A Travellerspoint blog

April 2006

World Vision, Plucking Chickens N Pigs Blood Snags

Hey Hey N a Big G'Day to you

Hope you are all as healthy and happy as I am. All is well and HOT here in Tianyang. I think my throat dried out so much on my ride this afternoon that I may have scorched it a little. No matter how much water I drink it still feels warm and dry. I guess that will teach me for not taking enough water with me.

I've learnt a few new things this week. I found out that a week or so ago when everyone was complaining how hot it was that it was well over 40 degrees. Silly me thought it was about 31 and still went riding. I arrived home with the same dry throat. Some lessons I learn from and others it takes me a little longer. Must take more water! Tonight I found out how many kilometres I ride each night. I finally got myself a speedo several weeks ago in Nanning and last night whilst watching 'Stuart Little' with Lilly I made time to attached it and my new light to my bike. Only took ten minutes but has taken weeks to get around to.

I thought I was riding about 25 kms each night but I now find it's a tad over 35 kms. Not as much as I was riding back in Australia but I had more time then. It was so hard to judge as my first hill takes nearing half and hour to ride. Then when riding through the villages the tracks are sometimes so bad that I have to ride at a snails pace or I'm sure my bike would fall to bits. All up, it takes me around two hours for my normal nightly ride.

Now that the hot weather has engulfed us there are, I would like to say thousands but I'm sure it's more like millions of bugs around. Bloody swarms of them all along the tracks and roads. When the sun begins depart out skies I then have to ride with my head down or I get eyes, nose and mouth full of bugs. This is hard to do in China when so many other people use the side of the road. There have been many very near misses with farmers carrying strange but very sharp looking hand tools! I keep telling you, it's a tough life here in Tianyang!

The weekend was pretty cool. Friday night I didn't get up to much. Lisa was at her parents so I spent some time on Travelpod and then headed to the market place where I had dinner with my friends father and his friends as my buddy Hersher wasn't there. As I approached they all began barking like dogs so I knew the menu was Fido. Dog meat is called (say) 'Gow Row (goa ro as dog is goa)'. They then began yelling Gow Biajio, Gow Biajio...yes, it was going to be a long night!

Saturday I went for a walk in the morning and then to the market place for a round of Charades and won tons. Around four I jumped on a road side bus and headed to Tiandong to visit Judy for the night. We went out for dinner with one of her friend Emily. She's from Hong Kong and is working in the Tiandong area for the next 2 years. Being from Hong Kong means her English is much better than her Chinese. They speak Cantonese in Hong Kong. I was surprised that in school they are taught English and Cantonese and Chinese is a 3rd subject or a foreign language. I'm sure the Chinese government has it on their agenda to change this over the next many years.

Anyhow, Emily works for World Vision and her job is to go to the little villages in the mountains and find out what they need in the way of roads and running water etc and then find sponsors and get it all going. Whilst we were all eating two Middle School students (aged 13/14 or so came and sat with us. Their English was pretty cool, much better than my grade 6's. I have a feeling they are very well off and have many extra lessons than most. After dinner Judy and I grabbed a road side table and sat for some beer and chat whilst trucks and buses made their way to and from Kunming and Nanning

Sunday we headed to Baise for the day. I took Judy through the tiny little streets of old Baise. I love walking through here so much. It makes me feel as though I'm in China many decades ago. We come across the back of the local market place. Here is where all the chickens and poultry are plucked, boiled and cleaned. It was filthy. Feathers were stuck everywhere. I tried to get a decent photo but they didn't like being photographed. So mine is quite blurred. Maybe Judy's is better I'll try to get a copy. Upon our walks we passed many of the sidewalk 'bicycle stalls'. Here they sell boiled eggs, corn and sausages made form pigs blood. My favourite are the eggs boiled in green tea. They are so delicious; I could eat them by the nest full!

We headed up to Shopping Street for a haircut and massage. After an awesome massage I sat to get my haircut. In Tianyang I have found someone who not only has the clippers but the attachments as well. It's a rare find to find both clippers and attachments in the one shop here in rural China. I can't figure it out, they must sell the clippers without the attachments. Strange indeed. This place didn't have the attachments so they clipped my hair with a comb instead. This is fine but no matter how many times I try to explain that I want it the same 'short' length all over they always make the sides much shorter than the top. This occasion was worse than most as each time I tried to explain he cut the sides shorter and shorter and the top ended up being not much shorter than it was before I stepped in. Hey, at least I got nearing an hour long massage for 2 bucks!

