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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 15 我的中国之行—第15天    

By Barry Pittman
9802 Views | 46 Comments | 6/9/2014 3:26:20 PM

Awaking in the Jinyi Hotel as usual this morning, it was hard to believe I was up to day 15 already. Things had to be done.  Discussions needed to be had. Decisions needed to be made.  Time waited for no one, especially a somewhat unsettled Westerner in a strange land, waking up in a strange bed, in a strange place surrounded by strange people.



Tina had to go to work today.  This left me free to take another walk around town.  I was starting to slowly understand the layout of the streets.  I was still being peered at by many people that I passed.  This didn't trouble me at all.  Au contraire, as often as I could manage it, I smiled at everyone and gave them a nod or a wave.



I still hadn't seen a single Westerner in Shawan.  Nor had I yet sighted anyone taller than me.  I needed to constantly watch the door entries of shops or rooms, to avoid being clunked on the head by a low hanging door portal or archway.



My weight was now down to 75 kgs.  Normally it hovers around 80 kgs, which is slim for 188cms in height. Physically I felt great.  My legs felt particularly strong.  What a novel way to diet - visit a foreign country with strange albeit nice food.  Most people would tend to eat less than normal.



After work, Tina and I went for our usual afternoon hike in the foothills around Shawan.  One needed to cross the bridge to reach them.  For whatever reason, as soon as I reach this bridge, I feel compelled to jog across it.  Tina’s given up doing this, she simply strolls across.  I don’t abandon her however, for as soon as I reach the other side, I then walk back to join her and we complete the bridge walk in unison.



I saw something strange on the bridge today that I hadn't seen before.  Halfway across, a bus stopped in order to allow a woman to jump on board.  She must have hailed it and caught the driver's eye. Very deftly, like a monkey she clambered over the railing separating the traffic from the pedestrians, in order to reach the waiting bus.  The cars behind the bus had simply stopped, waiting patiently for the clambering woman to complete her mission.  Only in China would something like this happen.



Our hike went for three hours.  At all times, it was interesting to view the terrain we traversed across.  Little rustic farm houses surrounded by curious little vegetable patches, mostly growing green veges I’d never seen before.  Corn, lettuce and cabbage were the only crops I recognized.



Being summer, It doesn't get dark here till between 8.00pm and 8.30pm.  Walking along the little tracks and trails in these foothills is extremely interesting, way more so than spending the equivalent time on a treadmill, even if you did as I do, which is to either watch TV or listen to music.  Treadmill training is great however for inclement weather situations such as heavy rain or summer heat, as it can be done in the comfort of an air conditioned room, at any time of day or night.  Back home, sometimes I'd exercise on it around midnight.



My home town of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia is a rather nice place yet is mostly flat compared to the likes of here.  Athletes don't have many hills to cross.  There also aren’t many convenient forested trails to power walk or jog around either.  Plenty of parks and walkways exist, but they're nowhere near as interesting as the many mysterious tracks and trails in the hills around Shawan.



“Why don’t more people from town come up into these hills, Tina?  They’re so pleasing to walk around.”



She replied, “I don’t know, Barry.  Maybe not so many people like exercising?”



Maybe she was right.  I don't know, nor do I really care. Whatever the reason, I was mighty glad Tina and I largely had the forested tracks around Shawan to ourselves, apart from the farmers who actually lived there in their quaint little cottages and who tirelessly worked their precious plots of land.



Tina was proving to be an exceptionally unusual person.  What other Chinese woman placed such great importance on her health and well being by venturing out on two hour hikes by themselves, nearly every day of the year?  Though she didn’t just do it to maintain her fitness, as good as it was.  She loved the solitude; the cleaner air there; the little friendly chats to the implacable farmers that she met along the way.



The smell of the air pollution was noticeable to me today, yet Tina didn't detect it.  "This is normal to me, Barry", she said.



