A Travellerspoint blog

September 2008

Happy Birthday China N The Martyrs Cemetery

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Yipee! National Day has arrived! National Day commemorates the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and more importantly it also gives me a holiday and a chance to see Luo Wei. So whilst she and I go for dinner and have fun here is my indepth, very mature and well thought out history of why I am not at work today. OK, lets go back before 1949, the Long March had finished, the Japanese had invaded and by this time Mao Zedong was established as the leader of the Chinese Communist movement. Yes people, the man who would become Chairman Mao one day said,'HHHmmm, I wouldn't mind being Chairman for awhile! So the big feller stood up on the 1st of October 1949 and said 'Hey Man! Like, I'e got an idea! Like, let's become the People's Republic of China and I'll be Chairman!' So began the huge Communist Movement at the beginnings of the Peoples Republic of China. When the big change occurred all the other big guys fled the country with all its wealth leaving Mao Zedong to become Chairman Mao. A massive change soon swept the country. They began land reform by giving back the land to the peasants (how sweet), women were recognized, inflation was grabbed by the butt and the big 'Five Year Plan' was introduced. All seemed pretty good for most during those first five or so years. People were put into their Work Units, the country was divided into twenty one provinces, five Autonomous Regions and two municipalities being Beijing and Shanghai, there was food, everyone was in a big warm happy snuggle. Once the Great Leap Forward kicked in China was not heard of for a long time. Within its walls strange things were happening. Big people became little, famous people disappeared, special universities were opened, society was changed, people were sent to agricultural communes, blast furnaces were created, people were too busy melting spoons and woks and no one was tending to the crops, famine hit, many people died and Mao said good by to his job as the head of state. Of course he was still Chairman of the Communist Party though! Then came the writings of Chairman Mao, bounded together in the 'Little Red Book' In kicked The Cultural Revolution. Thoughts were thrown around and implemented, posters put up, families were split, romance really sucked, the Red Guards began their destruction, smart people disappeared, special things and places such as art and temples were torched and destroyed. Basically anything 'old' was not allowed eg: old customs, thinking and culture and due to clothing codes and in came the famous Chairman Mao suit! After the big guy died in 76 Deng Xiaoping returned and soon thoughts of modernisation were thrown around. They were tossed here and there and finally the 'Four Modernisations' program was released. The new big guy had thought of things like agriculture, industry, science and defence and said 'hey, we are nearing five thousand years old as a people but where are we globally? The one child policy was enforced to slow down the population growth, farmers were given permission to sell surpluses on the market, political reform grew, religions were tolerated and Hong Kong was given back to China. Soon Shane entered China, left China, went home for a spell and thought to himself, 'Hey Man, I think it's time to get me one of those Chairman Mao suites, I'm heading back to China for awhile. In his wake schools have flourished and new breweys opened. __________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Wolfmother The album was 'Wolfmother' Dunno, kind of like a cross between Tiny Tim, Zep and T'Rex. Can't stand T'Rex or Tiny Tim but somehow these guys seem to blend it together well and the outcome is...Big!. ___________________________________________________

Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure


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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure

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Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure


Martyrs Graves Adventure

Martyrs Graves Adventure

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

Mid Autumn Festival N its Strange to Feel Strange

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Do you often sit and look at the Shangzhou hills and wonder what is up there? Me either, I just thought I'd ask. Actually I did today so I went on walkabout to find out and do you want to know what is up there? An alien spacecraft! Honestly! After lunch I headed out to go to the supermarket to do some shopping and four hours later I found myself standing before a small concrete wall way up in the hills and at the end of a track. Aliens, there has to be an alien spaceship buried somewhere beneath that wall and strange things will begin to happen to me the more I return to it to help set it free. My teeth will begin to fall out and soon after I will able to talk to you with my mind! Well, that all would have happened if this was a Stephen King novel! Man I miss reading Stephen King! Sadly for you, me and everyone else reading this, it is but a Travelblog and none of it happened that way. What did happen was, I was going to go shopping but decided that as it was Mid Autumn Festival I would probably get a billion Moon Cakes left at my door so I would spend the day walking in the hills instead of eating. So I found a road that I thought headed out into the hills and began walking. It ended not long after so I walked back, found another and began again.