As I write this the heavens above are threatening their early evening's violence. Loud rumbles are warning of another storm. Last night we had a huge storm late in the afternoon. The kids had a sports afternoon and for about half an hour the air became very heavy and still. Thunder warned us of the approaching storm in the distance. The lightening began without warning. Usually you see it in the distance but not this time. There was so much lightening, it was so close and bright that it left dazzling white spots in your vision. Within seconds hundreds of us were running for cover. It was awesome, there was so much rain. I love this time of year so much in Guangxi. I am captivated by storms, the louder the thunder and the more bright the lightening the more I am awed by it!

That's about it really. Lilly and friends have been running in and out for the last hour. There are about five of them running up and down the stairs yelling and screaming. In Australia they'd be hushed and locked inside for being so noisy, here it's just normal.

Anyhow, man needs beer and noodles to survive....catchya.

Tiandong N Baise Weekend

Tiandong N Baise Weekend


Tiandong N Baise Weekend (1)

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

Living Amongst The Frozen Moments In Time

As summer approaches the fields begin their constant change.

Many nights as I ride, around me are farmers ploughing fields by hand or beast. This night as I rode I felt a surge of excitement at how lucky I was to really be here. I grew up - hhhmmm, maybe the wrong choice of words! Others would beg to differ if I use the words 'grew up in a sentence about myself!

Ok, when I was younger I watched so many documentaries and read so many books with beautiful photos of Asia.

Around me tonight there was so much going on and in each direction I turned my head was a real life version of a picture or documentary from my past. I kicked myself for not bringing my camera as I wanted to capture this evening, this feeling and share it with the world. There was so much color and so many picturesque moments of farmers clad in the distinct 'Asian' garments and performing normal daily things that we all know in the West as 'Asian'. Of course we all do the same things but one way is Eastern and the other is Western.

Some thoughts are hard to put into words without making a generalisation.

Though it has become normal for me now, this night life was jumping at me trying to tell me NOT to take it all for granted and maybe never to allow it to become 'too normal'. It's hard to comprehend how such a vision could become so normal.

Picture an elderly woman carrying two wooden buckets of water using a bamboo shoulder stick. She is walking along a dirt track and on either side of her are fields. In these fields are women with traditional cone shaped bamboo hats on either picking tiny tomatos or planting rice.

In the tomato fields you can't see most of the women but you can see their hats poking above the green blanket of tomato plants. As I rode I could hear them yelling 'HELLOWWWW' at me but all I could see was a little bamboo hat. The rice fields are like muddy ponds. Some of them have the male farmer walking behind his beast or some other crazy machine from yesteryear readying it for its next crop.

Other rice fields have the women walking barefoot through mud that is nearing their knees.

In their hands are rice plants or shoots (I have no idea of the correct term). As they walk they throw the shoots into the mud like a dart. Where it lands it stays sticking half in and half out. As they walk along they leave trails of rice plants that end in a perfect line. This then creates the beautiful pictures you can see in my travelogue entries along with those we see in our travel brochures back home. It takes so much work to farm rice. So much time goes into planting it. Lisa will never leave rice uneaten.

Her parents are farmers and she can never waste what takes so much time and effort to create.

The photo I have attached is of the little street corner where I wait for Lisa. It was a photo I was actually going to delete but when I really looked at it it made me stop for awhile and really. In it you can of course see Lisa, but shes not the reason I attached the photo.

It's the little things going on around me. It's the little baskets that are used for carrying almost everything here in rural China.

Much of the time I have to dodge and weave my way through the main street. You can also see them on either side of motor bikes. They are all sitting upon the famous bamboo pole. It's crazy that things such as this can become normal. It's so old, it's so basic and it's now so normal.

So normal that to live without it would feel strange and take quite a bit to get used to.

You can also see the motorbike taxis that are all over Asia. Here they are called, um, just say Summer Jay but say it quickly (Summajay). I think of them as a Tuk Tuk. Two RMB a ride anywhere in town. So thats 25 cents!

I was captivated by pictures such as these throughout my childhood.

It was these moments captured and frozen in time that opened my hearts yearning to travel these lands. I was again awed six years ago when I first placed foot upon the huge Asian continent and made my way through its lush fields. For most this is how we picture Asia.

For me over a year ago I chose to change my life completely to make it my home.

