Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
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 14 我的中国之行—第14天    

By Barry Pittman
5744 Views | 24 Comments | 6/8/2014 2:10:02 PM

I awoke late this morning, around 8.30am.  As usual, I was alone in my hotel room, having caught a cab back here late last night from Tina's place.  I’d noticed that some nights I was able to sleep well, yet other times like last night, I had difficulty dropping off, even though feeling dog tired.

The routine of my life here in Shawan was that I’d get up in my hotel room each morning, shower and get ready, then walk the two kms down to Tina’s apartment.  We’d stay together all day, including having meals, before I’d then leave her at 9.20 each evening.   For at this time, her daughter Wendy would arrive home from school in the three wheeled pedicab ridden by an older Chinese gentleman.  Then for just two yuan, this hard working driver would return me to my hotel.

As noted elsewhere however, I never felt comfortable in these pedicabs at night, due to their having nil lights or even reflectors.  Their colour was either brown, green or blue -  no light colours such as white or yellow -  so at night, I reckoned they were mobile death traps.

The previous evening however, at my appointed departure time, the pedicab was nowhere to be seen.

"No worries – I’m happy to walk", I'd told Tina as we stood in the street outside her apartment block.

"No Barry, maybe there are bad men out there, you could have trouble!"

She wouldn’t agree to me walking back to the hotel that late at night,  so reluctantly I then caught a proper four wheeled taxi.  The two kilometre walk back to my hotel room was a breeze to me however and on principle, I disliked being driven such a short distance.  But Tina knew her town, warts ‘n all,  so I deferred to her advice.  Maybe some human cockroaches did furtively materialise here at night, ready to rob unsuspecting mugs like me?  I was too new to the town to know one way or the other.  Tina’s caution however, unwelcomely reminded me that in any town, always there’ll be a small criminal element.  Not just in China, but everywhere.

As usual when in the taxi, the driver stopped two or three times for people on the side of the road, asking if they wanted to jump in and share the journey.  One of them opted to do this.  I’ve mentioned before that the sharing of cabs in this region appears to be de rigeur, a common occurrence that makes better sense than having just one person having a ride.

The hotel I’m staying in was a rather nice, three and a half star quality. I’d normally have said four star except for the leaky taps, the odd cockroach and the cleaning maids who bang on my door too early for my liking each morning!

To my relief, my hotel room has a normal pedestal type toilet.  Even though it’s not located with a street frontage, the blaring car horns from drivers outside wake me up like clockwork each morning.  Thanks so much, guys!

As with all places I’ve been to in China, one knows to never directly drink the tap water. It’s only to be used for either laundry, general house cleaning or showering.  One must only ever drink either bottled water or water that comes from the portable, stand alone water purifier units that are located in most decent hotel rooms.

About twenty or so channels are on the hotel TV set, nineteen of which are in Chinese. Basically the TV is useless to me.  The one English channel here runs a lot of soaps or other rubbish game shows, although it possibly may have an evening English news program.  I can’t be sure as on this trip I’ve watched virtually nil TV.  Tina never has it on at her place and she doesn’t allow daughter Wendy to watch it, insisting that she either studies or does homework.

It’s a real shame that Mandarin is one of the more difficult languages in the world to master.  This is because that not only are the words important, but the tone or inflection of how the word is used can be critical also.  Several times, I’ve asked folks who can speak both English as well as Mandarin,

“What’s the more difficult language to learn?”

On all occasions, they response has been “Mandarin”.

As far as eating goes, I’m currently having one main meal per day, around lunchtime.  In the mornings, I tend to eat only fruit or a few unsalted assorted nuts.  In the evenings, a few light bits and pieces of this or that are eaten.  I’m sure I’m losing weight here.

Yet physically I feel healthy and strong.  So much better than my last China trip when at this point of the trip back then, I was as sick as a mongrel dog, having caught a bad cold.  But on that last trip, I was catching many subway trains around the Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing areas.  In situations like these, you only need one ill person across the seat from you to sneeze and as quick as that, you also can become infected.  They say that mucus from a sneeze drifts up to three metres.

Another curiosity about China to me is the propensity for most folks here to have an afternoon nap, normally for half an hour or so. 

“Do you want to have a nap, Barry?” Tina religiously asks me every day.

“No thanks Tina, I’m not really tired!”

So she disappears to her bed every afternoon, tucks herself under the blankets and generally within five minutes, is lost to the world.  A life long habit apparently imbues folks with the ability to drop off into slumberland almost anytime they like.

One lesson I learnt from my last China trip was to bring my own particular brand of coffee that I prefer, together with a few packets of skim milk.  Being a coffee afficianado, I really missed my coffee last time.  Milk can be a little troublesome to procure, hence the recommendation to bring along life skim or full cream milk with you also.  Make sure you bring sufficient quantities to last the entire trip.  In my case, I’d brought four packets  -  6 kgs -  of milk powder with me, plus a full, medium sized can of coffee.

