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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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My China Trip - Day 1 - I've Arrived 我的中国之行 - 第一天    

By Barry Pittman
6874 Views | 15 Comments | 5/30/2014 10:03:13 AM

The flight over from Brisbane to Hong Kong and then transiting through to Chengdu was a bit of a nightmare.  This had nothing to do with meeting Tina -  but everything to do with accidentally slicing my little toe on a piece of tin whilst walking around barefoot in my backyard, merely hours before the big flight to China. My toe was bleeding profusely but all I could do was to bandage it up and hope for the best.



The flight was leaving at 1.00am on the Monday morning, arriving in Hong Kong around 7.30am (China time), with the two hour connecting flight to Chengdu taking off at 10.00am



On paper, I'd done this all before.  An overnight flight to China - no worries at all.  EXCEPT that this time, for the entire night, the little toe on my foot was throbbing due to the gash I'd put into it just hours earlier, making it impossible to sleep, despite taking a sedative. The wound seemed to be getting septic - all in the space of a few short hours - what a wonderful, auspicious start to my long anticipated China trip!



The couple of hours waaiting at Hong Kong passed uneventfully.  I started reading an interesting book, "The 5:2 Diet" by Dr Michael Mosley.  I chatted also to a nice Aussie couple who were on their way to Heathrow to visit their daughter and following this, were to do a tour around Europe.  I advised them to visit China sometime in the future, as to me it would be a fascinating cultural diversion for them, particularly if they travelled away from the big cities into the "real" China..



Upon finally arriving in Chengdu and completing Customs formalities , I hobbled out to meet the dear Chinese woman I'd been writing to virtually every day for the past seven or so months.  Strangely enough, I felt not the slightest bit nervous.  This surprised most people when I told them this, but as a believer in the Buddhist faith, I reckoned that what would happen was already written into my life plan.



It sounds odd and maybe even crackpot to non-believers, but I have faith that all the major turning points in our lives are preordained, even down to the timing and manner of our own deaths.



So the success (or failure) of my meeting with Tina in my mind was already a matter of immutable fate.  Events would happen in exactly the manner as already charted in the greater scheme of things, so why be concerned?



Finally passing through the final Customs and Immigration barrier at Chengdu Airport, there was Tina - she recognised me instantly, waved at me and we gave each other a hug.  I wanted to kiss her but was aware of the Chinese tradition of refraining from open expressions of public intimacy between people.  I noticed also that many people were looking at us in the terminal building, presumably because I was the only Westerner in sight and the tallest person in the foyer as well.  So I behaved perfectly respectably with Tina who reciprocated in like manner, except for the mischievous grin on her radiant face.



I'm writing this article on Tina's laptop whilst sitting in a small hotel located at the base of Mt Emei, where we travelled to upon leaving the airport.  I asked Tina if there were any areas of interrest to see in Chengdu but she said no, she wanted to get out of the place.  She's a small town type of lady who far prefers nature and trees over noise and pollution.



We plan to commence the long Mt Emei trek tomorrow IF my slightly swollen and rather painful foot is up to it.  Tina has remarked how "slim and strong" I appear to be, that makes all the arduous hours on the treadmill and pumping weights I'd done at home worth the effort.  I'm just hoping the swollen toe settles down quickly.



Tina and I have adjacent hotel rooms.  We quite obviously like each other BUT this is a far cry from making the decision to fully commit. We each know that these current few days where we're learning more and more about each other are critical for the long term future of our relationship.  She's a quiet, demure and gentle soul and I'm gratified that so far, things are going along smoothly.



I don't know where we'll be staying tomorrow night.  I've left all the planning for the trip to Tina.  She's unsure of how fast our trekking pace will be, so has not made any firm plans re accommodation.  My injured toe has thrown another complication into the mix as well.



For some reason, Tina doesn't like many of the photos we took of each other over the past day or so.  She deleted at least half of them, remarking



"Oh, I don't look good here" or "Look how fat my face looks there!"



So it's not an easy process to show you many of the pictures that I took as she's removed over half of them!



It was interesting that upon meeting, Tina also showed no obvious signs of nervousness.  She was immmediately friendly, happy and smiling.  We had jumped into a taxi from the airport that took us the seventy five minute trip to where we are now. For those who may be interested, this is a farmer's hotel located near the Laifeng Pavillion at the base of Mt Emei, charging 100 yuan per night for a twin share room.  Rates escalate during any long weekend or holiday seasons.



Like many Chinese ladies, Tina doesn't have a driving licence and has no particular interest in driving a car.  This issue is one that'll need to be addressed IF she and I decide to be together.  Sadly if Tina is to live in a Western country, she may be forced to drive a car due to the poor public transport systems in many Western cities.  This is because everyone over here owns at least one car and thus the need for an efficient public transport system  isn't as great as in China.



Tina has a 16 year old daughter named Wendy who's going to spend the week with her grandparents whilst Tina and I hike around Mt Emei.  Wendy speaks better English than her mother and also is taller than her.  She's an A-grade student who recently came seventh out of a total of three hundred kids who took some sort of acedemic proficiency test.  She supports her mother's intention to marry a Westerner.



