A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

The Sad Left-Behinds & Children's Day Performance

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

China’s future population will include tens of millions who grew up as the children of internal migrant workers, with massive disadvantages socially, economically, in education, and in basic, 'normal’ family life. If these Chinese migrants had their own country, it would be the fifth most populous in the entire world. In other words, one cannot accurately consider the future of China without recognizing that migrant workers, drawn from their villages throughout rural China by the promise of the East, will play a pivotal role in that future.

Last Thursday evening we had our 2013 Children’s Day performance and without doubt it was the best performance I’ve seen in all of my eight years in China!

This blog is about a large group of children not only in China but also in many other Third World countries actually make up a large population of my students. Due to extreme financial difficulties, their parents had to choose between sacrificing their parenthood and giving their child some sort of future or having them tend fields etc. Most are from either small villages or towns and now reside with their grandparents or other family members due to their parents having to move to a larger city to find employment that pays enough to offer their family some sort of brighter future.

These parents are known as Immigrant Workers and are nothing less than slave labour.

The children are known as ‘Left-Behind Children’ and only get to see their parents once a year, maybe once every two years. I guess the advantage those have who study in my school is that for eleven days straight they get to have the comfort of living with their peers/friends and only then return to their homes for three days during which, no matter how much they love their grandparents etc I am sure they are reminded of their parent’s absence.

Our youngest ‘Left-Behind’ is little Princess, (in the photos below) she’s the tiny little thing with the big brown eyes and short hair sitting at the plastic red table in a pink dress and green belt. She came to us at the beginning of this term and at aged three lost both her parents in a house fire. Though her grandparents tried raising her and her brother it became impossible as they also needed to tend their fields until sundown daily to survive. Our school offered to take both her and her four year old brother in as here they get not only an education but also for eleven days at a time, be with friends/peers.

The other good thing about living at our school is that all students get fed extremely well, have clean water and being a small school they all get a comfortable dormitory they only need to share with several students.

My favourite ‘Left - Behind’ who is also my most favourite student of all time is Catherine (the one in the photo with me in the same pink dress as Princess (but older), green belt but with her hair in a bun). Always so full of happy energy and she loves English more than anything. Though her vocabulary isn’t that of a Grade 8, at Grade 4 her comprehension is by far greater than 99% of both Grade 7 & 8 students. Always first to put her hand up along with being first to try any new game I bring to class and she is also the top student at Grade 4 level.

The girl in the white spotted top in the crowd with me is Allanah who is my favourite Grade 6 student. She is the Catherine of Grade 6 and also the second top student at Grade 6 level and is simply an amazing student to teach.

The ‘Guys’ pulling faces are The Dudes and the shots with the girls around the same age next to The Dudes photos all pulling puffy faces etc are Miss Dudes and mostly all from Grade 6, Class 2 which would be one of the most amazing classes I’ve ever had the honour of teaching. They are not only self disciplined but love anything and everything I dish out to them. In most other classes it’s me as the teacher who provides all the fun and laughs but not in this class, they are like a class full of really intelligent clowns that go English Bezerk and most of the time it’s me on the floor laughing.

The young female Twenty Sumthings are my classroom assistants. Yep, not hard to tell why I’ll be staying on another year!

Though I have a handful of favourites I can honestly say that all other students from Grade 1 through to 7 are all just the same. So what I did with the ‘outside/pre-performance’ photos was to take photo’s all of my favourites from each level for future memories.

OK, on with the blog.

<u>The Facts & Figures</u>

According to the All-China Women's Federation, roughly 58 million children were left behind in rural areas by migrant-worker parents in 2010 nationwide. Not only is that two and a half times the entire Australian population no matter what age but it also works out to about one in every four children in rural regions in China.

About 79.7 percent of left-behind children are cared for by their grandparents, 13 percent were left to their relatives or friends, while the remaining 7.3 percent live by themselves.