Other traveller’s tips are as follows.

If you like chewing gum, bring a few packets of your favorite flavour with you also.  I prefer either peppermint or spearmint.  In this town at least, they don’t sell these, one can only select from an admittedly interesting variety of fruit flavors such as watermelon, orange, strawberry or grape.  Probably banana too, if I looked hard enough!

Laundry powder is a handy item to carry also, plus a hair dryer to help dry your clothes in the hotel room after washing them.  I guess this may be an appropriate time to say why I always seem to be wearing a check patterned shirt.  I have two of these in fact, one black and one dark blue.  So either Tina or I washes one at the end of each day.  This is what hotel room bathroom sinks are good for.  This includes of course, washing underwear, socks and anything else that needs laundering.  Backpackers need to travel light, so taking more than two or three of any article of clothing is an unwanted luxury.

It’s Sunday here and Wendy has just returned from half a day of private English tuition from a local Filipino teacher.  She doesn’t have too long to relax however, as school starts at 6.00pm, finishing at 9.00pm.   You got it right – school kids in China have to go to school on Sunday nights!

This is on top of the normal long Monday to Friday school hours.  Wendy needs to leave home around seven each morning, arriving back home around 9.20pm each week day.

One night as Tina and I were having an evening stroll through Shawan, I suddenly noticed school kids everywhere.

“It must be nine o’clock,” Tina remarked nonchalantly.  It was so weird seeing multitudes of kids everywhere riding bicycles  -  none of which had any lights on them  - to their homes this late at night.  Western students have no idea how easy their school lives are in relation to Chinese students, who face very stiff competition if they wish to attend a decent university.  I’m told that which university you attend here can make a big difference to your later work opportunities.  The top ones in China are Peking and Tsinghua Universities, both located in Beijing, places no doubt where huge amounts of money are poured into by the national government as a matter of national pride.  Good on them.

“Why don’t any of the kid’s bicycles have lights, Tina?”

Maybe it costs money to buy batteries?”, was her casual reply.

This online Chinese dating process I was currently enmeshed in was teaching me more and more every day.  Not only was I learning heaps about  the ladies themselves, but important also, many aspects of fascinating Chinese culture.  My mind and way of thinking about so many things would never be quite the same again.

As far as Tina and I were concerned, things were going okay.  Readers can interpret this statement any way they wish.


































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#2014-06-28 21:32:09 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Seems like things are going OK for you and Tina ? Good on ya mate !
I was worried about you going there for only one woman, but you have proved me wrong as I really thought you had lost the plot!

I must pull you up on the travel things though (sorry)

1) You can buy a box of 'drinkable' Nescafe sachets that contain coffee, milk and sugar - all you need is boiling water
I have not had sugar in my coffee for over 30 years but I can drink this stuff as it's quite passable

2) I buy Wrigley's gum no problem!

3) Laundry powder ? You remember the slating you got for being a 'Tight-arse' and allowing Tina to pay for everything? Well I get my laundry done in the hotel. One-weeks clothes all washed, ironed and packed for about $20 !

As for studying - yes, it's tough there!
But with SO many people, I guess it is important to get good grades so you can get a job...not even a GOOD job..just a JOB!

As for BIKES - motor scooters etc - apparently they are ILLEGAL in China !

That's why they have no lights!

Funny that the POLICE use them - even though they are 'illegal' - lol

#2014-06-28 22:13:25 by Nekko @Nekko

Another interesting story from the you. I am impressed now that you finally sorted the money issue. I do not know what kind of work you do and the income you make, but to her you are the rich westerner with eyes like diner plates. Your words not mine.

In regards to the travel tips please allow me to add the following: I always carried with me a small bottle of hand sanitiser from Dettol. Kills the germs according to the label, which I found most useful after using a public toilet and other visiting public places.

Can you say something about the air pollution in the place you are. Is it good air?

You make the comment "As far as Tina and I were concerned, things were going okay."
As I said I have seen the photos and body language does not lie. I know the truth.

Barry as far as learning the language is concerned maybe I could give you some hints as to how to go about this if interested. You probably noticed that I am multilingual.

I have thought about learning Mandarin as well. I will have a crack at it and see how I go with this language. It is different to all the other languages. Even Japanese is easy in the pronunciation. My first wife was Japanese.

As to the afternoon nap, the Spanish also have siesta time. Everyone sleeps for a while. Even the dogs. My parents had a holiday house in Spain.

Barry, remember people will always remember how you make them feel. Stop scarring the children on the bus with your out of this world appearance. You will be a legend, no correction you are a legend in you own mind. I just had to laugh so hard at your description of yourself last time.............eyes like diner plates.

You are funny and witty. Keep this coming. Have you tried stripes in the shirt. Horizontal. Makes you look shorter. What do you think about this idea?
All the best to Tina and you.