This one ended after about ten minutes so I once again walked back, found yet another road and after snaking my way up the mounting through beautiful little villages etc for two hours I figured that I had found my road and happily continued. My walk was full of beauty and I spent almost the entire time walking past terraced corn fields. In the south it would have been what people normally associate China with and that's terraced rice fields. But terraced corn fields! I may have seen them during some of my adventures but I don't remember ever noticing them. Once at the top I looked down and there was layer upon layer of small corn fields filling my view. I don't think they will ever make a BBC documentary like some of China's rice terraces but I found them pretty stunning all the same. Not only did the corn in the fields fill my vision on my walk but everywhere I looked I could see corn cobs all bunched together hanging from peoples balconies and trees like bananas. And how 'un-strange' it was that I was stared at like I was a big monkey walking by! Hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha! Ow man, I'm so funny! NOT! Near the top and not long after the last village the concrete road turned into a small track. I continued walk along this for another half and hour and then a strange sight came into view. A girl was coming from the other direction. I guess that really isn't that strange but what was strange was that she didn't look at all like a farmer. Her clothing was not that of a poor farming family either. How strange I thought, what in the world was she doing up here and walking alone? When she spotted me she nearly fell off the side of the mountain in shock and amazement!. I then thought, how strange it is to find something strange when you are a stranger in a strange land! I guess I am used to riding and walking in weird places where I usually only find farmers out in the fields but it wasn't until I saw the absolute amazement on her face when she saw me that I remembered that she wasn't the stranger at all. She was Chinese, from small Chinese village somewhere down the road and in China. I was a foreigner in a strange land and way up and out in the middle of nowhere. Indeed I thought! How strange I must have looked to her! After we said goodbye I continued along the track that led me around the other side of the mountain. I then had to cross a narrow ledge and soon after the track simply stopped at a very small concrete wall. It really was the most amazing and confusing thing. There was no evidence of it ever having continued. It just stopped and why in the world there was a small concrete wall I have no idea. It wasn't a tomb now any type of burial structure. Maybe when it rains heavily it helps slow some of the water running down the hill but I couldn't figure out why. I then began to wonder where the girl was coming from. The only obvious answer is that she is an alien searching for her buried spaceship. She obviously couldn't find it so she was returning to mingle with the human population. Ok then! Yeah Right! On that note I guess we should change the subject to what is happening here in China this very weekend and the reason behind the fact that while you are reading this at work I will be at home still sleeping due to the fact that it is a public holiday here on Monday. <u>The Mid Autumn Festival</u>[/i]</b> [/i] Also known as the "Full Moon Festival," the Mid-Autumn festival falls on the fifteen day of the eighth lunar month. At this time, the moon's orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, making the moon appear brighter and larger than any other time of the year. In the Western tradition, it is also called the Hunter's Moon or Harvest Moon. [/i] [/i] According to the lunar calendar, it is also the exact middle of autumn.[/i] Which begins in the seventh month and ends in the ninth. [/i] [/i] To the Chinese, this festival is similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday, celebrating a bountiful harvest. Compared to many Chinese festivals that are inundated with vibrant colours and sounds, the Mid-Autumn festival remains more subdued. Traditionally celebrated outdoors under the moonlight, people eat moon cakes and gaze at the moon. In modern times, barbecues with families and friends are also common. [/i] [/i] The words of the great Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai are often recited on such evenings, even today: 'I raise my head to gaze at the bright moon, and I drop my head to think of my old home' [/i] [/i] <u>Legendary Origins</u>[/i] </b> [/i] Like most Chinese holidays, the mid-autumn festival is rich in oral history and legend. According to stories, Hou Yi was a tyrannical ruler who won the elixir of immortality by shooting nine suns out of the sky with his bow. But his wife, knowing that the people's lives would remain miserable for all eternity if Hou Yi lived forever, drank the potion. The fluids made her lighter, and she floated up into the moon. [/i] [/i] Even today, Chinese like to think of the moon as home of Chang E. [/i] [/i] <u>A Historical Anecdote</u>[/i]</b> [/i] The Mongol Hordes of Ghengis Khan subjugated the Chinese, and established the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th Century. However, many Chinese resented the fact that they were ruled by a foreign regime. In the 14th Century, Liu Bouwen helped plot the overthrow of the Yuan Dynasty by organizing resistance. Secret messages were passed along in moon cakes. [/i] [/i] <u>Mooncakes</u>[/i] </b> [/i] The ubiquitous fare at any Chinese celebration of the Full Moon festival, moon cakes are a flaked pastry stuffed with a wide variety of fillings. Egg Yolk, lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and coconut are common, but walnuts, dates, and other fillings can be found as well. Most have characters for longevity or harmony inscribed on the top. [/i] [/i] Special cakes can reach almost one foot in diameter. [/i] [/i] Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ___________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was 'Cat Stevens' The album was 'Tea for Tillerman' ____________________________________________

