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Barry from Australia is a questioning soul who looks at social issues from an alternative point of view and instead of asking, “Why?”, he asks “Why not?” He’s convinced that many of his previous incarnations were spent in China. He feels drawn to the people there; attracted by their rich culture and way of life. If given one wish from God, he’d reply, “I want everyone on Earth to be the same colour, speak the same language, and treat each other as they themselves would like to be treated.”
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Finally On My Way To China!    

By Barry Pittman
4117 Views | 18 Comments | 5/30/2014 10:01:17 AM

Well, it's Sunday night here in Brisbane, Australia.  By the time you read this, I'll be in China.  I'm flying out tonight via Cathay Pacific to Chengdu, transiting through Hong Kong.



I'm only taking one backpack with me for the trip, that's now completely full.  I have absolutely no room anywhere to pack my large seventeen inch laptop.  I could carry it separately in its leather briefcase as hand luggage, but with the already heavy weight of the backpack, I've elected not to do this.  So I'll have to rely on my being able to use a laptop whilst staying in China to access the internet and inform you all of how my trip's progressing, as I hope to do.



My immediate plans now are to meet my friend Tina in Chengdu, then to travel immediately to the Emeishan region in Sichuan and book into a hotel there.



Then several days will be spent hiking the 70kms trail consisting of about ten thousand steps to the top of Mt Emei, staying in either farmer's hotels en route or maybe some monastaries or temples, as Tina is familiar with many monks leading their monastic lives up on the mountain.  She has spent thousands of hours hiking alone in this area over the past ten years and loves it dearly, which is why she's selected it as the important first step of our getting to know each other.



It'll no doubt be rather slow going, hiking along the forested ascent, as I'll be carrying this heavy backpack but hey, I've been training for many weeks and months for this trek and I feel physically quite strong.  At age 59, I'm now back to exactly the same weight I was at age 25, great stuff indeed.  I even have a muscled "six pack" on my abdomen, do to the weight training I've been doing.  Not bad for an "older" man! 



Anyway, I look forward to the journey, even though I dislike long plane flights, a necessary first step in reaching the destination.   But I'll pop a mild sedative soon after boarding the plane tonight and hopefully then be able to get some decent shut eye during the trip.



I'm just about to book a taxi to go to the airport. Because the flight leaves very late at 1.00am, I felt it unfair to ask any of my friends to drop me there.  I've electronically performed the flight check in, so all is ready.  I even managed to secure a seat with "extra legroom" -  this is like winning the lottery - lucky me!



Tina has been speaking to two men (myself and one other gentleman from New Zealand, who we'll call George) nearly every day for the past six months.  George has told her that he loves her, something I've declined to do as I wanted to maintain complete honesty with her.  Start off how you mean to continue.  It would've been very simple for me to also have said these words to Tina but my viewpoint is how can one truly know this, without ever having met face to face, person to person?  Not my style of Chinese dating.



The plan is for me to visit Tina first and then George will visit her.  We'll be flying half way around the world to meet her, an indication that BOTH of us are serious in our intent.  I've mentally made the decision that even though I have some wonderful and highly valued friends I've met through CLM   -  you know who you are, God bless you all - if Tina and I decide NOT to be together, then I'll change my flight booking and return to Australia without seeing anyone else.



The concept of lining up several ladies, meeting them all and then selecting one of them in the end simply didn't appeal to me.  It seemed a little like going to a supermarket and choosing the best apple or orange that was available on the shelf on that day.



Please note this is a personal viewpoint only.  I'm sure many men have had wonderful success with the strategy of meeting multiple ladies and then choosing one  -  and good luck to them.  It's a decent idea in principle yet when push came to shove, I ended up focussing the vast majority of my time on just one person.



So this trip is an all or nothing gamble for me.



Who will this beautiful Chinese woman choose?  



Have I made a big mistake in deciding to meet just one lady?


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 18) 1 2 More...
#2014-05-31 16:08:15 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, I admire much about this quest you are on, including your willingness to gamble it all on meeting only one woman in China, which requires a certain amount of nobility and is a huge risk. I admire anyone who stands by their convictions, and you are doing that.