On my last two trips to China, I’d always been with ladies who lived in the big city.  Their idea of going for a hike was to walk to the local shops.  Whilst city living is very convenient, they don’t call it the “rat race” for nothing. People tend to become insular, separating themselves both physically and emotionally from everyone else apart from their own family and immediate circle of friends.  There’s no real sense of community. People jam themselves together on buses or trains like so many sardines, not looking at each other, just gazing blankly either out the windows or at their smart phones. 



Tina’s love for the outdoors is one major reason why we each felt attracted to each other. I’d been exercising regularly for the past fifteen or so years.  Tina had been doing this for about the past ten years.  Each of us had preferred to do it solitarily.  We also both possessed an instinctual need to be free from the rigors and madding crowds of the big city.



After our walk today, Tina asked



“Are you tired, Barry?”



I replied “No, I feel fine.”



She then asked, “Was this an easy walk for you today?”



“Sure, it was no problem at all.  Piece of cake!”



I felt sometimes that she was testing me, wondering if our fifteen year age difference was a potential problem or not.  So far, I think I've passed all her audits.



The only major point of difference between Tina and I that appears evident was my habit of watching TV back home.  I subscribe to cable TV and had access to over a hundred different channels.  My favorite ones were the documentary type ones, such as National Geographic; Discovery; A and E; History; and so forth.  Yet Tina doesn't turn on her TV here. Never. Nor does she allow her daughter Wendy to watch it either, as this would interfere with her studies.  She also has a ban on Wendy accessing the home computer via a password lock, so games or internet surfing aren’t allowed.  What a huge difference to many Western kids her age who by comparison, get away with murder!



I wondered how Tina and Wendy would feel, were they to live with me in Australia?  The hiking areas in Brisbane are comparatively flat and featureless; public transport is poor; and people were in so much more of a big city rush there.  The main areas of advantage that Brisbane had over Shawan was the relative lack of pollution and newer looking houses. Maybe also advanced medical facilities, such as MRI or CAT scan machines and so forth, that would be more difficult to access in China.



But back to the situation at hand.  I was finding out that online Chinese dating involved so much more than two people chatting on the net, then meeting in person, then making love and agreeing to marry each other.  There were so many other extraneous factors to consider.  Issues such as employment in the new country. Education issues for the child.  Retirement and other finance related issues from the many years of work already performed in China by the lady.  Language problems.  Family problems.  Culture shock problems.  Driving problems, from someone who'd only ever used public transport all her life. 



Given all of the above, even though Tina and I are close emotionally, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was strong and confident enough to flourish in a new country, a new culture? These and a thousand other little things needed to be considered. 



This is exactly why on day fifteen of my China journey, I still don’t know if Tina and I were ultimately compatible or not?



和往常一样今天早上在Jinyi宾馆中醒来的时候,我很难相信我已经来了15天了。必须做一些事情了。必须讨论我们的将来,必须做出决定。时不待人啊,特别是对一个没有安定下来的西方男人来说,在一块陌生的土地上,被陌生的人围绕着,在一张陌生的床上醒来的时候。



今天TINA必须回去工作了。这可以让我自由的在镇上再次到处走走。我开始慢慢的弄明白了这些街道的结构布置。经过我身边的人们仍然会偷看我。这一点已经不再让我困惑了。相反,跟我所能想到的一样,我不断的对每个人微笑,跟他们点头或挥手致意。



在沙湾我还是没能看到任何一个西方人,也没有看到任何一个比我高的人。我得不停的注意各个商店各个房间的门,避免被一个低的门口拱门撞到头。



现在,我的体重降到了75公斤。通常我的体重都在80公斤左右。对于一点身高为188CM的人来说稍轻了一些。我的身体感觉非常的好。我感觉我的双腿尤其的强壮。这是多么棒的一种减肥方法啊参观一个陌生的国家,吃很多很陌生的好吃的食物。大多数人可能会比平时吃得少。



下班后,TINA和我又去沙湾四周爬山。我们必须经过沙湾桥。不知是出于什么原因,一靠近它,我就忍不住跳着过去。TINA却放弃了这么做,她只是慢慢地走了过去。然而,我并没相放弃她。我一到达对岸之后,马上又走回来和她一起走过大桥。