Mid Autumn Festival Corn Walk

Mid Autumn Festival Corn Walk


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

Happy Chinese Teachers Day N Pagoda Hill Walk

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Teachers Day...again! How quickly the last year has passed by! When Luo Wei rang to say good night last night she wished me 'Happy Teachers Day for tomorrow'. Memories of the past year flashed on by and I realised that another year really had passed and that Luo Wei and I had also been together for over a year now. How awesome is life when you jam pack it so full of 'stuff' that you can't actually think of anything you would change! I woke to what I thought was someone trying to force the schools loud speaker system up my.....into my ear! After remembering it was Teachers Day I stopped thinking there was a fire in the building and started the day with a coffee. Of course it wasn't until I was just about to head out the door and race to class that somebody thought to ring me and tell me not to bother with the first class as they were having a Teachers Day assembly out on the playground. Gee, I never would have guessed! After morning classes all the teachers headed to a huge restaurant up the road and over passed the temple near the bus station. Lunch was quite bizarre really. Of course the food was awesome but I was strangely put in a room with all the 'a little older than me' female teachers and only one of them could speak English. This wasn't a bad thing as we had a good time and they are great people, but it was just a little strange for me not to be 'used as a trophy' type thing by the school Leaders. There was only one bottle of beer and of course it was bloody warm! In the other 'big party' room everyone was yahooing and having a great time. When the girls wanted to go I was told to go home and rest as I must be tired. This was also strange as usually it would be off to KTV or to simply stay put and drink and eat more. I soon began drowning in memories of my time in Gansu Province where I was 'protected' so much that no one drank beer at a dinner. It really is bizarre when you compare it to my time in Guangxi where I was almost force fed Rice Wine by a drip and pretty much told not to come home at night until I had shared several bottles of beer with who ever wanted me at their table at the Night Market. Why? Because it was a tiny town, I taught most of their children and they paid my salary. Then there was Fujian Province and the uncountable amount of beers that flowed freely through out each and every big dinner. It didn't matter how many you wanted (or didn't want) it just kept coming. There was never just a 'one glass' cheers, instead you had to down three or four and I do remember one night bloating myself after a ten glass cheers. But here? I was told they are protecting their investment! I wonder though, are they protecting me from being robbed when I am drunk or simply making sure I am fit for class tomorrow. Which ever one I thought it was a nice thing to do but I also thought I would celebrate Teachers Day on my own or with some friends on MSN and QQ so I grabbed a couple of cold beers on the way home from my walk. I had to laugh as each time I grab a beer or two I get it from the little store 'thing' next to the school, I always ask for 'cold beer' but I always get a no.