I now eat at the market place with these same farmers and teach their children. I share a beer with them as they relax after a hard days work. I have been invited to countless of their family homes to share the food they raise and grow in the fields outside their warm doorstep. Some choose the city to teach in, I choose the small dusty, yet warm township that is surrounded by the 'real' moments in time that I was captivated by as a child.

This has become my life and a normal day.

Oh it pulls the heart strings doesn't it!

Beers N Noodles toya....shane

The famous bamboo poles

The famous bamboo poles

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

Relaxing N Window Shopping N Eating Snails

  • **there will be no photos for this entry***

Hey Hey and G'Day to you all

Hope alls well in your life N lands. Everything sure is great here. I had such a fantastic weekend. I walked and talked, ate snails and window shopped. Nothing too exciting but none the less it was very relaxing!

Friday night I met Lisa for dinner at the Market Place. We then walked and played pool for several hours before I walked her to her door. My friend Mike called and I met him and a friend at the big BBQ area. His friend can speak English and rather well. He has been in Tianyang for six months and sells farming products. For most of these months he was wanted to meet me so he could share beer and converse in the English Language. He loves English and was sad his was slowly being forgotten.

Luckily Mike had met him in the Tax Office the day before and invited him to BBQ. Mr Xia knew something was strange when Mike actually introduced himself in English and he responded in English without thinking. They then began text mailing in English. Why had Mike introduced himself in English? For some reason Mike thought he was a foreigner and that he 'just didn't look like a normal Chinese person'. Mr Xia is from Hainan Duo (or Island) which is located off the southern cost. Me, I'm still baffled as he looks Chinese to me. A strange occurrence but I now have another new friend. We had a great evening that made for much laughter from the people around us. All conversation was in strict English. Even when one of them couldn't quiet understand what the other was trying to say, they would explain and figure it out in English. This made for much laughter from me!

It's strange that it has taken well over a year since I have been in Tianyang and that it has taken this amount of time for the male English teachers to gather the courage to talk to me. Even the female teachers from the tiny little village schools have the courage to talk to me. Though their English is limited to that they teach they still try. I guess the males are bound by their pride as are males everywhere in the world. In China, a mans pride seems to be larger than a lot of other countries I have visited. To make a mistake is to loose face. This I have found is a rather large barrier in China.

I have met several other male English teachers since the new bbq area opened. They have actually came over to introduce themselves, taken my phone number and have actually called and we have met for bbq and beer. It does pay to stay in the same place for more than one or two terms. My plan here in Tianyang was always to stay two or three years. Maybe this plan will be fulfilled before I head to my next town. I was thinking Beihai. The ocean calls!

Saturday I rose late and headed to the market place for fruit, eggs and other supplies. I played my usual game of Charades and we all had a great time. I spent about an hour walking around buying fruit and playing with some of my students. I had a lazy afternoon on the computer and then headed back to the market place for won ton noodles as dinner approached. My usual dinner time has become somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30pm as I always eat noodles or bbq with some students after school or prior to English Corner (around 4:30 or 5:30pm). After my bike ride I throw thoughts, pens and textas around for the following day's lessons and by around 10:00pm or so I am hungry again.

Around 8:30 I met Lisa at her place. She had a friend over and we all cooked River Snails and noodles for dinner. If you ask the Chinese, these are NOT snails. I always call then 'Wornyo' which means snails and we all end up in a big argument. I say hey, they have a shell, they move slowly, they are a TYPE of bloody snail. Whether you like it or not, you are eating SNAILS! It's so funny, they eat dogs, pig's eyes and all sorts of innery type things but won't admit to eating snails. After a beautiful evening of eating river SNAILS and noodles I said good night and headed to the Market Place for a beer. It was such a beautiful evening. The air was warm and the breeze cool, life was beautiful.

Sunday morning headed out for breakfast with Lisa and we then to caught a road side bus to Baise. We spent the day talking and walking around whilst window shopping. We met up with Sarah the Canadian English Teacher for lunch. We found a little place and ordered sweet and sour pork, green leafy vegetables and several other yummy dishes. As Sarah and I talked Lisa concentrated on us talking. She surprised herself that she could actually understand most of it as we liaised at our own leisurely pace. That of our normal FAST! Her English is getting much better already. She had the basics and from there it's just been matter of time and actually using it. Already I find that I don't have to slow down as much. Once I explain something once she remembers and surprises me my using it soon after.