今天我在桥上看到了我从来没看到过的奇怪的事情。走到半路的时候,一辆车停了下来,让一个女人上车。她肯定挥手叫唤,引起司机的注意了。她翻过隔着人行道和车道的扶手,以便可以上到等她的车中。只有在中国才会发生这样的事。



我们走了足足三个钟。任何时候,观看我们所穿过的山陵景色都是非常的有趣。一些纯朴的农舍房子四周都有一小块让人很好奇的蔬菜地,大多数都种着一些我从来没见过的蔬菜。我只能认出玉米和大白菜。



夏天,这里通常都要到下午8点到8点半才天黑。在这些山丘的小山道上行走非常的有意思。远比在跑步机上有趣多了,即使你跟我一样,在跑步机上时不是听音乐就是看电视。在恶劣的天气环境里,比如下大雨的时候或是夏天高温的时候,跑步机上的训练是非常棒的,因为可以在一个很舒适的带有空调的屋子里进行,而且你可以选择在任何时间进行,不管是白天或是黑夜。在家里的时候,有时半夜三更我还跳上跑步上跑步。



我来自澳大利亚昆士兰的布里斯班,那是个相当好的地方,虽然跟这里相比相当的平坦。所以,对于运动员来说,他们也不能爬很多山。当然那里也有很多方便的森林小道路可以快走也可以慢跑。还有很多的公园和散步的地方。但是它们可一点也没有沙湾这里的山道路有意思。



“为什么不会有更多的沙湾人来这里爬山呢,TINA?在这里四周走走是多么的在意思啊。”



她回答“BARRY,我不知道,可能不是很多的人喜欢做运动”



可能她是对。我不知道我也不特别在意。无论是什么原因,我都非常的高兴我和TINA自己占有沙湾周围这些山间小道。这里除了真的生活在这里的那些小农舍中农夫之外只有我们。这些农夫们都在他们自己的小块土地上不知疲倦的工作着。



事实证明TINA真是一种不一般的人。有哪个中国女人会对自己的身体健康和身材如此的重视,会一年中几乎每天都要花上两个小时来自己爬山。虽然她做这个不仅仅是为了保持身材,当然,这当然很有助于保持身材。她喜欢这种宁静,这里清新的空气,喜欢时不时沿路停下来跟遇到的农夫们聊聊天。



今天,我觉得空气污染的气味很严重,但是,TINA却感觉不出来。她说“BARRY,这对于我来说太平常了“



我上次的旅程总是跟住在大城市里的女人在一起。她们出去走走的意思是去逛当地的商店。城市的生活很方便,但是人们不会无缘无故的说那是“激烈的商业竞争”。在那里生活的人们变得越来越孤立,无论生理上或是心理上,他们自己将其他人和自己的家庭隔离开来。那里完全没有社区的概念。人们只在汽车或火车上聚在一起就象许多沙丁鱼一样,要不是茫然地望着窗外,要不就是盯着他们的手机。



TINA对户外运动的热爱是我们能够彼此吸引的一个重要的原因。在过去约15年的时间中我每在都在做运动,而TINA也一样,过去大约10年的时间中都在运动。我们俩都喜欢独自安静的动动。我们两人都有一个天性,想远离拥挤的大城市获得自由。



今天走完之后,TINA问我



“你觉得累吗,BARRY



我回答说“不累,我感觉很好。”



然后她问我这对于我来说是不是太容易了。我说是的,一点问题也没有。



我觉得她可能是在考验我,看看我们之间15岁的年纪差异是不是一个问题。到目前为止,我想我通过了她所有的考验。



TINA和我之间唯一一点最大的不同被证实是在家的时候我看电视的习惯。我订购有线电视,我可以看100多个不同的电视频道。我最喜欢的是记录类型的频道,比如国家地理,发现,AE,历史等等。然后,在这里TINA从来不开电视。她也不让她女儿WENDY看电视,认为这会影响她的学习。同样,她也禁止WENDY上网,家里的电脑上了密码。所以,游戏和网络都是不被允许的。和许多跟她同龄的西方孩子相比,这是多么巨大的差别啊。