He stores his beer in the fridge but it's never been turned on until tonight. How extremely happy was I when he ran to the fridge and wallah! A couple of coldies were placed on the counter before me. I think it will actually do me good being here. It is soooo much poorer than Shaowu so I doubt there will be many big dinners at all. In fact I live in fear of there being many as maybe I will be put in 'that' room again and given one bottle of warm beer. Today was actually a good day, I got to know the girls better and we all chatted happily together so it sounds worse than it was. It is just strange as usually, like I said above you are almost forced fed your beer. After I got home I decided to head out for a walk and after a few hours I found myself walking along a road that took me to a cemetery on a hill. I'm not sure who is buried in there but it is not any normal Joe Blogs (or should I say Wang Wongs being in China). I then noticed a few pagoda's much higher on the hills behind me but there was a large brick wall between me and them. I also couldn't find a pathway to take me there so I though bugger it, I'll just jump the fence. I finally made it to the top and found a heap of bushes at the bottom.

I hung from the top of the wall and began swinging myself. When I thought I had enough of a swing to clear the bushes I let go.

No such luck! I ended up crashing through them and landed at the feet of a group of people standing near by watching me. When I got up and saw them looking at me I said a big happy hello. When they realized who I was many of them said 'Foreigner' (in Chinese) and as if that explained everything most of them giggled and said hello back and then continued on their way up the hill. The walk was beautiful and it takes a few hours to get from the bottom, all the way across to the third Pagoda and then back down to the bottom again. It was growing dark as I left the third pagoda but thankfully half the town was on the hill for their evening walk so I had no problem finding my way back down. I am serious and most of them would be over fifty. I can't believe how fit the elderly Chinese people are. It really does put most western people to shame who are under the age of forty. Here they are still pulling carts and riding bikes to and from everywhere they go. They then take a simple after dinner stroll for a few hours up a mountains etc. Those who have lived here will understand and totally agree with me. Many of them even put me to shame!

The photo of the pool table.

I watched that guy the other night move about ten normal pool tables with his cart. They are all made of wood and heavy as buggery. He does this twice a day and by twice a day I mean puts them out after lunch and puts them away before dinner. He then puts them out again after dinner and puts them away before bed. He would have to be well over fifty years old. Most farmers are the same. Everything is manually done and most of them have to either walk or ride their bike for many kilometers to get to their land. The same goes with road workers etc. At the end of each day when i ride I pass heaps of them and each have their own shovel or pick etc slung over their shoulder. Anyhow, for those who want to know a little about Teachers Day continue reading. If you read it last year then scroll down to the photos below. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _______________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Red Kross. The album was 'Phaseshifter' _______________________________________ <u> Respect for Teachers and Learning </u></b> In the history of Chinese education, Confucius is a paragon of all teachers, symbolizing the philosophy of "Educate all without discrimination, and teach according to the abilities of ones students." Using the six arts of rites, music, archery, chariot driving, learning (including reading and writing), and mathematics, Confucius had more than three thousand disciples during his lifetime. In practice of his credo, the Sage never refused a student because of his class or character, requiring only that his pupils possess a sincere desire to learn. During the crisis of the 'Spring and Autumn Period', Confucius sought to end the chaos of the times. Believing this disorder to be a reflection of declining morals in society, he exhaustively toured the various warring Chinese states to advise rulers and officials on the merits of ethical rule. In his later years, Confucius reorganized the ancient texts, thus laying a solid foundation for China's enduring civilization. In 1939 the Ministry of Education pronounced that Confucius' birthday would be celebrated on August 28, and designated it as Teachers' Day as well as a national holiday to remember Confucius' enormous contribution to Chinese culture and society. The date was changed to September 28 in 1952 in accordance with chronologists' new findings. Today, Teachers' Day not only commemorates China's foremost teacher in history but also honours all teachers for their hard work during the year. The first Teachers' Day was in 1931, the date was June 6, organized by a group of famous teachers without being officially approved by the Kuomintang Government. In 1939, the Kuomintang Government decided to set the Teachers Day on August 28 (Confucius's birthday), due to the turmoil, it was never carried out throughout the whole country. In 1951, the New China government decided to set the Teachers' Day on May 1, the same day with Labour Day, this wasn't ever popular. Finally, teachers found a day to celebrate their glorious career in 1985, since then, on September 10 every year, teachers all over the country get special attention and gifts for their services to this country. Every year during Teachers' Day, the Confucius Memorial Service is solemnly held at the Confucius Temple to show respect and honour for the Sage. At the "Teachers Day Celebration" held by the Ministry of Education and the various local governments, teachers with the highest seniority and best qualities are recognized for their contribution to society. Being a teacher in China is not simply a job. It is one of the most respected careers.

