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Imi was born and raised in Europe, Hungary. After finishing his school years, he moved to Canada to search for a better life. He lived in Toronto for 13 years and currently resides in Vancouver. He is a romantic at heart with a strong desire to always do the right thing. He would like to give hope to the Chinese and Asian ladies with his story and send a message that love eventually finds everybody.
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Autumn in Guilin 桂林 * 秋日 Part 1 - A Sleepy Man 一个疲倦的男人    

By Imi
1987 Views | 7 Comments | 3/13/2016 2:47:08 PM

Writing is something that I came to love. It gives me a route to escape, forget, and heal, all at the same time. I had come up with the story Autumn in Guilin during last year's Mid-Autumn Festival. Janessa (my current girlfriend) always wanted to travel to Guilin, so we went, and this is a story about that.



It was 1:40 in the afternoon. The woman with our tickets was running late. She was supposed to meet us in the parking lot at 1:30 as the cave tour that we signed up for started at 2:00 p.m.



If the woman is not here in 10 minutes, we'll be late, I thought as I sat next to Janessa on a park bench.



Not far from us, a man, unmindful of the world around him, was asleep on another bench in the shade of a large tree. For a few times, I had this feeling that the sound of his snores, in some magical way, had an invisible connection with my eyelids just like when a child plays with the switch of a garage door, rolling the door up and down.



Zezz-ZZzz-ZZz. . . My eyelids started going down.



GGggh-Ppbhww. . . My eyelids shot back up again.



If I had been as unconcerned with the onlookers as that man was, probably, I would have done the same thing—lying on the bench and aiding my lassitude with a quick nap. As a white man in China, however, I had drawn more than enough stares from people with my—as they openly say and admire—“high” nose.



It was when Janessa asked me if she should give to the woman another call, and I answered with a curt and somewhat cranky “yeah,” that her phone rang. Shortly after, a woman approached us and started speaking to Janessa. Although I didn't understand a word that they exchanged, their smiles assured me that it was the woman with our tickets to the cave.



While they talked, my eyes wandered back to the sleeping man, who suddenly stirred as a huge butterfly—almost the size of my palm started checking out the man's noisemaker closely. Apparently sensing that something was invading his privacy, the man opened his eyes sleepily and must have seen nothing else but that disturbingly huge butterfly blocking the entire sky out of his view and intimately trying to be acquainted with his mouth. His hand, still sluggish and clumsy after his nap, missed the butterfly by inches. Although the swing was wide off the mark, it had enough momentum to send him off the bench with a thud. He looked around, not in embarrassment but to get familiar with his surroundings after having dropped literally out of dreamland. As his bleary eyes met mine, I gave him a welcome back, you're-still-on-earth kind of little nod, which he didn't really give a damn about. Disappointed, he clambered back up on the bench and drifted off again, completely careless about me or my nod or, in fact, the entire world.



“Let's go.” I heard Janessa's voice, gently blanketing my world-shattering thoughts with her words and ending the temptation to team up with the man and fight off giant butterflies in dreamland.



What's wrong with me? I asked myself inwardly as I stood up to follow the two women. It's close to 11 p.m. back in Canada. I'm supposed to be in bed, sleeping like the clumsy butterfly-slayer over there on the bench, I thought. As we got to the bottom of the stairs that were supposed to lead us to the cave entrance, I turned back and gave one more envious look at the sleeping man on the bench.



Jet lag? Still? Four days after my arrival? I wondered.



I was moody, grumpy and impatient, which were the last things I needed to be. Janessa was very kind and very patient to me. She carefully planned everything for us to have a good time in Guilin. In return, I gave her nothing but a pair of sleepy eyes and a quiet, and sometimes, grumpy attitude.



Maybe it was her English skills, which hadn't come on since the last time I had visited her, that made me more morose than serene?



Her English seemed to be even worse than it had been in May. I needed to repeat simple words many times, which, of course, made her feel embarrassed and nervous. She repeatedly said, “How stupid I am for not understanding simple words like 'eat' or 'see' without your spelling them out for me.”



She could read and write quite well, but her speaking and listening skills were deficient. I thought the problem was that her job didn't require to use any English. Her English skills were the remnants of her school years some twenty years earlier. If I had only considered that, her English would have seemed impressive. My weariness, however, like a strict teacher, didn't give any credit to her rather broken English.