I'm aware that the next five days will be the deciding ones as to whether or not Tina and I are to be together.  If we decide that we can be good friends but not potential marriage partners, then I'll return home.  She'll accompany me to the airport and help check me in, if this unwelcome situation arises.  I've reconfirmed over and over in my mind that either Tina and I are to be together - or else no one at all.  



I may yet end up being a long term bachelor, if things don't work out as they should.



从布里斯班飞往香港然后转机到成都的飞行有点象是个恶梦。这和我去见TINA没有半毛钱的关系,可是却和我的大脚趾有千丝成缕的关系。就在我将要飞往中国的仅仅几个小时之前,我光着脚丫在我的后院逛荡的时候,我可怜的大脚趾不小心的被一小片锡片给割伤了。这脚趾儿马上汩汩不停的流血,我毫无办法只能草草的把它包扎起来,心里祈祷万事顺利。



飞机在星期一凌晨1点起飞,大约7点半(中国时间)到达中国香港,两个小时转机,早上10点起飞飞往中国成都。



理论上来说,我在起飞之前已经把全部过程走了一遍。经过一个晚上的飞行,我将到达中国,根本没有什么需要担心的。可是此时,只有一点是例外的,那就是我整晚都根本无法入睡,即使我已经服用了镇静剂,几个小时之前我刚刚受伤的大脚趾的伤口一阵阵的发痛。



在香港机场等待的几个小时非常的顺利,我开始读一本有趣的书,Dr Michael Mosley 写的“5:2的饮食”。我还和一对非常和善的澳洲夫妇聊天。他们将飞往希恩罗机场去看望他们的女儿,之后,他们会开始一段欧洲旅行。我建议他们将来某一天去中国旅行。就如对我一样,对于他们来说,那也将是一场迷人的文化之旅,特别是如果他们离开大城市旅行到“真正”的中国去的话。



终于到达成都机场和完成了海关手续,我蹒跚地走出去走向我亲爱的中国女人,在过去的七个月或更多的时间里,我几乎每天都给她写信。非常奇怪的是,我一丁点儿也不觉得紧张。无论我告诉谁这一点,他们大多数都会觉得非常的吃惊。但是,作为一个佛教信徒,我认为将要发生的一切都早已经在我的生命痕迹中写好了。



最后,我终于通过了成都机场的所有入关关卡,TINA就站在那里。她一下子就认出了我,对我招手。我们俩互相拥抱了一下。我想亲吻她,但是我突然想起来中国的风俗,不要在公共场合太过于亲密。我也注意到到达大厅很多人都在看着我们,可能因为我是可以看到的唯一一个西方人,也是最高的一个。所以,我让自己的行为举止非常的完美,非常的体面。TINA也一样。只是在她闪闪发亮的脸上挂着调皮的微笑。



当我们坐在小小的旅店房间里的时候,我用TINA的手提电脑写这篇文章。这个旅店坐落在峨嵋山脚下,我们从机场那边直接来到这里。我问TINA在成都有什么有意思的地方可以参观吗?TINA说没有,她想走出那个地方。她是一个“小村姑”,她更喜欢自然和树木,而不是噪音和污染。



我们准备明天开始我们长长的峨嵋山登山之旅,如果我的稍微有些发肿的相当痛疼的脚趾合适的话。TINA已经说了我看起来相当的“修长和强壮”,她的评语让我觉得我那些在跑步机上辛苦的时光,我在家里减肥的所有的努力都是多么的值得。我只希望我的肿胀的大脚趾快快的好起来。



我和TINA住在相邻的房间里。很明显我们都喜欢对方,但是,这离决定最终在一起还远着呢。我俩相互都知道这接下来的一些日子对我俩将来的关系非常的重要。我们要更多的了解对方。她非常的文静,端庄,温和。到目前为止,我非常的满意。事情发展得非常的顺利。



我不知道我们明天晚上会住在哪里。我在中国的所有的旅行计划都听TINA的。她不太确定我们的登山速度会有多快,所以,她也没有定下明晚的住宿。我受伤的大脚趾已经引发了并发症。



出于某些原因,我俩给对方照的很多相片TINA都不喜欢。她把最少一半的相片都给删掉了,她说“哦,这张我看起来一点都不好”或是“看看那张,我的脸看起来胖极了”



所以,在这儿给你们看一些我拍的相片可一点也不容易,因为她删掉了多半的相片。



说起来有趣的是,TINA对于见面也一点儿也不紧张。她一见面就非常的友善,开心,不停的微笑。在机场我们拦了一辆的士,开了75分钟到了我们现在的旅馆。你们如果有人感兴趣的话,这是一家农家旅游,在峨嵋山脚下,靠近来峰亭,双标间每晚收费100元。在周末或节假日期间会升价。



跟很多的中国女人一样,TINA并没有驾照,对开车也没有特别的兴趣。如果她和我决定在一起,这个问题得提一提。让人不快的是,如果TINA生活在一个西方国家的话,她得被迫学习开车,因为这些西方国家的公共交通非常的差。因为每个人至少有一辆车,所以,跟中国不一样,对高效的公共交通系统需求不高。