Teachers Day Pagoda Walk

Teachers Day Pagoda Walk


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

A Casual Walk Along the River Side of the City

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Shoes! Today I put on shoes! For the first time since the dreaded colds of last winter I actually put my feet into shoes. I have worn out both heel of the sandals I purchased prior to my summer adventure and they are now giving me very sore feet. I guess you could say I have two flat tyres! So today I had to resort to wearing actual shoes and like each year (usually after winter begins) when I put shoes on for the first time I feel like a bloody doofus (not a word out of you Anthea!). I can't actually feel anything and it is like walking on air. I then begin tripping over all the debris that lays scattered all over Chinese footpaths; Rocks, stones, spit, coughed up lungs, rubbish, boogers, tissues, holes in the path as deep and ancient as the Tiger Leaping Gorge, woks, people, babies, dogs, cats, chickens, cows, goats, geese, market stalls, entire market places, people sleeping, people playing mahjong, old people playing Chinese checkers, cars, motorbikes, taxi's, tuk tuks, pedi cabs, rats, mice, signs, Elvis, Jim Morrison, Sarah Jessica Parker's entire shoe collection (well, exact copies of Elvis, Jim and the shoes anyhow. This is China!), cruise missiles, pandas, kung fu pandas, terracotta warriors, houses of flying daggers and crouching tigers and hidden dragons etc You know, just the average stuff you find on all footpaths (not). It's like a war zone out there sometimes! The city is very much what I was hoping for and it reminds me very much of Tianyang town which was where I lived and taught for a year and a half in Guangxi Province. I guess there are probably less water melons and baby tomatoes here though. The city is built along a main road and sits beneath large green mountains on both sides. It is very narrow and a rather long city which is exactly what Tianyang is like. So I felt very much at home from the time I arrived. The city is obviously a very poor city in a very poor are of China. It is just beginning to make itself into a more modern city such as Shaowu in Fujian Province where I lived for the past year and a half. It does have a 'main street' where you can find some of the latest shopping labels but directly behind that road you find a normal poor Chinese rural city. Broken paths are lined with umbrellas and stalls selling anything to survive. Just as it has been for a long, long time! At night these stores pull down their umbrellas and close their ancient and warn doors and vibrant night food markets can be found. Here you can satisfy almost any food desires and wash it down with a cold beer. Also happily for me I found a Lanzhou Noodle Eatery tonight on my way home from my walk. I was going to actually walk a different way but out of the corner of my eye I spotted what I thought were several scull caps moving too and fro so I raced across the road to find out they actually were! I nearly kissed the wife of the man who was hand making some noodles! I then thought it wouldn't be a good idea if I wanted to return again and again and again! I started my walk by heading to the cities main bus station and across from this I found the river that the city follows. Across the river a new part of the city is being constructed which blocks out the views of the mountains in parts which is a pity. I headed east along the river and when the walk finished I then headed back into the old city streets and as I slowly walked I snacked on different breads and meats. When I arrived near my school I decided to simply continue on the dusty little street my school is on. This actually took me all the way to the west of the city and where it ends. It was actually like visiting a small village that for some reason never stopped. I found it hard to believe that behind the old houses there was actually a main road. Once I reached the very end of the city I chose between walking the one hundred and seventeen kilometers to Xian City or to enjoy the tree lined river walk back to the middle of Shangzhuo City. I chose the latter! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: Today's walk and photos are only from the 'River' side of the city. I haven't ventured across to the other side of the main road yet. Maybe tomorrow or maybe next week sometime. PSS: Mr Fixit continues to visit me during the day, opens the fridge, puts his hand in and puts his ear to the side of the fridge and when he hears the motor working and leaves saying that everything is working. I actually didn't hear from him today, which is a bit scarey for me and my warm beer! He is actually a very funny man and would pull the roof off the building and rebuild it if he was asked to! PSSS: I have now covered the powerboard in the bathroom with plastic and it continues to remain hanging not far from the shower head. But this is normal here in China, the fact that the two most important things on the list remain unchanged and have been forgotten about is just normal. I think it is the fact that to 'us' what is important and dangerous is not thought of in the same way by the Chinese who mostly drink warm beer, milk, orange juice and water etc. Most houses in a region such as where I am now also wouldn't have a fridge and everything would be brought fresh and cooked that day. When it comes to the powerboard! Mate, when you have been here as long as I have and have travelled the places I have in China a power board hanging on the wall in the general direction of the shower head is considered 'Very Safe'. But not by me! _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by my favourite Chinese singer Wong Faye. The album was 'Heart of Glass Live' __________________________________________________________

