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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 12 我的中国之行—第12天    

By Barry Pittman
9516 Views | 54 Comments | 6/6/2014 6:21:01 PM

I awoke earlier than usual in my hotel room this morning.  "What's that!", I wondered to myself.  There was an unusually large amount of car horn tooting and blaring going on, yet the time was only just after 6.00am.  I soon realised what had happened.  My ear plugs had fallen out!



I had learnt from experience that the only chance to get half a decent night's sleep in China was to religiously use ear plugs.  The baseline noise here is significantly greater than the West, mainly due to both incessant car horns and also men clearing their throats in as loud and uncouth a fashion as possible, then enthusiastically spitting as large a piece of evil looking phlegm onto the sidewalk as they can muster! 



I’m sure they take great pride in the process – the more offensive the noise they can create in doing this and the larger the blob of slimy sputum that they happily eject, the better.  Something akin to penis envy, I suspect.



“Mine is bigger than yours!



In Queensland, Australia, where I live, police issue tickets to drivers who toot their car horn without a valid reason.  Imagine what a field day these police would have in China  -  the national debt of the country would be able to be paid off in double quick time, just from the proceeds of these fines, were this able to be done!



As for raucously spitting out great blobs of slobber every few minutes onto the sidewalk, carefully aiming at where most people would walk and immediately notice it, this wouldn’t be tolerated either!



In any case, back in my hotel room I jammed the earplugs back into place and wafted off to sleep for another hour or so.



Tina on this day had to visit Chengdu in the company bus with a bunch of other government employees to attend their annual physical check up.  In principle, this sounded like a good idea, monitoring employees' health in order to hopefully detect the possible early onset of any disease.



For Tina, this involved everything from a pap smear through to a mammogram and blood tests.  This was one Chinese woman who seemed to be in peak physical condition so I wasn't worried about her.



The day was raining anyway, so I spent a leisurely few hours inside, catching up with work emails and sundry other things.  Tina and I would meet again in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on how quickly or slowly things went in Chengdu.



During a slow period in my China travel such as this, maybe now is the time to say that this series of articles isn't meant to be particularly exciting or spectacular.  It’s not even supposed to be especially entertaining, though if it achieves this in some modicum, this is a fortunate byproduct and not a specific aim.



These articles are simply a relatively brief description of one person's journey into unfamiliar surroundings.  A life without risk is one without reward. Everything that's written is based on actual events. This isn't a work of fiction but of FACT.



Some days however will be rather mundane.  Some in turn will be interesting.  This means certain articles will necessarily be a little lacklustre or boring, but unfortunately I can't help this. For those readers who find this to be the case, please skip to somewhere else that may hold more interest to you.  



I won’t be making things up in my articles, simply to make them more exciting.  Entertainment and excitement is NOT my primary goal. I say this good humouredly and apologise in advance for those times when reading my sometimes weary words will be akin to watching the tide slowly roll in.



Let me give a sincere commendation also to Marissa, who's undertaken the rather thankless job of interpreting my mumblings and mutterings into Chinese.  This I reckon would be a tedious task and is mightily appreciated.  The Aussie slang I could use here is, "I dips me lid to you", which means, "I take my hat off to you".  



People should be cognisant also that it takes YEARS of study -  plus have a sharp and intelligent mind  -  to reach a high level of language competence where accurate translation can be performed.   Thank you, Marrissa.  You’re a kind hearted and very fine person.



Putting pen to paper in a timely manner as events unfold will help me in years to come, remember more clearly what exactly happened in my “China trip of 2014”.  If I didn’t write things down, then most assuredly, within a couple of years, so many interesting incidents, occurrences and interactions with people that are fresh in my mind now would increasingly become blurred within the inevitable, inexorable swirling mists of time.



But there’s more.  By forcing myself to reflect upon the day’s activities each evening, this enables me to focus more clearly on the real issues happening at any given time, not the side ones.  Sometimes one becomes too close to the situation  -  one cannot see the wood for the trees, cannot properly recognise the meat from the bones.  But by writing about everything, priorities can more easily be recognized, trends can be discerned and deficiencies in responses or behaviour can be noted.



But back to the story at hand.



Wendy had spent most of the afternoon at home whilst I was on the computer.  I was surprised how quickly this Chinese girl and I had become friends.  She seemed to genuinely like me.  Of course, I liked her also.  I didn’t take this too significantly though, as I’m sure Wendy would’ve liked any Western man who’d been here, providing he was polite and friendly.  Her English was pretty good, at around the seven out of ten level – compared to Tina who was around five out of ten  - so most things I said were able to be understood by her.  If not, I simply needed to repeat things slowly to her two or three times – she generally caught the gist of what I was saying.