所以我寻思着如果TINAWENDY和我在澳大利亚一起生活的话,她们会有何感受呢。布里斯班的山非常的平坦和没有特色。公共交通很差,在那里人们就跟在大城市里一样匆忙。布里斯班跟沙湾相比,唯一的优点是,污染相对要少,房子相对要新。也许在公共医疗方面也会比较先进。例如拥有诸如MRI或是CAT等的扫描机器。这些在中国可能都更难接触到。



回到目前手上的事情中来。我发现中国网络交友包含的不仅仅是两个人在网上遇到,然后在生活中见面,一起做爱,相互同意一起结婚生活,而是要远比这些多得多。有很多外来的因素须考虑。例如在新的国家中的就业问题。孩子的教育问题,已经在中国工作好多年之后的退体之后的退休金的问题。语言问题,家庭问题,文化冲突问题,驾驶证问题,很多人一直以来在她的生活中只使用公共交通。



考虑到以上提到的种种,即使TINA和我在感情上非常的接近,我禁不住要考虑她在一个新国家,一个新的文化里,是否能够足够的强壮,能够自信可以生活得很好。



这些和其他一些千千万万的小事情都是我们需要考虑的。这就是为什么在我旅程中的第15天,我仍然不知道TINA和我最后是不是真的很合适。


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 46) 1 2 3 4 5 More...
#2014-07-03 15:20:31 by yueming @yueming

现在仔细看巴瑞的游记,我相信,巴瑞是一个善良正直真诚的男人,他在认真的寻找人生伴侣,不但考虑自己要得到幸福,还要考虑是否会给对方幸福,他会给女一种稳定的安全感,让人信赖,无论是朋友还是丈夫,他能给予的是真诚理解和温暖的呵护,无论他这次是否成功,我相信他们都会有很多的收获,通过这篇游记,我们每个读者也会神思,成熟很多,毕竟在网络交友平台,真正邂逅自己的真爱,是需要努力和缘分的。
祝福巴瑞和TINA都能获得幸福,如果他们成功,我认为巴瑞会爱护TINA和她的女儿,TINA选择丈夫的标准,是不但自己幸福,还要让女儿幸福,我相信他们都有能力让自己幸福,更能让对方幸福,这就是幸福美满的婚姻!

#2014-07-03 18:16:31 by chengcheng72 @chengcheng72

九寨沟!

#2014-07-03 21:38:04 by yeranyi @yeranyi

CT MRI 在中国早有了啊?!

#2014-07-03 21:51:12 by 1992fiona @1992fiona

hope one day got you will get married news post here.every day.read your article let mey heart feel warm,that is very good life experience.

#2014-07-03 22:23:06 by Grace172 @Grace172

Barry
I would like you to suggest Tina let her daughter to watch TV on CCTV 9, CCTV10 and CCTV12. These are the good channels of the documentary type such as National Geographic; Discovery; History; .Law, social and legal affairs, They can really help children to get more knowledge outside of their school.

#2014-07-03 23:50:15 by prana @prana

Barry, your this idea is right.

I am now,

Often worried about, I went to the Europe later, I can adapt to where life, and cultural ?

You're a good man, Tina's conditions are very good, you do not give up.

Refueling!
巴里,你的这个想法是对的。

我现在,

也常常担心,我到了欧洲以后,我可以适应那里的生活、文化吗。

你是个好人,蒂娜的条件很不错,你不要放弃。

加油!

#2014-07-04 00:14:22 by Belle77 @Belle77

Hi Barry, thank you for your interesting story.
I am just a bit confused about your confusion, did you and Tina talk about the future before you travel to China?
I mean, did you ask Tina, would she like to move to Australia to live with you, or you want to move to China to live with her?

#2014-07-04 05:27:59 by jhcmm @jhcmm

你是一个真诚的男入.祝福你!

#2014-07-04 07:08:39 by Nekko @Nekko

@Barry1

As promised here the information regarding language learning.
Language learning is one of the endeavours in our lives that comes easy to some and is almost impossible to master to others. Why is that so? After all we all learn one language easily and without much effort, without studying grammar and all the rules of the language until we actually can have a conversation with another human being.