A Casual Walk on the River Side of the City

A Casual Walk on the River Side of the City


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32-A Casual Walk on the River Side of the City

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

Space Sharks and My New School and Apartment

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya So here I am in the present day (that being Thursday, 4th September 2008) and the Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure has come to an end. My sandals and I now live in an area known as Shanglou and I will be living and teaching in Shangzhou city. The Shanglou region was formed around 2001 and Shangzhou city was made the capital and is around 120km from the ancient delight of Xian City. Shangzhou County is one of the less developed areas of China in terms of education. There are five hundred and nineteen schools in the area with over one hundred thousand students and sadly there are less than fifty English teachers. The result is that some schools have no English classes at all and others have only several. The average temperature is around 12.9, January's average is -0.1, July's average is 25.1, the highest temperature is 39.8 and sadly for me who hates snow the lowest is -14.8. but hopefully it won't get that low whilst I'm here. Besides Shangzhou County the Shangluo area is made up of six other counties and one hundred and ninety six townships and villages. Administrative Units

Area in sq.km & population as at 2000-11-01

Shangluo region 19,292 & 2,345,437 people Shangluo Shi (Shangzhou city) 2,672 & 530,883 people Luonan county 2,562 & 455,183 people Danfeng county 2,438 & 295,833 people Shangnan county 2,307 & 227,636 people Shanyang county 3,515 & 400,993 people Zhenan county 3,477 & 276,488 people Zhashui county 2,322 & 158,421 people So, I left Xian city on Tuesday. The school came to collect me and the journey back to Shangluo look over three hours. This was due to the fact that the new freeway is still under construction. Once it is complete (supposedly at the end of September) it will be a smooth one and a half hour bus ride to Xian. Most of the tunnels are still having their finishing touches put on.