China’s outdated Hukou, or household registration system, actually works to encourage this massive break up of Chinese families as under this system, which was designed to keep peasant farmers from flocking to cities under the old command economy of communism, entitlements such as housing, healthcare, education and pensions are tied to a person's place of birth and LEAVING that place means sacrificing ALL of those benefits.

<u>Any Migrant Worker Parents Nightmare</u>

Sadly One Example of Far Too Many

Last November, just as the cold of winter was setting in, in the city of Bijie in the southwestern province of Guizhou, five boys between the ages of nine and thirteen (all members of the same extended family) climbed into a garbage bin to find warmth. The next morning a garbage collector found them dead having suffocated from the fumes of the charcoal they burned to keep alive and warm. The boys were the children of three brothers, two of whom are migrant workers and ironically garbage collectors in the thriving metropolis of Shenzhen.

The third sadly had no time to take care of the boys welfare.

Many critics in China have fretted over decaying public morality as the country's economy rapidly grows and its people enjoy unprecedented wealth. A similar outcry erupted last year with the hit and run death of two year old Yue Yue in the southern city of Foshan. Video footage showed that the toddler was struck by a van that failed to stop after hitting her. Seven minutes later, after eighteen passers-by ignored the bleeding girl lying in the street, she was run over by a second vehicle.

Yue Yue died a week later in a Foshan hospital.

<u>They May Be Left Behind, BUT They Are NOT Forgotten</u>

<u>Part I: Unbearable Feelings</u>

Zhou Jing sat in her yard watching a black cat play with two ten day old kittens.

Her face was unable to hide her jealousy as sometimes to her it feels like she has been abandoned by her parents. Zhou is only fourteen and sees her mother and father only once a year, if that. She said they can’t even afford to call on her birthday. She now lives with her grandparents, her half sister and her cousin in Fushan Township in Henan province.

Her parents, both factory workers are many hours away in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province.

He Enfu, Zhou's sixty eight year old grandmother, said they work in the city to earn more money, whereas if they worked on farmland in the mountainous village they would hardly make any money if no money at all. There are nine people in the extended family and they have only 0.3 hectares of farmland from which we can barely feed themselves and seldom earn any money from. The mountainous region is not suitable for factories and there are barely any job opportunities so as a result most young people go to other places to seek jobs.

Zhou Jing says that she can't even remember what her mother and father look like.

The town’s population is around thirty thousand and more than seven thousand of them have become migrant workers. Her parents were forced to leave their daughter in their home village because due to the Hukou System it was impossible for them to afford the children's expenses in the city region, where education fees, food and housing are much more expensive due to the outdated Hukou system.

By working day and night without any weekends; Her parents can earn 4,000 to 5,000 Yuan ($629 to $786) a month.

<u>Part II: Regaining Strength Through Cuncaoxin Homes</u>

Nearly two thousand children in Jintang County have been left behind by their parents who migrated to urban areas seeking work. Most migrant workers rely on the elder generation to foster their children while they earn an income to support the family.

He Ping, the daughter of migrant workers who only return once a year during the Spring Festival, lives with her grandparents in the village. She said when she misses her parents she goes to what are known as Cuncaoxin homes to play with friends. Over twenty Cuncaoxin homes have been built and operated by the Jintang County government since 2005. They are sponsored by government funds and social donations and the homes offer places for Left-Behind children to read books, make friends and play games such as table tennis, badminton, chess and skipping rope.

Each Cuncaoxin home serves dozens of children from surrounding villages. The centers also arrange for the children to have regular health checks.

After the introduction of Cuncaoxin homes most Left-Behind children now enjoy better economic conditions compared with farmers' children. However, without parents' love and guidance many of them feel lonely and inferior and many suffer from psychological problems as a result. He Ping understands why her parents had to leave her hometown to earn a living in the city and believes that the best gift she can give her mother and father is a good report card from school and when she talks with them on the phone she never asks for gifts because all she wants is for them to come back to her.

