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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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Jenny, a New Relationship?    

By Barry Pittman
2150 Views | 23 Comments | 4/10/2019 12:31:46 PM

I first met Jenny whilst working as an English teacher in Leshan in Sichuan Province, China in 2016.  She was a dance leader, that is, several evenings per week, she and a group of followers would street dance for one to two hours, a wonderful tradition within much of China. Western countries are much the worse for not having such a unique, charming practise.



What set Jenny apart were two things.  The first being that she was a really great Zumba dancer, a fast paced, energetic dance style. Most of the other dancers in the town performed a slower, more traditonal dance routine. I naturally gravitated toward Jenny’s fast paced, interesting and rather exhausting technique. I felt fatigued just watching her!



The second thing that set Jenny apart was that right from the beginning, she seemed to like me a lot. I was inwardly as surprised  - shocked -  about this as the next guy.  Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth however, I grabbed  it and ran like an Olympic sprinter, afraid to look back in case I was dreaming!



How we met was as follows. I was wandering around the town one evening when I stumbled over a pretty girl cavorting in the street like a professional dancer. She was the leader of a group, who were all following her pacey movements. I moved closer, rather intrigued by what I saw. This vibrant dancing lady noticed me then smiled and waved. At 189 cms tall, I was easy to spot amongst the sea of shorter Chinese folk around me. Then the same thing happened a few days later when fortuitously, I again spotted her dancing during my routine evening walk. She spied me also and gave me another lovely smile and welcoming salutary wave.



“Gosh, maybe I’m onto a good thing here!” I covertly wondered. At that stage, I was as skinny as a rake, even thiner than I am now. The spicey Sichuan food didn't sit well with me so I resembled a half-starved POW, in my mind, at least. 



Jenny’s friendly actions to me were made all the more gratifying by the fact that current girlfriend Lily had only a matter of days earlier, phoned me and quite bluntly dumped me. She requested that I go to her place and remove all my belongings, which in turn I did, feeling shell-shocked by the suddenness and savagery of it all. Long time readers here may remember the following blog.



https://blog.chinalovematch.net/blog/article/we-are-born-alone-we-die-alone



The third time I saw Jenny, I arrived a little later than usual and as it happened, I was still admiring her when the dancers finished for the night. Quite bravely I walked up and attempted to speak to this zesty, intriguing lady but very quickly realised she didn’t understand a word I was saying. Damn! Fortunately though, one of her English speaking friends was nearby who was able to very roughly translate for me. The translator's English was terrible however, it seemed to take an age to get my message across, phrase by phrase.



“Very wonderful dancing  - I like it very much!” I blurted out.  Upon hearing this from the translator, the dancer beamed, looking very happy. I learnt her name was Jennifer, though I always referred to her as Jenny.



“Would you like to go for a walk with me on Saturday?” I asked. It wasn’t the greatest pick-up line of all time, but it was all I could think of at that moment. The poverty of my eloquence was compensated for by the broadness of my smile.



Upon hearing my request, once again Jenny beamed and nodded her agreement. “Wow, if only dating Aussie women was this easy!” I wondered to myself, knowing how diffident and arrogant many Western women often were. But ah, that's a whole other story. Don't get me started on it!



Anyway, Saturday duly arrived and Jenny drove her small car to Leshan University. I enjoyed working here immensely, it brought back so many memories of my own glorious university days forty or so years earlier as a pimply, very shy young lad. How times change. How the world turns. How fleeting is this thing called life!



Since living in China, I realised more profoundly than ever before that I'd made the right choice in coming here. Life wasn't about staying within the mundane hamster wheel, endlessly going round and round in circles. No!  Life was about finding yourself, about creating yourself, about metaphorically falling upon one's knees giving thanks, exhibiting some gratitude, for this most precious of all gifts.  To truly live is indeed, an uncommon thing, most simply exist within this Truman show, thinking they're free, not understanding that in fact, they're lower than pawns on an immense chess board, one that's way beyond their comprehension.



There's a message here for those who would reflect upon it. Time in a way being little more than a long river of memories, an ever-flowing stream of dreams, some being ultimately satiated, though with many being sadly vanquished. Inherent within every great dream was not just the possibilitygreat fulfilment, but also the dismaying potential for even greater disappointment, as effervescent hopes become smashed upon the tyrannical rocks of harsh reality.



Sweet Jenny and I duly met at my apartment door a couple of days later, she appeared a little nervous but this of course was completely understandable. We then sauntered over to the nearby university eating area and had a quiet lunch together though I desultorily only picked sparingly at my food. I lost a lot of weight in China, simply being unable to eat the way over-spiced Sichuan food, with hot chilly peppers everywhere, waiting like lurking sharks in your soup or veges, ready to viciously bite your tongue!



Our conversation together was rather stilted, as neither of us understood the other person’s language. But we did a lot of grinning and gesticulating, that seemed to have the desired effect. Two pairs of impassioned eyes meeting, staring poignantly into eachother's soul, are arguably all that's needed for the most indepth conversation of all time. I sensed there was something special about this enigmatic lady. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, even as the hairs on my arms bristled.



Where would it lead?  



The meeting of two lonely hearts

Across impossible time and space

Feelings of joy, happiness at last

Yet deep within one sadly knows

Grief will ultimately be the price

to be paid

for love



Periculum est enim caritas pretium, dolor?



(To be continued)


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 23) 1 2 3 More...
#2019-04-10 12:31:26 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, how good it is to see a new blog from you. Especially one that seems to be leading to happy times and away from the sadness you were feeling from your breakup. 