I spent most of the time watching the scenery as it quickly passed my window. It made me happy and was beautiful and full of green mountains. When we arrived it was around half past six so after dropping off my bags in my new third floor apartment we all headed out for noodles, rice and a cold beer. When we got back to my apartment we began going through all the rooms to see if there was anything I wanted changed. First on the list was the power board hanging from a pole in the bathroom. It would be good if that was moved elsewhere, kind of like near the roof. Strangely they thought it was fine even though the shower head faced that direction! I thought differently and kept it at the top of the 'too be fixed list'. Next was the fridge. The motor worked, the light was on but things just weren't cold in there. In fact it was warmer in the fridge than what it was in the kitchen. Once again a few of them disagreed with me because if the light is on and the motor is working then everything is good and well. We left it until the following day! Of course the same thing happened. Mr Fixit came and went during the day, opened the fridge, put his hand in and saw that the light was on and heard the motor was working and left saying that everything was working. I then started the discussion about the fact that I really did need somewhere to hang my laundry. We all agreed on that point but it all got a little confusing when we began discussing where to put the line. I was happy with the end of the kitchen but would have been over the top happy with it being strung up in the 'middle room'. This is a room that really can't be used unless you have a dinner party and need to seat many people. I went to bed happy with the fact that the following day all would be well and I could do a huge amount of washing. Not only did I have my travelling clothes to wash but ALL my other clothes had to be washed due to the fact that they were covered in grandma wrinkles the same as those that would be on your Great Great Great Grandma if she was still alive. So yesterday after putting his hand and ear in the open fridge and saying it was working well I left scratching my head and went back into the lounge to continue watching some Lost. I head a lot of banging from the kitchen so I thought that was where the clothes line would be hung. That was ok, it was not as good as the Middle Room but I would be very happy with it. I then heard some banging from the bathroom and thought, hey they are doing the power board and I can safely have a shower tonight without squashing myself in the furtherest corner from the board. Awhile later Mr Fixit came in and motioned for me to follow him. We went straight to the bathroom and there sat the power board in the same position it was before. He then pointed to the roof and he proudly showed me my new clothes line. I was speechless and my finger remained near the level of my head and it slowly made its way to my head to begin scratching away my total confusion. Why was the power board still there and why do I have a clothes line in my tiny bathroom. He smiled and pointed to the drain and even though we had discussed the fact that when clothes come out of a washing machine they are just damp and most of the time don't even drip, I sill have my clothes line in my tiny bathroom where they can now be hung drip less to dry. The very fact that when I go to the toilet I have to sit with my head in my wet/dry clothes doesn't really matter. The other fact that doesn't matter is the fact that I have to take them all off the line when I shower and then put then back on afterwards. Before getting angry or calling Mr Fixit stupid you must remember the fact that in an area such as Shanglou most homes would not have a fridge or a washing machine. Just as Luo Wei still does in her apartment at her school, all people will wash their clothes by hand each night before going to bed. They never wring them out like we do (unlike what I do when I hand wash. I squeeze the bloody life out of mine!), they are simply hung on a clothes hanger and then on a small wire in the bathroom and left to drip dry. So I guess you could kind of compare it if I was taking a vacation in space and someone from space telling me to swim with his pet space shark because space sharks don't eat people but space nacho's as it is from his space culture. Well no, I don't think I would swim with a space shark that ate only space nachos. I would maybe grab a space beer and relax by the space pool in a space banana lounge and wave to the space shark as it swam by. I would pretty much do it my way, the way I knew worked and worked well. So over the past two days I have washed all my clothes, hung them in my bathroom, sat with my head in my washing whilst going to the toilet, unpacked all my things and watched most of the fourth season of Lost. Which by the way just keeps getting more and more confusing! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane

PS: the figures and info for Shangzhou were actually provided by my Singapore buddy Simon over two years ago when I was supposed to go here instead of Fujian Province. As always, a big thanks to Singapore Simon! _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Troggs. The album was 'Love Is All Around' __________________________________________________________

My New School and Apartment

My New School and Apartment


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1-My New School and Apartment


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2-My New School and Apartment


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3-My New School and Apartment


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4-My New School and Apartment


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5-My New School and Apartment


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6-My New School and Apartment


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7-My New School and Apartment


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8-My New School and Apartment


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9-My New School and Apartment


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10-My New School and Apartment


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11-My New School and Apartment


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12-My New School and Apartment


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15-My New School and Apartment


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17-My New School and Apartment


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21-My New School and Apartment


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24-My New School and Apartment


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25-My New School and Apartment

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