However, I note that Tina, on the other, is choosing to adopt an approach that is a little short on nobility and a lot longer on practicality, and I confess (as everyone already knows) that I favour Tina's approach.

But it should be extremely moving to her that you are forbearing meeting anyone else, yet graciously and openmindedly, allowing her to do so. I must think you are garnering major points there and deservedly so. I'm curious to know if your worthy opponent is also going the one woman route, or meeting 2 or more Chinese ladies on his upcoming visit to China.

#2014-05-31 18:51:54 by prana @prana

Welcome to Sichuan - Emei Mountain!
The weather began to heat up now, please take care of yourself!

#2014-05-31 20:49:37 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

I value and appreciate your comments, John.

With reference to your question regarding George, the other suitor for Tina's hand, my understanding is that he's desultorily chatting to one or two other ladies but as far as he's concerned, Tina is the one and only lady for him.

I will feel great sympathy for George in fact, if Tina chooses me. Because over the past seven months, we've come to know about each other a little, through shared communications via Tina.

He's a nice, decent guy who'll make any lady a great husband. So Tina has a hard choice to make here. Whoever wins her hand will be a lucky man indeed. If Tina chooses me, the poignancy of the moment will not be lost on me.

#2014-06-01 10:26:46 by sandy339 @sandy339

Hi Barry
It is a great surpise to me you will just meet Tina. Tina sounds so natual and attractive...It is a natual selection? After chatting for a while, the chatting would go forwards or just die away, Congratulations! at least, you two go pretty well so far,
Good Luck! Take a little bit easy and enjoy your trip here:)

#2014-06-01 13:27:55 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

HI Barry

I think you already know my feelings on this - I have told you often enough
However, you must go with your own convictions my friend and I sincerely hope things go well between you and Tina

I guess we will all wait with baited breath for your up and coming news

Good Luck mate

#2014-06-01 20:19:34 by Barry1 @Barry1

@prana

Thank you for your good wishes here, Prana.

The weather is warm here but up on Emei Mountain, it gets cooler and cooler the further you walk up it.

It's nice to be in the pleasant weather here also, as I've just left the cold winter behind in Australia. I won't look forward to returning back home, as when I arrive, once again I'll be in the depth of winter.

If I could stay in China for another three months, this would be wonderful. (sun)

#2014-06-01 20:24:27 by Barry1 @Barry1

@sandy339

Thanks for your good wishes, Sandy.

What attracts me about Tina is not so much her nice looks, but more so her gentle and sweet disposition. She's a quietly spoken lady who has enormous dignity and self-respect. I won't say much more than this though at this moment as you'll learn more in upcoming episodes of my journey.

Best wishes to you, Sandy. :)

#2014-06-01 20:34:24 by Barry1 @Barry1

@paulfox1

Thanks for your good wishes, Paul.

I believe you've also recently met your Chinese lady friend - it's both an interesting and extremely rewarding experience, isn't it?

What will happen between Tina and I is in the lap of the gods. I really am not worried, as I can only be myself and do my best. No more and no less than this.

Thus what will be, will be.

Best wishes to you, Paul. May good luck be on BOTH our sides. (y)

#2014-06-02 14:49:00 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@barry1

"...left the cold winter behind in Australia"

Barry, you live in Brisbane for crying out loud, possibly the nicest climate in the world. For you North Americans, we're talking about roughly the same climate as San Diego, California. For Chinese, there is likely nowhere in China with winters as pleasant as Brisbane, except Hainan Island. (Perhaps I exaggerate a little)

I can't wait to take your sorry butt to Canada for a winter, and see how you feel about Brisbane after that.

Anymore whinging like that and I hope Tina kicks you off the top of Mount Emei. Does that poor girl have to listen to that crap? (puke)

But other than that, I'm pleased things are going well :-)

#2014-06-02 15:37:52 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

Once again you've put a smile on my face, John - thank you. You have a wonderful sense of humour indeed.

As for the cold Canadian winters - yes, I believe it gets mighty chilly there. I've watched plenty of the "Ice Road Truckers" type of cable tv shows. I can hardly believe people can survive in such a place during the bitterly cold winters there.

I promise never to whinge about the cold Brisbane/Gold Coast winters ever again! :D

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