A Travellerspoint blog

February 2014

The Back In Guangze With Ting Ting Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Flowers and Lanterns, both on the same evening.

I didn't even know it was Valentines Day until I headed into town this evening and noticed that every second female no matter what age had a bunch of flowers in her arms. How strange I thought, giving flowers for the Lantern Festival.

No, its also Velentines Day. Oh, that's why all the girls have flowers.

After an amazing time back in Shaowu, Ting Ting and I headed back to snowy Guangze to meet up with the Guangze 'Beers N Noodles’ Gang and just as it was the week prior, most slept during the day and we’d meet up in the evening and head to what ever restaurat had been chosen for that night.

Such a wonderful way to end the 2014 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Crowded House The album was ‘Recurring Dream’ ____________________________________________________________

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew


Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Back In Guangze With Ting & Crew

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

The Fujian Province, Shaowu City Beer and Food Crew. We clicked chop sticks and shared first beers seven years ago; I lived with them for a total of three years and it was time for another visit.

Ting Ting and I met beneath a snowy Guangze Town sky, headed to the small bus station and caught the next bus south to Shaowu Town where the streets were thankfully dry and free of snow and mud. I left for the second time two and a half years ago, Yan and I have caught up in person several times since and I continue to catch up with everyone through QQ and text.

Several nights ago Yan called and after finding out that I was in Guangze and that she would be back in Shaowu in a few days we figured that it was the perfect time for a beer.

After arriving Ting Ting and I headed to Anjin’s apartment (Tattoo Man) where we spent a few hours catching up over Wuyishan Tea until his next appointment (tattoo) arrived. We then headed to Mimi & Lisa’s Pool hall, well, began to until we hit the small Food Festival where we snacked our way around until Ting Ting reminded me that we had a big dinner in several hours.

Damn, we had only made it half way through!

It was great to catch up with Mimi over several games of pool and more Wuyishan Tea. Lisa was at school and she then had piano practice but I did get to talk with her over the phone and her English has come a very long way over the past two and a half years. It was also awesome to see that Mimi had gone about redecorating the entire hall along with recovering all of the tables.

Then it was dinner time!

We met in a small restaurant down a small alleyway and as each of us entered the room the tears shed flowed and made their way down towards the river. It was such a wonderful evening and in some way, over the past several years I had forgotten how much we all really do miss and care about each other. The conversation never ceased from the moment we held each other 'hello’ to the sad moment we said our parting goodbyes.

In between there was an endless supply of both beer and delicious food. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Ben Harper The album was ‘Both Sides Of The Gun’ ____________________________________________________________

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together


The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

The Original Shaowu Crew Back Together

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Guangze County With Ting Ting Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G’Day toya,

Don’t you just feel more than a little queasy when one of your best friends in life gives in and says; I think he is a good man, he is a Police man. Maybe I will love him when we get married. Now I must do the right thing for my family because they are getting older. I'm so glad I'm not a female from rural China, no not all have this thrust upon them by their family but at the same time Spring Festival is a hell of a time for any single person here in China, especially those from rural areas.

At home, my sisters and female friends can marry who they damn well please.

Finally, after several days of trying a week ago I left the Nanchang bus station with a ticket south that would return me to one of my most favourite areas in all of China, the north western tip of Fujian Province where I lived and taught for two and a half years in the little mountain town of Shaowu. What I thought would be only a three to four hour bus journey actually ended up being almost eight.

From snow to snow, here though; There is more than enough lovin’ warmth to be shared.

Due to freezing cold temperatures most of the week’s daylight hours were spent sleeping and reading as no one wanted to leave their apartments to join Frosty the Snowman throw snowballs at little children as they passed by. Once the neon’s light the towns muddy streets we would all meet at the local chicken eatery for coffee and head to the restaurant of choice for that evening. Be it a large Hot Pot restaurant or a small (friend’s) family run eatery, we would all clink our chopsticks over far too much beer and MeiJiu (warm rice wine with egg).

Not wanting the nights to end, after dinner we would then all catch snowy Tuk Tuks to a different persons home each night and go about devouring truckloads of street bbq (inc half duck heads, duck tongues, pig’s feet, snails etc) and more beer and around three in the morning we would squeeze as many people onto the two scooters we had and head home to the warmth of our beds.

Thankfully there were two snow free days, sadly though no one knew the night prior so getting a call before lunch time was a little bit ‘how’s ya mother’ but after a half a cup of hot water filled with three well rounded tea spoons of coffee the days became bearable. Ting Tings father knew I was in town and we were both eager to sit and share baijiu (rice wine) over a family lunch cooked by Ting and her mother. Thankfully though he had been up since five in the morning working at the family Fish Stall at the little market place so he was more than a little tired after several and downed his last before heading to bed for the afternoon.

This allowed me to skip the ‘totally smashed’ part of the afternoon. But it was awesome to share a few after so many years between.

The following day we spent at Ting Tings Aunties village (around a half an hour’s journey into the countryside from Guangze Town) for a delicious village lunch. When we arrived I was like’ Hey Ting, you never told me the village had a Wind & Rain Bridge. I spent an entire Winters Beers N Noodles Adventure in the north east of Fujian several years ago chasing these bridges and the following summers Beers N Noodles Adventure travelling Hunan, Guizhou and Guangxi province doing the same.

Oh yes (she said) the villagers are proud of their bridge, it is very old.

<u>The following is partially from one of my past blogs from the Min Dong Region of Fujian.</u> <u>Along with some information gathered during our village lunch.</u>

Famous in the county for its unique elegance (bridge), the locals like to say: Mountain, water, bridge and pavilion constitute a harmonious picture.

