bicycle manufacturing enterprises in China, Forever has made great contributions to the development of China's bicycle industry and the culture it inspired. Having a history of more than seventy three years Forever played a unique role in the developing history of bicycle in China and belonged to the &#8216;leader-styled’ enterprise for more than thirty years and Forever’s yearly output can easily reach up to six million bikes each year.

Although the bicycle was invented in Europe, it gained unprecedented prevalence and development in China during the 20th century. When questioning the most famous brands of bicycles in China, the Chinese people will always tell you three names without giving it a thought; Flying Pigeon, Phoenix and Forever and both Phoenix and Forever are located in Shanghai.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Chemical Brothers The album was &#8216;Surrender’ ____________________________________________________________

My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure


My New Bikes First Adventure

My New Bikes First Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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