I wondered. The problem might have been me. I may have been just too tired to have everything explained several times before I got the message through.



We started up on the stairs. My legs, after a few steps, felt like lead rather than flesh and bone.



I hate jet lag!



Every time I traveled to China, after my arrival for a few days, the time difference made me feel like I was 76 instead of 46.



Since landing in China, I just wanted to sleep all day long. When the time, however, had come to pull the lids on my eyes, I couldn't sleep. It was just like the previous night when I had woken up at 2:00 a.m. due to a maddening noise after having slept for only two hours. Janessa had been asleep beside me, and I had wondered why she didn't hear the helicopter in the room. I'd heard it clearly and loudly. It was that noise that had woken me up in the middle of the night.



“It was the helicopter,” I muttered. “It was the helicopter in the room.”



“Did you say something?” Janessa asked me after she had stopped on the steps and momentarily ceased her chit-chat with the other woman.



“No. I was just. . . Nothing, never mind,” I said and gave her a smile. She, too, smiled back at me, turned around, and resumed leading the way up with the other woman.



I felt bad at the back. Janessa was so happy to see me, and I was. . . I was like a numb zombie trudging after them on the stairs. Thinking of zombies brought my thoughts back to my disturbingly chilling dream. During that short two hours of sleep last night, I had dreamt of being a paramedic. But last night, I hadn't been just an ordinary paramedic. In my dream, I had been a special kind of paramedic. I was an—



 



不知不觉的我爱上了写字。在这字里行间我暂离俗日,忘却疼痛,愈合伤口。这则桂林秋天的故事发生在去年的中秋节。简妮莎一直想去桂林,然后我们去了,然后我就写了这篇文字。



下午一点四十。那个女人还没有来,她有我们的票,按计划她一点半就该到这个公园跟我们回合,两点开始参观岩洞。



如果十分钟内她还不来我们就要迟到了,我心想,并挨着简妮莎在公园长凳上坐下。



不远处另一张长凳上有个男人若无其事地躺在那里睡觉。有好几次我觉得自己的一双眼皮像无形中被施了魔法似的,随着这个人的呼噜声一张一合,那情形估计跟一个小孩在把玩车库门的按钮相似,车库的卷门被卷上再卷下,卷上又卷下。



呼------,我的眼皮被放下了



噜----,我的眼皮又被卷上去了



如果我能做的跟那个人一般旁若无人,我早也躺下来哪怕小憩一会儿。可是一个西方人在中国,光我的大鼻子就已经招来好多目光了。



简妮莎问我她是不是应该给那个女人打个电话,我答了一个字“好”。我能听出自己的语气冷漠又不耐烦。这时,简妮莎的电话响了,随后一个女人朝我们走来并开始跟简妮莎说话。我听不懂她们说了什么,从她们边说边笑的表情确定,她就是我们在等的那个女人。



她们说话的时候,我又转头看向那个睡在长椅上的男人,这时有只巴掌大的蝴蝶在他脸前飞来飞去,好像很好奇那响亮的呼噜声是从哪里发出来的。这个人睡梦中感觉到什么了吧,他睡眼惺忪中睁眼四处看,知道了是这只大蝴蝶在他的鼻子嘴上噗棱,他举起胳膊用手去扇它。大概还没有完全醒过来,划拉了两下也没照准目标,自己却从椅子上掉了下去。他四下里看了看,倒不是尴尬,更像是刚从梦里醒过来还不确定自己这是在哪。他癔症着眼看到我在看他,我朝他点点头,他倒置之不理,又旁若无人地爬回长椅睡他的觉去了。对我,我的点头示意,甚至整个地球,他都视而不见呢。



“我们走吧”。简妮莎温柔的声音打消了我想加入那个男人的念头。



我这是怎么了?我跟在她们两个后面,在心里问自己。在加拿大现在是晚上11点,正常情况下我该是像那个睡在长椅上的人一样睡在床上了,我又心里说到。这时我们已经走下台阶向岩洞的入口处去,我又回头看了一眼那个人,满心羡慕。



时差?还没倒过来?这都四天了还在倒时差?我自己也不理解。



我情绪不高,甚至有些焦躁不耐烦,我知道自己不该这样的态度。简妮莎对我体贴温柔,她为我们这次桂林的旅行仔细的计划安排,而我回报给她的竟是两只重的抬不起的眼皮和我因不耐烦而沉默不语的臭脾气。



也或许是因为她的英语,跟上次见面比她的水平一点也没有改善,是否是因为这个也让我郁闷而不愿讲话?