This bridge along with all the other remaining Wind & Rain Bridges in Fujian continue to play a significant role in village life and each day the villagers still cross them with farming tools in hand to carry out their normal day to day farming life. When not working the fields and while their buffaloes chew grass on the river banks the locals can be found relaxing and playing chess on the bridges and on humid summer nights many villagers continue to sleep on the bridges in the comforts of the cool breeze attracted by the river below.

The bridges are often connected with religion and there is a local saying; Where there is a bridge can be found a temple. The temple is usually found at one end of the bridge and will normally be a Buddhist or Taoist Temple where locals choose to continue to worship gods originating from their local folktales. Built without a single piece of metal, one of these bridges takes a long time to build. The ancient Chinese believed gods exist everywhere in nature, so before they cut down trees to build their bridges they would offer sacrifices to the gods of the mountain. Secondly a Feng Shui master would then choose the location for the bridge as it is believed that that bridges built upstream of a settlement help repel evil and those built downstream will help accumulate wealth.

Construction usually starts in autumn when water levels are low.

Upon completion a ceremony is held during which the workers and villages unite and dance while singing their local folk songs. After the ceremony, a local villager who is recognised for having good luck is asked to cross the bridge first in order to bring good fortune to everyone. The worker in charge of construction is called &#8216;main rope’ while his assistant is known as the &#8216;assisting rope’ and they are the only workers to have their names printed on the bridge's main beam.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Underground Lovers The album was 'Dream It Down' ____________________________________________________________

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure


New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

New Year With Ting Ting Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Nanchang New Year Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Don’t you just hate it when the night prior to leaving, Someone spills ice-cream and sticky warm milk over your winter clothes!

After term finished I changed into my second set of winter clothes and washed the others. I had a few days to wait until Ting Ting was free and as it was and still is freezing cold it would take more than a few days for them to dry. Once dry I packed my pack ready for the 2014 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure and headed into town to share a chicken dinner with a friend.

So there I was minding my own business waiting in line. In front of me were a guy and his girlfriend.

I must have been the respectable four steps or so steps behind them waiting for their order to be placed upon their tray. Once he got is food, he grabbed his tray and instead of moving side wards as a normal person would, he just spun around while talking to his girl and without looking, quickly moved forward and SLAM, warm milk drinks, ice cream and food all over me.

Winter pants, shirt and thermals, the whole lot covered and another four days lost! So why did I spend two weeks in Nanchang?

I’ve just arrived at my hotel room from another deliciously snacky stroll around Nanchang’s inner shopping/snack streets and alleys. Tonight, eighteen oysters and a hand full of meaty treats for dinner, last night Japanese, the night prior Korean, the night prior to that claypot noodles etc. The weather has been freezing and most afternoons snowing, so I usually wake around mid afternoon and read or watch a movie and then rise after darkness has set in.

My 'usual’ hotel is around an hour’s walk into the city centre (five minutes by motto). Why not stay in the city? Because it’s freezing and the walk warms the bones. My hotel is a Business Hotel I get at a very nice rate through a friend.

Each evening I spend a few hours walking around searching for something new to eat and then walk back to my hotel which is located in a nice temple area that has its own pedestrian street (about two hundred meters from my hotel) that at night becomes a night food market. Several nights after my arrival I met a group of guys who return each year to see their families for Spring Festival and also to catch up with each other. Most nights they share beer and rice wine over catchup chat and meat sticks and if they are there when I return I usually drop in and get amongst it.

Putting the food and friends aside, The main reason I decided to stay was people!

The evening I arrived I went directly to the train station, took one look at the lines, said a few rather 'harsh words' and grabbed a tuk tuk to my usual hotel instead of spending the next many hours waiting for NO ticket! The next day I headed to the ticket window in the city, said more harsh words and grabbed a tuk tuk to the train station and actually invented some rather new harsh words before joining one of the lines. After waiting for over an hour and progressing not very far the ticket window shut and without complaining everyone just scampered and joined the ends of other lines.

I simply rearranged my latest string of harsh words and evolved them dramatically.

Being my ninth Spring Festival here in China (10th if you count the 2000 Spring Festival) and I then got to thinking that this might be my last Winter Break in China. No, I don’t mean leaving China and my life here I simply mean NOT spending another Sprig Festival here. It’s getting too much and as more and more people’s lives prosper each year more and more people are choosing to travel for their winter holiday. So I figured why not set Plan B free and just eat my way around and if all the people begin to really bother me, I’m just a half days chicken bus ride back to my school.

So how was Chinese New Year in Nanchang?

There is a maze of alley ways that surround my hotel and for almost twenty four hours a day people are out and about (or as my Scottish Nanna once said), Oooot Na Booot, letting off things that the band SLAYER would be proud of. It actually feels like I’m in a war zone, or at least from what I see on TV anyhow. In the distance there are continuous blasts and every five or so minutes several more go off somewhere else nearby and in between in the alley ways that surround me.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: I actually forgot about my Winter Breaks blogs.

I was going to put it all into one blog as not much at all happened due to snow and rain but I did catch up with a few close friends and I personally want to remember it that way so I broke it into sections. Most of the photo’s are &#8216;food based’ simply because evening was the only time anyone really wanted to leave their homes. ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Cinderella The album was &#8216;Long Cold Winter’ ____________________________________________________________

Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure


Nanchang New Year Adventure

Nanchang New Year Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)