As Sarah had plans for the afternoon we said good bye after lunch and we continued our aimless walk around Baise and little back streets. We caught the bus home around 6:30pm and headed to our favourite place for dinner. Its amazing the appetite you can work up from a day doing sweet bugger all. After walking Lisa home I spent the rest of the evening reading the South East Asian Lonely Planet.

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

Big City Lights of Nanning

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you

Mate I had a great week last week. Had only two real days of playtime (work) as Tuesday and Wednesday the school was closed so we could all attend the Zhuang (say Djong) Peoples Festival. If you've looked at the photos you'll see that the day was just awesome. Tuesday was spent at the festival and Wednesday Lisa and I lazed around Tianyang walking and talking. My new Sturdy Steeds purchased in Jinghong have begun to fall apart. Many of the clips have snapped and the inner sole continues to come unstuck. Argh, woddya do. Costs 20 cents to fix them each time so I just continue to get them fixed and soon I'll have 'kind of'new sandals I guess.

Friday is my favourite teaching day of the week. I have only my Grade 3's who of course are the most fun to teach. None are embarrassed before their peers and they all jump at any given chance to speak and play chickens. Sadly the school chooses Fridays for many of their meetings, exams and video days so Friday my Grade 3's watched yet another safety video and all I got was my last class in the afternoon.

Thursday I awoke with a killer of an ear ache and by Friday morning my throat and head were killing me. By the end of my one and only class Friday I had begun to lose my voice. This amused not only the kids more than me laying eggs but also amused Lisa all Friday night. After dinner and a walk we spent the evening playing pool in a filthy smoke filled 'pool room' thingamabob. Wouldn't call it a pool hall. Maybe it used to be a mechanics shop. After I walked Lisa home I headed to the market place for some beer with my friends.

Saturday I headed to Nanning where I met Judy (Tiandong Aussie). I missed to 10:20 bus and all the road side buses were full so I had to wait an hour for the next bus. BUGGER! We spent the day walking around the city from shop to shop. My main goal was to get somebody to actually look at my mobile phone in a 'fix it' type manner and not just turn it around and upside down in their hands and talk to the person next to them. I have tried on many occasions in Baise and Tianyang but they all do the same thing, just turn it around and around and open the little USB covers as if somehow this will give them the answers I require. I try to tell them there is nothing wrong with the outside of the phone. It's the inside as it won't turn on anymore. They then take the battery out and begin to turn it around and upside down and talk to the person next to them. When I plug it in and try to turn it on and the screen goes white and then turns off, they then grab the power cord and begin to turn it around and upside down.

Anyhow, to make a long story longer (which is what I'm good at), I was sure it was buggered. BUT I wanted it 'LOOKED' at before I threw it against the wall. We found a Sony shop in the Wanda Mall. One guy began to turn it around and upside down and another guy looked at him and shook his head and took it from him and actually tried to turn it on and then tried plugging it in and turning it on without me asked him to. Go baby go, I've got a live one here! Within minutes they had rung one of their friends whom could speak English and within another 5 minutes I was on the back of a motorbike and off we went to the Sony Ericsson 'fix it' shop. There was an English speaking guy whom when I gave it to him didn't even turn it around once. He just plugged it into the computer, deleted the running software and then reinstalled it. WALLAH! I was mobile again. Unbelievable! All FREE of charge. I was then taken back to the Mall on the motor bike where I shared a cigarette with the motorbike/Sony guy and then headed off to find Judy.

I found the hotel Judy had booked and finally dropped my bag off. The weather was pretty bloody hot and I was glad to be rid of my small pack! We headed back into the cities heart to find food. We headed to BBQ Street which was so full it was actually seat less. As we walked we watched as a man wokked up tiny birds for someone's dinner. Can't say I've eaten tiny birds yet but I know my BBQ in Tianyang has them on a stick. Maybe sometime in the future I'll let you know how they compare to pigs eyes and cat!

Around the corner were several little streets with outdoor eateries. We found a quiet spot and sat for dinner and cold beer on the sidewalk. One of the cooks could speak a little English and came over to take our order. The waitresses continued to push each other our way and throw the little book at each other all too scared to ask us our order. One of our dishes was egg and tomato. The cook soon sent a little drawing to us via a waitress informing us they had no chicken eggs but did have duck eggs. It's moments like these that make my smile grow into warm laughter.