On the weekends, volunteers who come to spend time with children keep a record of each child's activities and discuss any cases of abnormal behavior with parents.

Jiang Hu, a twenty four year old college graduate who has been working at one of the Cuncaoxin homes since March 2009, said that one of the keys to a Cuncaoxin home's success is providing a nurturing, stress free zone where kids can relax and have fun.

We never give them homework to do, just let them have fun!

<u>Policies to Help Lure Parents Back</u>

Local governments in areas prone to high percentages of migrant workers have been introducing more measures to lure workers to return home and make a living in their hometowns which helps alleviate social problems that can accompany long term child neglect. In Jintang County, the local government has been encouraging migrant workers to return home and start their own businesses with incentives such as tax breaks, access to loans and occupational training and officials hope the incentives will also allow entrepreneurs to hire local workers.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: This blog is for all of those 58 Million children who somehow continue to go to school, study and survive without their parents. It is also for all of the Left-Behind Children I have the honour of having in my classroom each day of the year. ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Melbourne’s &#8216;Underground Lovers’ The album was &#8216;Rushall Station’ ____________________________________________________________

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

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 &#8216;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 &#8216;Forever’ I was a little worried but after Beauty Bike Girl told me &#8216;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

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My New Bikes First Adventure

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My New Bikes First Adventure

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My New Bikes First Adventure

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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

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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 Comments (0)

Food Festival & Instant Noodle History & Mkt Stand

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

There are things that I’ve always thought about doing and have done. Then there are those things that I’ve never thought about and ended up doing.

Spending the day at a vibrant Chinese market place helping friends sell instant noodles by the boxful defiantly falls under the latter. What I thought was going to be a rather dull time in fact turned out to be very entertaining especially when certain people (yours truly) began yelling out (in Chinese) 'Australian Kangaroo Noodles’ and people actually raced over expecting instant noodles with dried kangaroo meat, chili and flavour all in a plastic packet. Actually now that I think about it, that does sound like a gold mine if anyone is interested!

Shiny things, honestly they really do attract people.

One packet of noodles was three Yuan, if you spent ten Yuan you got four packets, if you purchased an entire box for thirty Yuan you got a free shiny silver steel basin (actually worth five Yuan from the store down the road). After the first hour the one thing that I began to notice was that the people passing by who obviously weren’t interested in purchasing noodles, after spotting the shiny silver steel basin changed direction, came bounding our way and after turning it around a few times and giving it a quick flick with their finger simply chose a box full of wax coated flavoured flour and walked away with such big happy smiles due to scoring a free shiny silver steel basin that actually cost them more than five Yuan!

The power of the shiny silver steel basin is undisputed; Expect Captain America to be using one during his next endeavor.

Food festivals? I’m so glad you mentioned them as we actually have one here at the moment.

I get all giddy when I see the tents and stalls being put up and each afternoon after class I race into the city to see if the gas is on and the woks are hot. The food and fun photos in this blog are from the food festival that is being held here for several weeks. I love Chinese food festivals so much, the fun part is usually geared towards the children but I’m happy to pass by throwing rings and catching plastic fish from a kiddie pool in favour of searching for the several new foods/snacks that I’ve never tried, gorging myself on huge meaty and seafood BBQ treats and slurping down noodles that have been cooked in woks almost as big as a football field.

No need to ask where I’ve been for dinner for the past week!

<u>The Introduction of Ramen (Japanese) Noodles</u>

Instant noodles (also known as instant ramen) are dried or precooked noodles and are often sold with packets of flavoring including seasoning oil. Dried noodles are usually eaten after being cooked or soaked in boiling water, while precooked noodles can be reheated or eaten straight from the packet.

Lamian: La (Chinese) = Pulling and stretching & Mian (Chinese) = Noodles. Ramen: Men (Japanese) = All kind of noodles made of cereal flour.