Of course you've added a few blogs since then, but it's difficult reading one's state of emotional well being in blogs that are more about conspiracy theories or politics than anything else.

But this blog seems to be leading to a great romantic comeback and a happier, brighter Barry who is now enjoying life again. And doing so with a delightful Chinese woman who appears, both from her photos and from your description, to be a joy to be around.

Here's to you Barry, I hope this story ends as well as it is starting out.(beer)(beer)(beer)(clap)

#2019-04-10 14:10:34 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot  

 

"a delightful Chinese woman who appears, both from her photos and from your description, to be a joy to be around."

 

Thanks for this, John. 

 

Yes, Jenny is a lovely lady. 

 

But there's a story to be told here. A good one?  Or a bad one?


Sorry John, I can't reveal more at this point. Unless I tell you but then have to kill you, to ensure your silence.   (think)(think)

 

 

#2019-04-10 20:34:02 by oldghost @oldghost

Why not tackle the language issue head-on!  Try a Coursera.org or EDX.org beginning Chinese course, free! 

I happened to watch a Danish-Chinese movie 'Chinaman' last night, in mixed Danish and Chinese.  Some of the Danish I could pick up too - of a relationship starting with zero common language.  A simple unsophisticated movie, but nevertheless enjoyable.

老鬼

 

#2019-04-11 11:56:00 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Hey Barry, I didn't ask you to reveal in advance what the conclusion is. I just expressed my hope as to what it is. So put the gun away and tell me in your own good time.  I'd prefer to learn what happens as the writer chooses to reveal it, and thereby live for a few more years.

#2019-04-11 12:06:29 by Barry1 @Barry1

 

@oldghost



"Why not tackle the language issue head-on!"


I did in fact try to learn Chinese whilst working at the university. But it was far too difficult unfortunately. I gave up, retreating from the class like a scalded mongrel dog, hoping no one had noticed my ignominious retreat.  :o

 

 

#2019-04-11 19:12:04 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Barry, I smiled when I saw the photo of Jenny and the bowl of nuts. I remember chatting with her right at that moment, lol. She surely is a lovely lady.

However, she's been raised on Sichuan food, so I guess you force-feeding her fruit, nuts and seeds wouldn't be going down too well.

@oldghost obviously doesn't know you're a lazy twat who was married to a Chinese lady for half a lifetime, and yet can only say 'Ni Hao', and 'xie xie', very badly indeed.

I admire oldghost for his ability to use Chinese characters, my vocabulary is either spoken, or pinyin. I possibly recognise less than 100 'han zi', and can write about 10 of them only.

That said, you have often openly complimented me for being able to converse in Chinese, yet you seem to remain fervently against learning it - why is that?

Surely you have incentive?

I remember when I was at high school, and 14 years of age. We were 'force-fed' French, and Latin. I learned some Latin, but failed miserably in French, because I saw no reason to learn it.

One day, I was given the opportunity to go on a school trip to Italy. My dad said I could go, and when our Latin teacher offered to give up his lunch hour in order to teach us some Italian, I jumped at the chance.

I can honestly say, even to this day, that I leaned more Italian in 2 weeks than I learned French in 5 years. Why? Because I had an incentive.

Had I known that I was going to end up being the 'bitch' for my classmates, maybe I would have thought twice. (Paul, help me say this; Paul, help me say that), but it's a fond memory that I remain somewhat proud of.

No, unlike oldghost, (seemingly), I don't have a 'gift' for language, but I made a decision to learn (vocational) Chinese because I was doing business here. I never even thought about finding a Chinese partner, or working here.

If I can do it; if oldghost can do it, then you can too. Stop being so lazy!

Please give my regards to Jenny.

 

#2019-04-12 12:16:06 by oldghost @oldghost

@paulfox: no gift at all - did wonderfully well at school in Latin French and German, and equally well at forgetting them rapidly afterwards, though I can still understand a little of the spoken and written language.  As for Chinese I have struggled for 25 years ... trying now to read simple short stories, and planning to tackle Lu Xun 'The story of Ah-Q' one day soon. Masochist that I am! :D

老鬼

 

#2019-04-12 13:00:41 by melcyan @melcyan

@paulfox1

Your last comment starting "Barry, I smiled when I saw the photo of Jenny and the bowl of nuts" is the most enjoyable and informative comment that I have read from you in a long time. This morning I was in bed using a Chinese language app that I have not used for 3 months and then I read this comment from you. An amazing coincidence. There are many different ways to succeed at learning a language. I love Chinese characters. Thank you for reinforcing my renewed motivation for getting stuck into learning the Chinese language. @oldghost keep using Chinese characters in your blogs and comments. I appreciate it. It definitely supports the way I learn.

#2019-04-12 14:04:14 by oldghost @oldghost

@paulfox your italian trip reminds me ... my son as the bass clarinetist in the school band was offered a trip to Italy and Austria.  That Chinese wife fiercely opposed it (everything about her is fierce!)  but I surreptitiously proceeded, lying about the cost, and concealing the payments. He was lavish in his praise of Italian girls who I gather quite took to him.  Sadly, in the official tour CD he made an awful clarinet quawk.  We never discussed the trip in front of her!

#2019-04-13 00:32:12 by newbeginning @newbeginning

Hey Paul, did you know in the USA and Canada the word twat is also a slang term for a ladys vagina? lol 

Barry, good on you mate!! Being the ultimate male ogre that I am, I have to say: she has nice nice legs! My ex wife would never learn dance with me but with her new man she is learning to dance... go figure.

Looking forward to your next episode!

 

Cheers...

NB

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