On the way home we found a chemist and went in to find some medicine for my throat. As we were playing charades to show them what was wrong a doctor and two medical students whom could speak English came over and helped me. Help always drops in when you really need it. Soon I left with some 'proper' medicine instead of cold and flu tablets! The doctor even understood what hay fever was. It took some time to make her understand that my hay fever and my throat infection were two completely different things, but I also left with a nasal spray. It's no anti-histamine but it kinda works.

We headed back towards the hotel. The night was too beautiful to head home so we found a 'Wok Em Up' sidewalk guy and sat there till around 2am drinking beer and eating noodles across the road from the 'High Class Hotel'. That's the real name even in lights, 'The High Class Hotel'. Ya gotta love China! So whilst I tried my best to speak in a fashion Judy could actually hear and understand me (kind of a cross between a smurf and a 13 year old boy) we watched High Class people walking to and fro from the High Class Hotel.

Sunday morning we walked around the cities little back streets full of nooks and crannies and market places and then headed to the huge lake area for a walk in the afternoon. I love this part of Nanning. It's so green and beautiful. And you can even walk and...wait for it...SIT ON THE GRASS! I'm sure it's not only the greenest grass in China but the only grass you can sit on with out little old men and women coming over to shoo you away. In Jinghong there was a sign in Chinese-English that said in all...'the little grass has lives, ask to show mercy under the foot!'

Around 3:00 we headed back to the Wanda Mall to Wall Mart so Judy could stock up on the foods she misses from home like Pasta and Pasta Sauce etc. Here my eyes nearly fell out of my head when they found Guinness cans. All lovely, black and shiny. I purchased two cans and remembered Fridays evenings of yester year when we would head to the Irish Bar at South Gate in Melbourne for Happy Hour Guinness.

Judy caught the 5:00 bus back to Tiandong and I caught the 5:20 bus back to Tianyang. Here in China we have loads of express buses. My town is only 40 minutes past Judy's but they both have an express bus each. Baise has its own as does Pingguo and so on. You have to love China; I guess that is one good thing about having 1.4 billion people in one country! In Australia we'd throw everyone on the one bus so the company could save money to pay its CEO's.

I got home nearly two hours late due to traffic and road works and headed across to the market place for noodles and beer with my buddies. By now my voice was trying to make a come back. Like the Bay City Rollers come back tour it made good for a laugh with everyone. They decided it was a great opportunity to teach me some more of the local dialect. Every time I tried to pronounce the word they would all end up in fits of laughter as I could only smurflike speak let alone say the word.

This is Good Bye from Puppa Smurf!

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

Gan Zhuang Shan Festival (Zhuang Minority Peoples)

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you

What a festive week so far. Yesterday (I'm writing this on Wednesday evening) I went to the Gan Zhuang Shan Festival. I think it means something like 'big strong mountain' festival for the Zhuang People. When saying Zhuang say, Djong. Why strong mountain. I think there was a big battle there and the mountain was the strong point and where they defeated their enemy.

No one can tell me the story straight.

They either only know a little about it or they don't know the words to explain it to me. The Zhuang People are the majority minority in my area. Tianyang is very famous I have found out, not only for its watermelons, tomatoes, tiny denim shorts and high heels but also for its minority peoples.

I was told here in Tianyang was the birthplace of the Guangxi Minority People.

This could all be wrong but the Chinese person telling me this ended his story with 'it is like your Adam and Eve'. I wish he had of told me that at the beginning and that would have saved us an hour of 'do you understand' and 'oh, I don't understand what your saying' and all the Huh's, Hhhmmm's and ok's etc.

I grabbed the bus and spent the day with the female teachers from our school. They along with most of the girls around Tianyang County were all clad in their beautiful Minority Dresses. The girls from my school were dressed in the bluey/aqua coloured dresses (depending on light) you see in the photos.

Picture Name: Gan Zhuang Shan Festival (2) Meet Yang Yang and Sally (with glasses). Sally is now known as Sally Brown due to my constant singing of Buffalo Tom's song of the same name to her. Now other Chinese teachers are calling her Sally Brown and have no idea why. No need to introduce Yang Yang as I've talked about her a lot over the past year.

She is beautiful, a fab cook and is a stunning minority dancer.

Picture Name: Gan Zhuang Shan Festival (4) Now meet my beautiful buddy Lisa.

Here she is being 'real' Chinese and hiding from the sunshine beneath an umbrella. Strange behaviour for us Australians but she looks cute so be it. I'm serious, they treat sunshine in the same fashion they and 'we' treat rain. When Mandy and I were out walking and wanted to sit for awhile, before sitting down she would put her hand out and see if any sun would get her.