In Asia, because noodles kept well, they could be cooked with the broth from chicken or hot water so they were a natural partner with broth based soups. The two most popular and enduring types of Asian noodle soups are the Chinese/Japanese ramen and the Vietnamese pho, made with rice noodles.

The Chinese shared noodles with the Japanese in the 19th century during the Meiji period. The Japanese dish was originally called &#8216;Lamen’, but was later referred to as &#8216;Ramen’, since there is no distinction between the 'L' and 'R' sounds in the Japanese language and it was a more popular way to express the word.

After the Second World War came an intense food shortage hit Japan which also became a turning point in the history of noodles. Ramen were perfect and greatly helped Japan, they were cheap and a great source of needed calories. A bit later, in 1958, Momofuku Ando, founder and chairman of Nissin Foods, invented the instant noodles, which are a lot closer to what we eat today. Along with karaoke and stereo headphones, Ramen Noodles have been named the greatest &#8216;invention made in Japan’ during the 20th century.

In 1971, Nissin then introduced the Cup of Noodles, instant noodles in a waterproof polystyrene cup, to which boiling water is added to cook the noodles. A further innovation added dried vegetables to the cup, creating a complete instant soup dish.

<u>So, Who Eats The Most Instant Noodles?</u>

As of 2010, approximately ninety five billion servings of instant noodles are eaten worldwide every year. China consumes forty two billion packages of instant noodles per year (44% of world consumption) Indonesia consumes fourteen billion, the Japanese almost five and a half billion, the Vietnamese almost five billion and Americans four billion. Per capita, South Koreans consume the greatest amount of instant noodles, sixty nine per capita per year.

<u>The Big Question: Are They Healthy?</u>

There is a reason they are still the same price as when you were a child!

Instant noodles are often high in carbohydrates and extremely low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They have high a level of saturated fat and trans fat, therefore not so good for your health due the high calorie and the use of MSG. Because they're nothing but flour stuck together with oil (along with flavouring) the actual noodles are usually fifty percent fat. Everyone does actually need some fat in their diet but for the same amount of fat that is in one packet of noodles, you could go all out and eat a nice steak with salad or vegetables or a bowl of pasta with sauce both of which will give you vitamins, fiber, protein and what every else you get from a &#8216;real meal’, but from the instant noodles you pretty much get nothing but the huge cost difference left in your pocket.

Lastly, once you have consumed instant noodles it takes four to five days to excrete the wax coating from the body…..Ewwwwww!

<u>Is There a Right Way to Cook Instant Noodles?</u>

Supposedly if you boil the noodles then drain the water and repeat this process several times it will get rid of the wax coating but hey, they are called &#8216;Instant Noodles’ for a reason and anyone who wants to take the time to do the above really should purchase &#8216;Normal Noodles’, you know the ones that take about ten minutes to cook.

The actual worst part of an instant noodle dinner comes in the &#8216;flavor packet’ as this is where nearly all of the sodium comes from. Back when I used to cook and I had no real noodles I’d swap them for instant noodles and on a weekend after a big night I’d boil the instant noodles, throw out the flavor and oil packets, get the fry pan out, throw the noodles in with an egg, chopped tomato and bokchoy and/or Chinese cabbage along with diced beef or chicken.

If you have a coffee prior to and a big glass of water during/after; It makes the perfect hangover cure.

<u>Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum</u>

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is a museum dedicated to instant noodles and Cup Noodles, as well as its creator and founder, Momofuku Ando. The museum is located in Ikeda in Osaka, and is located within walking distance of Ikeda Station on the Hankyu-Takarazuka Line. Admission is free. There is also a Cup Noodles Museum located in Yokohama, which features four stories of fun-filled exhibitions and attractions. This location includes various exhibits to display the history of instant ramen and Momofuku Ando's story.