Wendy told me about her grueling school work.  She needed to leave for school each week day around 7.00am and she didn’t return till 9.20pm each evening.  Unbelievably tough.  She was an A grade student, generally in the top five per cent of her class.  But the amazing thing is that she was NOT spoilt. This was a solid testament to Tina’s abilities as a loving yet disciplined parent.  Spoiling a child in China is easy to do and is in fact almost the norm.  NOT doing this is so much more difficult a task.



One of my regrets is that I’d been unsuccessfully married previously to a Chinese lady who had a son in his early twenties.  The son  - like so many others here - had been spoilt by a doting mother.  Some refer to this as the “little prince” or the “little princess” syndrome, as these spoilt kids during their upbringing often are treated like junior aristocrats.



Once living with us in Australia, the 22 year old son in my case refused to do any study or training, in order to help himself find a decent job.  Sometimes he’d lock himself in his room for days at a time, only venturing out to go to the toilet or grab a quick bite to eat.  He was embarrassed by his lack of English ability and he lacked self confidence generally, because unfortunately his spoilt upbringing hadn’t properly prepared him to cope well in an environment where suddenly he no longer was treated like a little blue-blooded lord.



To cut a long story short, this pampered young man was a major reason why the marriage failed.  The son avoided me;  he didn’t like to discuss issues or problems with me;  nor did he like to socialize or go out with his mother or I, because he kept saying we were “old people”.  It was like living with a stranger under your roof.  The more I urged him to go out and find a job or do some study, the more he resented me.  Sometimes he and his mother would have screaming matches at each other about his poor attitude, eventually dragging me into them.  This was a bad error as it turned out on my part.  I should’ve remained neutral.  Because once I started siding with his mother, the kid’s resentment of me increased.  What a blissful Chinese/Western marriage this had turned out to be! 



In the above account, I'd badly miscalculated the negative effects that an uncooperative child or young adult could have on a mixed culture marriage.  Online Chinese dating is regrettably full of traps like this.  Caveat emptor  (let the buyer beware).



This is the reason why this time around, I was being much more careful in the decisions I make;  the actions that I take.  Never again do I want to be part of a terrible, downward spiraling family triangle like this again.



It gives me no particular pleasure in recounting my past marital failure.  I feel somewhat like a failure myself, because of it.  But through recounting this unpleasant experience, if I can potentially save just one Western man from perhaps jumping in a tad too quickly into an online dating relationship with a Chinese or Asian lady who has a spoilt and resentful or recalcitrant child, then my job will have been done here.



今天早晨,在宾馆房间里我比平常醒得早。“这到底是怎么回事呢!”我想着。这时候刚刚过了早上6点而已,就很不寻常的有很多很大声的汽车喇叭声在不停的嘟嘟嘟。我很快的意识到发生了什么事了。我的耳塞掉出来了。



由我的经验得知,想要在中国好好睡一个好觉的话得虔诚的使用耳塞。这边最基本的噪音可要比西方国家的噪音大得多得多了。这噪音主要是由两个方面的原因造成的,一个原因是永不停息的汽车喇叭声,另一个原因是男人们用时髦的方式清喉咙,尽可能的又大声又粗鲁,然后满腔热情的吐出一大口他们所能够召集起来的一大块看起来恶心极了的痰到人行道上去。



我确信他们在做这个事情的时候可是万分自豪的—他们发出的声音越大越让人反感,他们愉快的喷出的粘粘乎乎的痰越大团,他们的感觉就越好。我猜想,这有点象阴茎嫉妒情结。



“我的可要比你的大!”



在我所生活的澳大利亚昆士兰,如果没有有效原因嘟嘟鸣喇叭的话,警察会给司机开罚单的。可想而知如果在中国的话这些警察一天得开出多少罚单啊—这个国家的国债只要一半的时间就可以还清了,仅仅由这些罚单的收益就可以做到这一点。



关于每隔几分钟就粗声地往人行道上大口的吐口水吐痰,口水和痰盯准大多数人会走过的地方而且大多数人也会马上看到口水和痰,这也是不能容忍的!



无论怎么说,回到我的宾馆屋里来。我又塞回了耳塞,迷迷糊糊又睡了另外一个小时左右。



今天TINA得跟一群其他的政府工作人员一起坐公司的车去成都参加一年一次的身体检查。原则上,这听起来就是一个很好的主意。监视员工的健康情况就很有希望可以在早期的时候发现任何疾病。



对TINA来说,这检查包括子宫颈抹片检查,乳腺X射线检查和血液检查等等。她看起来身体健康情况处于颠峰状态,所以我一点也不为她担心。



然而一直在下雨,所以,我在宾馆里舒舒服服地呆了好几个小时,忙于回复邮件和处理各种杂事。在下午晚些时候或是晚上早些时候,TINA和我会再次见面,这得看在成都的事情进行得是快还是慢。