#2014-06-28 23:58:34 by prana @prana

Yes, only came to China,

Before they can understand the some things.

Chinese There is a saying: Seeing is believing.

You have found your Tina, is already the biggest harvested.

Tina is right, it is best not to go out of a person.

The countryside the air is very good, but there are a lot of mosquitoes ......

Look forward to your good news.








#2014-06-29 05:01:11 by anonymous10704 @anonymous10704

When Tina said "No Barry, maybe there are bad men out there, you could have trouble!"

I wonder if she was referring to people like me...the "simpering, weak kneed, cowering "Anonymous""!

#2014-06-29 05:07:12 by anonymous10705 @anonymous10705

Check out the lady's shoes in the second pic. They look like faded green. They could be some PLA/citizen militia issue. That's some history right there buddy! She looks about due for a new pair...

#2014-06-29 09:43:58 by Barry1 @Barry1


"Chinese There is a saying: Seeing is believing."

Thanks for your comments, Prana.

In English, we have a saying that's similar to the one you quoted. That is,

"Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see!"

But yes, the Chinese culture is full of wonderful things to see, ranging from the Buddhist temples through to interesting small farms along the roadside through to the noisy markets, where vendors are trying to sell their goods.

I am impressed by your English ability that is getting slowly better and better. To know two languages shows that youu are not only quite intelligent, but a hard worker as well.

Good on you, Prana! :)

#2014-06-29 15:44:16 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

To be clear Prana, in English, at least in Canada and the United States, we also have the saying "Seeing is Believing", and it basically means that the only sure proof that something is real or is true, is seeing it with your own eyes.

#2014-06-29 16:11:06 by Barry1 @Barry1


"I was worried about you going there for only one woman"

Strangely enough, I was not worried, Paul.

I was willing to throw the dice and accept whatever decision was made.

I tend to believe we all have a life blueprint.... a charting of our destinies, if you will.... so worrying about what may or may not occur was to me just a waste of time and energy.

You also said,

"You can buy a box of 'drinkable' Nescafe sachets that contain coffee, milk and sugar - all you need is boiling water"

Sorry Paul, but as an afficianado, I'm quite particular about the coffee that I drink. Most certainly, it's not this sweet tasting Nescafe that you mentioned, that's neither strong enough nor bitter enough for my tastes. Easier to bring your own, I reckon.

You said, "buy Wrigley's gum".

This would be fine except in Shawan where I was, no such product was sold. Just a lot of fruit flavoured gums, like grape, orange or watermelon.

You said, "One-weeks clothes all washed"

Remember Paul, this was a back packing trip for me. I didn't have enough clothes for more than a few days. I was travelling light and free.

You also said,

"As for BIKES - motor scooters etc - apparently they are ILLEGAL in China"

I find this hard to believe, surely? Because there are MILLIONS of them!

Thanks for the comments, Paul.

#2014-06-29 16:26:20 by Barry1 @Barry1


"Another interesting story from you"

Thanks Nekko, you're one of the six readers who enjoy what I write. Great stuff.

You also said,

"I always carried with me a small bottle of hand sanitiser from Dettol."

This is great advice. I also carried a can of disinfectant spray - every hotel room I stayed in, I'd spray the sheets, pillow cases, light switches, remote controls, toilet areas - just to be safe.

"Can you say something about the air pollution in the place you are. Is it good air?"

Sadly the air in Shawan is not good. Even though it's a rural town, it's surrounded by industry - factories. Some of the chimneys are continually belching out smoke. What a shame.

"body language does not lie. I know the truth."

The truth sometimes can be akin to unpeeling an onion, Nekko. Layer upon layer.... some of them slightly different to the one before. The main question though is - what will the bottom line, FINAL layer look like? :^)

"as far as learning the language is concerned maybe I could give you some hints as to how to go about this if interested"

Yes, I'd be interested in this, Nekko. I know you speak two languages already, having been born in a European country.

"I have thought about learning Mandarin as well."

A smart friend of mine gave me the following website, for anyone wishing to learn Mandarin. I'm still thinking about this.

"You are funny and witty. Keep this coming. Have you tried stripes in the shirt."

I personally don't mind looking tall. The main reason is because I am! I'd prefer to look down on someone rather than up to them, after all. Thanks anyway, Nekko.

Cheers mate. (y)

#2014-06-29 16:49:18 by Barry1 @Barry1


"I wonder if she was referring to people like me...the "simpering, weak kneed, cowering "Anonymous""

Yes, my belief is that if someone is to be highly critical of someone else on the forums or blogs, they should do it in a man to man fashion, not hide behind an anonymous tag.

You should realise also that it takes a lot of time and effort to write multiple blog articles. Then to have an "anonymous" person come on and take a few cheap shots, being quite rude to you, is in my mind unacceptable.

More especially so when the derisory comments are based on what the person THINKS is happening from simply reading an abridged story, rather than what they know for sure is occurring.

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