Both museums have an instant ramen workshop allowing visitors to make their own &#8216;fresh’ instant noodles (fresh as in just made). Reservations must be made in advance to enjoy this feature at the museum. There is also a noodle factory where visitors can assemble their own personal Cup Noodles from pre-made ingredients for a small fee.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by MUSE The album was &#8216;Black Holes & Revelations’ ____________________________________________________________

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)


Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

Food Festival &#38;amp; Noodle Stall Adventure (1)

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

The Last Cuppa To Say Goodbye

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

There is always time for The Last Cuppa. Today at 12:00 my time/2:00 her time my family offered her my parting rose.

This morning I figured that with the two hour time difference we still had time for our Last Cuppa so I boiled the kettle, made a brew, filled my tiny thermos and off I sped to the tea plantation I found yesterday. I don’t think Fran had ever visited a tea farm and I figured it was as good place as any to share The Last Cuppa. I spent my time meandering around saying hello to the Tea Pickers and then sat reading in the shade provided by the lone tree at the top of the biggest tea hill. At 2:00 I closed my book and with thoughts of her and the loss felt by both our families and all of our friends I chose an obscure tea tree, dug a hole and buried my little tea cup and in doing so I buried one of the greatest and most special friends I've ever had.

Today she was put to rest in my hometown cemetery; But for me, she will also watch over this tea plantation.

<u>The Last Supper</u>

On my way back this afternoon I dropped in to one of my favourite eateries for a late lunch/early dinner. The dish is my latest favourite but I am unsure how to actually write it as I just know it by sound and it sounds something like; FernSa. Oh it is so delicious, noodles made from sweet potato combined with tofu, bokchoy, Chinese cabbage, baby shrimp, an egg and minced beef. If you look at my last blog, it is usually served in the little pot it is made in but I always ask for a second bowl to transfer small portions as when left in the pot it remains too hot to comfortably slurp down.

Today they actually gave it to me in a normal bowl which made me very happy.

<u>The Last Cuppa Photos</u>

As you have probably noticed, I didn't actually make it to SanQingShan Mountain.

I drank a little too much beer after writing my last blog and slept through my alarm and upon awaking I remembered that it was May Day Holiday and that the mountain would be insanely full. So I figured hey, I am actually living in the mountains and there is no rain coming our way so why not just stay here. All the students have gone home, it is totally peaceful so why bother grieving in an absolute frustrating atmosphere when I can do it right here at home in peace. The last few days the weather has been awesome and I've been over doing it a little when it comes to riding, too many hours and riding too far but for some reason I have had this great need to be around water so I've mostly been following the river.

Several days ago whilst out and about in an area I usually ride I noticed several cars heading down a small road that I have never really bothered exploring as I thought it led to a tiny village not far away. This time I noticed that the cars continued past the little village so I decided to follow and see where I ended up and I am so happy I did. I have now found an entire new area to ride and one that includes a tea farm that not only has an existing plantation but after following a dirt track I found an entire new area that has only just been excavated, or I’d rather say, carved getting it ready for a new plantation;

<u>Life After The Last Cuppa</u>

Life my friends, it really is the most amazing adventure.

I just got off the phone to my family and have been chatting to others for the past hour or two and all have said how wonderful her 'send off' was. Her family chose to amuse the hordes by remembering all of the crazy things she got up to throughout life so I'm actually surprised they're not still going and won't be back to continue tomorrow. As for my tomorrow, its time to get back on the get go. At times I will return to the burial place of my beautiful tiny tea cup and and watch the new tea trees as they grow and think of my beautiful friend.

But for now it is time to bring back the balance in life that I love so much. To begin with, I'm thinking a big plate of Dongbei Dumplings and a beer. I will always love N miss ya guts Nielsen xoxox Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was once again by Bon Jovi The album was once again 'Slippery When Wet’ ____________________________________________________________

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The Last Cuppa Adventure

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The Last Cuppa Adventure

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The Last Cuppa Adventure

The Last Cuppa Adventure


The Last Cuppa Adventure

The Last Cuppa Adventure

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