在我这次中国旅行中的非常缓慢的一段时间,也许是时候声明一下,这个系列的文章不会有意的写得特别的令人兴奋或是引人注目。它甚至不会被认为是特别的有趣,即使有时如果它有一点点达到了有趣的效果,这也只是幸运的副产品而不是一个特定的目的。



这些文章只仅仅是一个相对简单的记录,记录了一个人在一个不熟悉的环境中的旅程。所有写下来的事情都是基于真实的事件。这不是小说作品,而是事实。



然而,有些日子会相当的沉闷而别的一些日子则会相对的有意思。这意味着有些文章自然会有一些无趣甚至是无聊,可是不好运的是,我不能阻止这一切。对于那些发现这种情况的读者来说,请知悉你可以随意的跳到任何你觉得感兴趣的部分。



我不会在我的这些文章里对事情做任何修饰,只是为了让它们读起来更有趣。娱乐和兴奋不是我的基本目的。我心平气和的说这些,并且提前道歉,因为有些时候,阅读我这些令人疲倦的文字就类似于观看慢慢滚动的潮汐。



让我也给MARRISA一个真诚的表杨,她正在做一份吃力不讨好的工作,将我这些喃喃自语唠唠叨叨的话翻译成中文。我认为这是一个非常沉闷乏味的任务,非常的感谢她。在这里我所能用的澳大利亚的俚语是"I dips me lid to you", 意思是“我脱帽向你致敬”。



人们也应该意识到,需要长年的学习 – 外加敏锐聪明的思想 – 才能达到可以进行准确翻译的高水平语言能力。谢谢你,MARRISA。你是一个善良美好的人。



当事情没有最后结果的时候,及时的用笔在纸上记录下来,很有希望的帮助我在未来的年月里可以更清楚的记得在“我的2014年中国之行”中确切的发生了些什么事情。如果我没有把所有这些都写下来,那么可以非常肯定的是,在几年之内,在不可避免的旋转的时间迷雾中,现在在我脑袋中栩栩如生的这么多发生过的事情,以及与人们之间的互动就会越来越模糊。



然而记录下这些会有更多的好处。通过每天晚上强迫我自己回想白天的活动,这可以让我更清楚地专注于任何特定时间内所发生的真正的事件,而不是其他的一些杂事。有时候,人会因为太处于事情的中心,而无法看清事件的本质。就好比是“不知庐山真面目,只缘身在此山中”。可是,如果是全部写下来的话,优点就可以更容易的被辨认出来,而缺陷和不足也可以被发现。



现在回到正题来。



当我在玩电脑的时候,WENDY已经在家呆了大半个下午。我非常惊奇的发现我和这个中国女孩以如此之快的速度成为朋友。她看起来真的很喜欢我。当然,我也很喜欢她。然而对于这一点我不会有太多的想法,因为我确认她会喜欢任何一个来到这里的西方男士,只要他又有礼貌又友好。她的英语非常好,如果英语水平分10级的话,她的程度属于7级—和TINA相比,TINA的英语水平只有5级左右。所以,我所说的大多数事情她都可以理解。如果她没听明白的话,我只需要慢慢地跟她重复说两三遍,她就会明白我所说的事情的总体的意思。



WENDY告诉我她的累跨人的学校生活。她每个工作日都得早上7点离家去上学直到晚上9点20才回到家。不可置信的辛苦。她是个优级学生,基本上是班上的前5名。但是最不可思议的是她一点也不娇生惯养.这可是对TINA作为一个充满母爱却又非常有纪律的家长的能力的实实在在的证明。在中国溺爱孩子是很容易的,而且事实上大多数的家庭都溺爱孩子。而不溺爱孩子才要困难得多。



让我遗憾的事情之一是,我之前有段不成功的婚姻,我的中国妻子有个20来岁的儿子。这个儿子跟许多中国家庭的小孩子们一样,被溺爱他的妈妈给惯坏了。有人将这种情况称为“小王子”或“小公主”现象,因为这些骄惯坏的孩子们在他们的成长过程中都被当成贵族来对待。



在曾经跟我们一起生活在澳大利亚的时候,他拒绝学习任何东西,或接受任何培训,这些学习和培训有助于帮他找到一份体面的工作。有时他把自己锁在房间里好多天不出来,只是出来去上个洗手间或是快快的吃点东西。他为他缺乏英语能力感到难堪,总体来说他缺乏自信。因为他自小就被惯坏了,没有办法好好的适应这个突然变化了的环境,在这里他不再被当作是一个小皇族。



