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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.




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。














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#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


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


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


"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


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.

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


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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