她的英语比五月份我们见面时还差,一些简单的词语我也必须要重复好几遍她才明白,这让她觉得有些难为情并变的越来越紧张。她总是说,“我太笨了,怎么笨得连`吃`和`看`这些单词都听不懂了,每次还要你拼出来才行”。



她读和写的水平还好,但是说和听还比较差,我猜跟她的工作也有关系,因为工作中她不需要用英语,她现在的水平还是大约二十年前上学时学的。想想这点,我应该为她骄傲才行。但我自己不耐烦的态度像个古板的老师一样没有给她带来半点鼓励和认可。



唉,还是我的原因吧。是我自己因为每句话都要重复好几遍才能讲明白而不够耐心了。



我们站在台阶上,几步路下来我的双腿像注了铅一般沉。



倒时差太让人讨厌了。



每次到中国来,时差影响都让我觉得自己是76岁而非46.



从飞机在中国落地那刻起我就一整天都想睡觉。但是到睡觉的时间时却又清醒的很。前一天的晚上半夜两点钟,在我只睡了两个小时后就被一种奇怪的噪音吵醒了。简妮莎就睡在我身边,我很纳闷她怎么没有听到房间里直升机的声音,那声音异常的响而且分明就是直升机,吵的我大半夜醒来再没睡着。



“就是直升机,” 我嘟囔道,“房间里分明听到直升机的声音啊。”



你刚说什么?” 简妮莎正边走边跟那个女人讲话,突然在台阶上停下来问我。



“我说… 哦,没什么”。我朝她笑笑回答道。她也笑笑,没再问,然后继续跟那个女人走在前面领路。



我在身后看着她,觉得自己很差劲。我们这次再见面简妮莎看起来很开心,可我自己简直就是一具僵尸般踉踉跄跄没心没脑。说到僵尸,我想起了前一天晚上的梦,我只睡了两个小时,做了个梦现在想着都觉得冷飕飕的。我梦见自己是个军医,并非普通的军医,而是一个——


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(Showing 1 to 7 of 7) 1
#2016-03-13 15:28:41 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Imi, I am surprised a little that you suffered that much from jetlag on the trip TO China from Canada. My experience, backed up by a lot of other Canadians and Americans over the years, was that the trip from China to North America was the leg where real jetlag kicked in. I would feel it for a couple of days when I hit China but for well over a week after arriving back in Canada.

As for Guilin and area I spent a great short vacation there with my wife in our early years and loved it. There are places in China I would recommend more, but not many. There is an amazing video of Guilin that I have a link to on my computer which I will look for when I have access to it tomorrow. I'll come back and post it here when I find it.

Meanwhile I trust that the jetlag will dissipate in time for you to both enjoy Guilin and to recover your relationship with Janessa that so far in this episode you seem to be doing your best to kill, jetlag or not. (doh)

#2016-03-13 19:37:46 by anonymous14624 @anonymous14624

Imi, your response to your partner's difficulty with English seems very much out of character for you. You, of all people, would know that you have to support your partner's every faltering step with a second language even if you are jet-lagged.

#2016-03-13 22:25:40 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

Thank you for your comments, John.

Experts say the amount of days that you need to recover from jetlag are equal to the hours that are there between the two countries. I also read somewhere that traveling to The East is not that hard on your body when it comes to jetlag. I don't have the time to double check this information just because by the time you read this, John, I'll be about to board a plane -- guess where to? Yes -- to China. It will be my seventh trip to this land that interests me greatly, not just because my girlfriend lives there, but because the people there remind me of the people of my original country. But you'll have the opportunity to read about my feelings for China in the coming parts of this series. Not in the next two parts, though. I don't think you or the others will like the next two parts. Anyway, if I said something stupid about this "traveling to The East" thing, please forgive my ignorance.