长话短说,这个娇生惯养的小孩是导致婚姻破裂的主要原因。这个儿子总是回避我,他不喜欢和我讨论事情或问题。他也不喜欢社交活动或是跟我或是跟他妈妈一起出去。因为他总是说我们是“老人家”。这就好象在同一个屋檐下跟一个怪物生活在一起。我越是督促他出门找工作或是去学习,他就越是讨厌我。有时候,就他恶劣态度的问题,他和他妈妈会比赛着相互叫嚷指责,最后将我也卷入了其中。最后证实这是很糟糕的一个错误。我应该保持中立的。因为一旦我跟他妈妈站到同一战线上,这个孩子对我的憎恶就增加了。事实证明这是一段多么幸福喜悦的中西联姻啊。



在上一段婚姻中,我严重错误的估计了一个不合作的儿童或是年青人对于一个中西婚姻的负面影响。令人遗憾的是,中国网络约会充满了种种这样的陷阱。买者自负(让买者小心)



一朝被蛇咬,十朝怕井绳。这就是这次我在做决定和在采取行动时特别小心的原因。我再也不要跟之前一样再陷入一个可怕的三角家庭漩涡之中。



叙述我过去的婚姻失败可一点也不能给我带来任何的愉悦感。相反,因为这些,在某种程度上让我觉得自己很失败。但是,通过叙述我这次不愉快的经验,我如果有可能挽救到任何一个可能太过着急跟一个有一个娇生惯养的充满忿恨的或是桀骜不驯的小孩的中国女人或是亚洲女人建立关系的西方男人的话,我所写的一切就都很有意义了。


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#2014-06-17 12:01:57 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

First a quick note just to say that Barry has asked us to post his blogs only every third day or so because he wants to spend more time with Tina and less time with us. Given the rash of comments advising him to do just that I guess we can't complain. Just the same it seems pretty selfish of him to put his future lifetime's happiness ahead of our momentary enjoyment. But some people are just like that. (Ladies, that was sarcasm.)

This blog is a step away from Barry and Tina's developing relationship and a closer look at a well raised Chinese girl and a Chinese/Western marriage gone bad. Both of these topics are well worth everyone on CLM giving careful consideration to, so thanks to Barry for another valuable read.

#2014-06-17 12:46:13 by Jennifercc42 @Jennifercc42

It should be said that Barry is a luck man.
Tina seems to be a good woman, also very beautiful!
Good luck!

#2014-06-17 13:03:49 by Grace172 @Grace172

Look at the last photo of Barry,(rofl)(rofl)(rofl)
After the brown bear, the koala is the second man who shows his chest. I wonder who will be the third? The kangaroo or the grizzly bear? (giggle)
While the female members are busing in building their "tall buildings" in forum, Men are having a bodybuilidng competition in blog. Seems the men think that their chest is much more interesting then their articles. lol (clap)

#2014-06-17 13:45:04 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Grace172 - based on your many recent comments I think it is very clear that your new position in the Learning Class should be the Class Zookeeper because of your obvious fascination with the animals of CLM. (rofl)

#2014-06-17 15:24:09 by Grace172 @Grace172

@JohnAbbot
Please stop changing the topic, John, please answer my question above as you are a gentlement. My question again, Who will be the third to show us his chest? I hope you turn. All women would like to see. (giggle)
Ok, as you appointed me to be the Class Zookeeper, I would like to take this position. But since there are so many animals in the CLM, I dare to suggest you to change the name of CLM to B&B (Beauties and the Beasts) (giggle)

#2014-06-17 17:25:13 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@Grace172 and @Johnabbot

Maybe I should submit a photo of my half-naked hairy body? Might shut Grace up for a while - haha(rofl)

#2014-06-17 17:37:16 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@Barry1. Since you are so fond of 'Aussie Slang' - have you got your rocks off yet me old China?
If not then I reckon it's time to move on to the foothills and leave the mountains to the monkeys and the Buddhists! The 'zoo-keeper' has obviously got the hots for you as she continues to stare at your hairless chest and your knobbly knees - lol
Imi is probably proud of you and John's probably jealous lol

But enough frivolity..... we are all dying to know if you heeded the advice in your blog from Day number whateveritwas when we all told you to pay Tina back, buy her a gift, take Wendy shopping and cook them a lovely meal ?
Did you, did you, did you ??????

Come on man.... spit it out..... eat some humble pie (will make a change from fish-head soup lol)

#2014-06-17 19:12:27 by violaine @violaine

希望Tinayiq一切都好

#2014-06-17 21:43:14 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"thanks to Barry for another valuable read".

Thanks for this, John.

Reading about the experiences of others - both good and bad - can be a valuable tool in helping us learn about potential problems or situations that we ourselves may find ourselves in.

Hence the importance of these blog and forum articles, for those who take the time to peruse them.

#2014-06-17 21:46:11 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Jennifercc42

"Good luck! "

Thanks for your good wishes, Jennifer.

I also wish you the very best of luck in your forthcoming relationship. I know you have been very patient in selecting the right man and because of this, the chances of success are very high that the relationship will be a happy and successful one. (f)

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