TINA有一个16岁的女儿,名叫wendy。在TINA和我一起登山的时间里她会和外公外婆住在一起。WENDY英文说得比她的妈妈好,长得也比她妈妈高。她的学习成绩很好,总得A的学生。最近,她参加了一个学术考试,一共300个学生参加,她得了第7名。她非常支持她妈妈和西方人谈恋爱结婚。



我很清楚未来的5天非常重要,它将决定我和TINA是否会真的在一起。如果我们决定我们只是好朋友而不是可能的结婚对象,我会打道回府。她会送我去机场帮我办理登机手续。我在心里不停的说,我要不跟TINA在一起,要不就独身一人,不会再有其他人了。



我有可能成为一个长期单身汉,如果事情发展得不如意的话。


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(Showing 1 to 10 of 15) 1 2 More...
#2014-06-01 13:57:30 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, you dog you, Tina is both attractive and incredibly fit. I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned her age (probably I'm just forgetting, it's my age you know) but she has the tummy of a 20 year old. And I can't help but notice a pretty sly grin on your face with your arm around her, like the cat that ate the canary. Good on ya, Mate!

However, I am having trouble putting these two comments together and making any sense out of it:

1. "So the success (or failure) of my meeting with Tina in my mind was already a matter of immutable fate. Events would happen in exactly the manner as already charted in the greater scheme of things, so why be concerned?"

2. "If we decide that we can be good friends but not potential marriage partners, then I'll return home. She'll accompany me to the airport and help check me in, if this unwelcome situation arises. I've reconfirmed over and over in my mind that either Tina and I are to be together - or else no one at all."

If, as you say, it is all "charted in the greater scheme of things", then who are you to have "reconfirmed over and over in my mind" that if not her, then it will be no one at all?

For all you know it has been written in the stars that Tina will be the guide who brings you to China to meet your one great love on the heights of Mount Emei, or perhaps to hole up in a hotel in loneliness and, while searching CLM again, to spot "she who must be your lifemate".

I'm really pulling for you that Tina is the one, and you never have to look further, but if by chance that doesn't pass, then please get your head out of your butt, pull up your socks and carry one with your quest in China like the intelligent and confident man that you are. What an incredible waste of your time and your resources, not to mention your pride and your true value as a wonderful human being, to go crawling back to Aus with your tail between your legs because of one near miss.

Go for the Gold with Tina, but failing that, go for it with the next beautiful Chinese lady to come into your life, and don't close the door to her before she can enter. You're here for a reason, no matter how it unfolds it should surely be allowed to unfold in full.

Cheers, Mate, and carry on!

#2014-06-01 20:51:09 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

Thanks for this, John.

You speak a lot of sense and I'll contemplate your words carefully.

Tina is 44 and you're right, has the flattest tummy of any lady that I've ever been with. She's also incredibly fit and strong, much more so than her slender frame would indicate.

Once again, thanks so much for your good advice, John. Your words won't be ignored.

#2014-06-02 02:42:37 by anonymous10172 @anonymous10172

Barry, look at her waist! Like Shakira said "The hips don't lie!" Damn man, what are you waiting for?

#2014-06-02 09:41:34 by pourquoipasamour @pourquoipasamour

@Barry1 Barry, I just want to let you know that there are no words strongly enough any language that could possibly use to wish you all the happiness in the world. I have always admired and respect you because I feel you are a first class human being and I know you chose well and also have a great lady at your side. I wish you both a fantastic relationship, based on love, respect, friendship care for each other, all the VERY best, my Australian friend. I feel happy for you, these were great news and I will pray each and every day for you both. May the Lord bless you both. Way to go Barry !!! Angela and I wish all the good things in life to you and your lady.

#2014-06-02 14:03:28 by prana @prana

很高兴听到你大成都的消息。
祝你平安!
也祝福一切顺利!

#2014-06-02 15:23:13 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous10172

"Damn man, what are you waiting for?"

This is a good question, Anon10172 - one that I ask myself about twenty times per day! (giggle)

#2014-06-02 15:29:23 by Barry1 @Barry1

@pourquoipasamour

Thanks to both you and Angela for your kind words, Daniel. I reciprocate everything back to you.

If everyone in the world had the same inherent integrity, decency and high values that you so obviously possess in spades, what an absolutely marvellous and uplifting place it'd be! (y)

#2014-06-02 18:17:22 by asia4love @asia4love

Hey! Nice to read. I hope everything works out for you (and the toe!). She looks great, have a nice time.

#2014-06-02 22:28:29 by prana @prana

Congratulate you! Barry.
You seem more handsome than imagined!
Also blessed your can be further understand each other, not to impulse.
祝贺你!巴里。
你似乎比想象的更帅!
也祝福您们可以进一步了解对方,不要冲动。

#2014-06-03 08:58:05 by Barry1 @Barry1

@asia4love

Thanks for your kind words, mate.

Thank heaven my toe is much better now. Tina took good care of it without being asked, a small thing that by itself, shows me she is good potential wife material. (y)

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