The language I am referring to is of course your mother tongue. You learn this language naturally and without conscious effort. You learn new words and their meaning without having to use a dictionary. You learn this language without knowing and understanding the grammatical rules of the language. You can have a conversation with a 7 year old child. The expression of the child is limited by the vocabulary.

However new words and their meaning can be explained using the limited vocabulary used by the child. I have never seen a parent explaining a new word to a child using a dictionary. Would be useless like an air conditioner on a motorbike.

Why do we want to learn a new language with a dictionary? Because that is the way you learn a language in school. That is how I was supposed to learn French. I was not very successful in mastering the language. How many people do you actually know that learnt a second language fluently with a dictionary?

Maybe there is another way to learn. Like we learned the first language.
The answer to that question is: “Yes”. This method is referred to as the Mother Tongue Method. Every person I know speaks at least one language after learning it using this method.

Let me give you some background information. Philips, the Dutch company, has a language learning system called PHILIPS LANGUAGE SYSTEM AAC 5000 or 6000 or 7000. AAC means audio, active, comparative. The program was put together by Hans-Werner Hunziker.

Hans-Werner Hunziker (1934) studied Psychology at Berne University (Switzerland) and Miami University, Oxford (USA) and took his PhD in Psychology with a thesis on
the psychology of problem solving.

In 1968 he acquired for PHILIPS the world rights of the famous "Language Through Pictures" self-study courses ( by Professor I. A. Richards from Harvard University) and supervised new studio recordings for release on language lab audio cassettes. His first book "Audiovisuelles Lernen und Kreatives Denken" appeared in 1973 and was used as a reference work by many developers of audiovisual media.
He later published a series of books on Learning Technology.

His bio is here http://www.learning-systems.ch/multimedia/curr_e.htm.
His website is here http://www.learning-systems.ch/index.htm.

The course was sold for home study. It used the cassette tape to record your pronunciation. I know the cassette is old technology. The impressive achievement was that the special language laboratory has both tracks moving in the same direction at the same time. What does this mean in English please? The teacher says a word or a sentence and you repeat after the teacher and record your voice onto the tape. Next you compare pronunciation and you can re-record as often as is needed to match the teacher’s voice.

Nifty. Also by the way, you learn new words by looking at a picture book. There is a story in the book and you learn new words and sentences seeing the picture and speaking the sound, or word. If you are lucky you will find this program sold on e-bay or similar sites for peanuts. New, the complete program (6 Levels) would be close to $ 6000 Australian Dollars. I sold this program hence my knowledge.

The program is now sold by a company in South Africa on CD’s or to download for next to peanuts. How times change.
The website is here http://www.neweralanguages.com/

For the Chinese language course go to this site http://www.neweralanguages.com/chinese-international/
This is a Mandarin language course.

For a used program in your local library you might try this site http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Philips+AAC+language+learning+system&qt=owc_search

For all other searches use Google.

If you have or any readers have any questions feel free to contact me. You want to talk to Mr. Hunziker personally his number is Switerland + 045 720 30 23. Consider the time difference.

I hope that this information is useful to many readers of the blog. My personal story is here http://www.chinalovematch.net/SuccessStory.aspx?pkid=25.

Barry, may the best in your past be the worst in your future. Happy translating this idea !
Cheers
Nekko

#2014-07-04 09:46:19 by Barry1 @Barry1

@yueming

Thanks for your comments, Yueming.

On many levels, Tina and I are very compatible. We like each other a lot. Yet the more that I'm with her, the more that I'm worried that she may not fit in well with life in a big Western city.

She has never driven a car in her life; she loves going for long walks in the country; she doesn't like big cities. She hates visiting Chengdu, for example.

So the future between Tina and I is far from clear. It's be a difficult decision, knowing what to do. Of course, I'd love her to live with me in Australia. But whether she could be happy here is a troubling issue for me. One that I still don't know the answer to.

Best wishes to you, Yueming. (f)

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