If they don't have an umbrella they us anything available.

Mandy had a great story of her friend whom without thinking of how absurd it was, actually held up two chop sticks to stop the sun 'making her black'. Even Mandy laughed at her as did the chop stick holder when she took the time to think about it. It's all about skin colour. In Australia, brown is beautiful. Here in China brown is black and being black is being a farmer and being ugly.

Most of their soaps and body washes have bleach in them.

My schools gals had the task of throwing love balls (see the Jingxi entry) at handsome young men along with throwing love balls through the hoop on the tall stand in some of the pictures. Some of my schools teachers were also dressed in other colours depending on what village or area they actually came from. Or so I understand. We had such a great day. Judy from Tiandong was given the day off school and one of her Chinese teachers raced her down for the day. It is a very important week for the minority peoples of Guangxi and the majority Minority are the Zhuang (Djong).

Picture Name: Gan Zhuang Shan Festival (21) This is the photo that appeared in the local newspaper.

This is a much better copy as the photographer was too scared to ask us for a photo and played sneaky bugger instead. So the photo in the paper had the taker of this shot to the side of us which left us unfocused. But hey, we got in the local paper and 'Ya gotta be happy with that!' In this picture is Judy from Tiandong and my teacher buddy also named Judy. She can be unbelievably funny with her seriousness about English. Her desk is next to mine and we spend a lot of the time laughing. I call her 'pigs hoof' as the word Ju (say Jew) is Pig and Te is hoof, so if you say Judy slow enough your actually saying Pigs Hoof. Here she is dressed in her village colours.

We found a spot in the shade behind the huge tall hoop thingamabob and sat to chat until it was the girls turn to go walk about or play the hoop game. Love balls were being thrown at the hoop and landing on peoples heads, arms and legs. The hoop was pretty damn high so when the ball came down it landed pretty hard. I became a champion when I saved Lisa from being hit in the face. We were all talking and righ at the last moment I spotted the ball. I wasn't intending to catch it, more stop it from hitting either Lisa or myself. The balls were in a stocking type thing so you swing it and fling it free. When I put my hand up I actually caught the end of the stocking and the ball stopped right before Lisa's face. To make the situation even better I stood up and swung the ball around and flung it upwards. I expected it to go back over my head but it actually went up and right through the middle of the hoop. As I was the only foreigner there until Judy arrived of course everyone stopped to watch.

It was a nice applause!

Lisa and I headed up the mountain to the temple at the top. On the way hundreds were burning incense and paper money to the gods. I was pretty shocked to see that the money was actually called 'Hell Bank Notes' but Lisa was unable to explain why or their meaning of hell. The view from the top was just beautiful. It reminded me of a picture of 'The Shire' where the Hobbits live. The picture was drawn by Tolkein himself and in my illustrated copy of The Hobbit, before I gave my book collection away.

Oh it still pains me sometimes!

When we made it back to our group Judy from Tiandong (aussie) arrived and off we went back up the mountain. This time I took heaps of photos of the art work. It was just beautiful! We spent the next few hours walking around and watching the activities. My favourite was the wrestling where the wrestlers actually fought on a heap of tiny tomatoes. Then came the Chinese Dragons. Earlier that morning on the bus the girls had said there was going to be Line Dancing. Why Line Dancing I thought, maybe it was a Minority Line Dance. What they were actually saying was 'Lion Dancing' or what we call Chinese Dragons. They also had a game that was kind of like soccer or rugby but this game they used a small ball and threw it to each other.

The aim was to get it to the teams end and score by jumping over the line.

Lisa and I said our good byes to Tiandong Judy and the girls and headed home in the late afternoon for a rest. After several hours we gathered with the crowd in Tianyangs town square to watch the singing and dancing in the evening. We met some of her friends and rode on the back of their motorbikes back to the 'Strong Mountain' for a night full of BBQ and Beer. Unlike the day, the late evening was full of young peoples whom I was told 'most would spend the entire night drinking beer, eating bbq and frolicking in the fields'. My source quickly added 'of course that is only if they love each other'. Yes, of course. I wondered but never actually asked what happens if you love everyone like I do! Tee hee.

We finally made it home at some ungodly hour of the morning and my Gate Man greeted me with grunts and groans informing me of his happiness in my return.

Beers N Noodles to you...shane

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