In any case, my personal experience with jetlag is opposite to you and the Canadians and Americans that you've mentioned in your comment. When I go to China, I basically lose a day. When I'm on my way back to Vancouver, time stops.

I remember the first time I was in China 4 years ago, I board the plane at 10 am on Wednesday in Shenzhen and arrived in Vancouver at 10 am on Wednesday in Canada. Time stopped for me. It was like I had had a 16-hour long blink (16 hours the difference between Vancouver and China in the winter. But you know this, John, better than me). And also, let me just add to that, dealing with jetlag in my own bed, picking up my daily routines, and eating the food that I've gotten used to always speed up the recovering time for me.

When I'm in China, I usually eat what Janessa eats, I don't have a daily routine to follow, and the hotel beds can't give me the same feeling comfort wise -- even if there is a beautiful woman lies beside me -- that my own bed can with its familiar pit in the middle of it that I had made with my body over the years by wallowing like a happy buffalo in its favorite sump.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that everybody has a different experience with jetlag. The severity of jetlag can depend on lots of things: your mood, how tired you were when you started the journey, the food that you had eaten before and during the trip, and also if you were able to catch a bit of sleep on the airplane or not.

Thanks for your comments! I'll post part - 2 when I am back from China.


#2016-03-13 22:33:40 by anonymous14628 @anonymous14628

Imi, I concur with John, I am a Canadian as well and I always feel semi normal after second day in China, it is the return trip from China to Canada that kicks my ass, it takes between 4-6 days to feel normal and sleep patterns to adjust. I do however get disorientated at night the first night in China lol not sure if I am home or in China when waking to use the loo...

Liking this article so far...

#2016-03-14 16:12:32 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Hi Imi

You wrote: "Anyway, if I said something stupid about this "traveling to The East" thing, please forgive my ignorance."

you didn't say anything stupid at all. You were describing your jetlag in China and I was surprised you suffered it so badly going in that direction, but I wasn't for a moment questioning that you do. And you are not the first person to do so, but in 12 years living in China, and especially as a bar owner for the first couple of years and a dating site owner for the last 8 years, I have encountered a lot of westerners who travel to China.

My experience is that by far the most of us experience excessive jetlag going home to Canada or the US and much less jetlag when we arrive in China. You are simply one of few exceptions to the rule in my experience. But I have no doubt at all in the veracity of what you are describing.

Whatever you write about Imi, you can be confident that I will not consider it to be stupid.

Cheers, John

#2016-03-15 00:29:28 by Imi5922 @Imi5922


John, I haven't thought for a second that you questioned anything at all with your comments. I was just surprised as well to learn that people from the USA and Canada going to China can recover sooner from jetlag than the other way around. After my first long-distance flight, I read some article about jetlag, and I'm confident that said if we traveled to westerly direction, we would feel less jet-lagged. After reading your comment, I actually questioned myself if I remembered the article accurately. In any case, I, as you said, might be one of those few exceptions who have a different response to jetlag. I know for sure that I'm a light sleeper and sometimes I have problems with new sleeping arrangements, which can significantly lengthen my jetlag.

@anonymous14624

You're right. I should know it better how hard it is for a beginner speak a new language. Most of the time I'm patient, and actually, Janessa tells me how patient I'm with her when we study together. But I'm also far away from perfect. I make mistakes like everybody does, and I make them daily. But I try to fix them as soon as I can, especially when I'm in a relationship.

@anonymous14628

Thank you for your comments. I, too, get sometimes disoriented when I'm in China. On this particular trip last fall, I got disoriented on the third night. There was a reason for it, and you'll be able to read about it in the next two parts. I barely slept 9 hours in 72 hours, and I was totally confused about where I was. I actually wrote the next one and a half part in China right after waking up disoriented. It's a very detailed part of my story and some might get bored by reading it, but I enjoyed writing it very much and had a lot of fun with it.

#2016-03-15 23:11:31 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

You might 'feel-like-shit' for a day or so, but the following WORKS......

No matter what time of day or night it is, go to bed at your 'normal' time and get up at your 'normal time', regardless of whether it means 2 hours sleep or ten (take a sleeping pill if you have to)

You should recover within 24 hours (48 hours max)

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