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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 16    

By Barry Pittman
6260 Views | 30 Comments | 6/18/2014 9:03:29 PM

Day 16 dawned.  Damn, these days were going fast.  Einstein was wrong  - time in fact wasn't moving ahead uniformly - it was inexorably accelerating!



16天天亮了。该死的,这些天过得这么快。爱因斯坦错了-- 事实上时间不是平稳的向前移动的--时间根本就是无情的加速运行的!



This was to be an interesting day as a trip to Chengdu had been planned.  This was a rather large city of fifteen million, the capital of Sichuan Provence. We were off on a visit to the acclaimed Jiuzhaigou Valley, one of the most beautifully natural and scenic spots in China to visit.  I’d heard much about this place and was eager to see it.



今天会是非常有趣的一天因为我们计划今天去成都。成都是四川省的首都,一个更大的城市,有15百万的人口。我们准备去参观一个名叫“九寨沟”的景点,这是中国最美丽的自然风景区之一。我以前就听说过好多有关这个景区的事情,我非常期望亲自去看看它。



Thus today we’do the two hour hop from Shawan to Chengdu, stay overnight there, then tomorrow jump on board a tourist coach to Jiuzhaigou, a long eight hour trip.  Tina over a period of years had come to know her regular bus driver in Shawan, who had picked up the Jiuzhaigou tourist coach tickets for her, purchasing them on her behalf the day before when he’d been in Chengdu on one of his regular bus runs there.  They seemed cheap enough at 150 yuan each, given the long distance to be travelled.



所以,今天我们会坐两个小时的车从沙湾去成都,在那里过夜,然后,明天会坐上一辆旅游巴士去九寨沟,旅程8个小时。在这去的几年里,TINA在沙湾就认识了她的司机,司机在他当班的去往成都时就帮TINA在我们出发之前的一天就买好了去九寨沟的旅游大巴的车票。车票非常的便宜,那么长距离的旅程,每张车票只要150元。



I spent a leisurely morning with Tina sorting out our backpacks for the four day trip, as usual dispensing with anything that wasn’t critical.  Back packing is great but it certainly isn’t luxurious.  No old or lazy farts need apply. I loved it though – at nearly 60, I was no doubt one of the older backpackers in China right now.  Yet I felt like a bubbly thirty year old!



早上我和TINA过得很悠闲,我们检查了我们的背包有我们4天的旅程做准备,跟往常一样,去掉了所有不是必要的东西。背包旅行非常的棒的,当然它不会是奢侈的。不是老人家或懒散的人能做的事。然后我却非常喜欢-- 我差不多60岁了,毫无疑问,在中国我是老年背包客之一。然而我却感觉非常有活力就象是30岁一样。



We shared a light breakfast of eggs and tomato.  Tina’s main meal each day was either in the morning or at lunch – she never ate much in the evening.  As can be seen from the photos, her tummy was as flat as that of a teenager.  I’m  pretty skinny myself, but even my stomach was fatter than hers.



我们一起吃了个很简单的早餐,鸡蛋和西红柿。TINA每天的主餐不是在早上就是在中午-- 她晚餐从来都吃得不多。你可以从相片上看出来,她的小肚子平得就跟一个少女一样。我自己非常的瘦,但就是我的小肚子也要比她的胖。



Carrying our backpacks, after lunch we sauntered out to the Shawan bus terminus, where we jumped aboard the Chengdu bound bus.  It was an interesting journey, bouncing along in the big bucket of bolts that they imaginatively call buses here. We travelled first through the town of Leshan en route to Chengdu.  As usual, it was rather hilarious witnessing the crazed, kami-kazi driving techniques of some of the maniacal vehicles on the road as we bopped along.  I remember having to say more than one quick prayer as our bus was on course for several head-on crashes during the trip.



午餐之后,背着背包,我们漫步到沙弯的汽车站,在那里我们坐上了去成都的大巴。这是一段非常有趣的旅程,在他们非常有想象力的称为汽车的大桶里蹦着前进。我们经过乐山到达成都。跟以往一样,一路上看那些疯狂的司机们的疯狂的驾驶技术非常的滑稽。我记得好几次都是快速的祈祷当我们的大巴快速的前进眼看要撞车的时候。



My previous two trips to China had involved travelling around larger cities, mainly Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Xuzhou and Hangzhou. Quite interesting, for sure.  But this visit was different, I was staying in a relatively small town and traveling out to more offbeat, rural locations such as Mt Emei and now Jiuzhaigou.  I had read about this area on our favorite Chinese dating website ChinaLoveMatch.net and was impatient to finally see it.



我之前的两次中国之旅都是在围绕大城市,主要在上海,苏州,南京,徐州和杭州。当然非常有意思。但是这次却很不同,我呆在一个相当小的小镇,而且去了一些更偏远的地区,比如峨嵋山,现在呢,则去九寨沟。我在我们最喜爱的中国交友网站chinalovematch上已经读了很多有关这个地区的文章,最后我自己终于来了,我真等不及了要见见它。



I thus have been able to experience both sides of China –  bustling megacities such as Shanghai with its population of some fifteen million people.  Now I was being given the opportunity to visit the other end of the spectrum, relatively remote rural regions.



因此,我有机会经历了中国的两个方面--繁忙的大都市,如上海,有着150万的人口。现在我又有机会来参观另一边,相对偏远的乡村地区。



Which aspect of China did I prefer, where would I like to live?  Being a big city boy, I actually like both environments -  city and country.  But if forced to make a choice, I’d choose the rural regions around Shawan and Mt Emei.  I felt more relaxed here, less stressed; more proactive and less reactive to the cloying pressures around me. And country people don’t look straight through you with that remote, glassy eyed stare as happens so frequently in the city.



中国的哪一个地方我更喜欢,我更愿意在哪里生活呢?做为一个大城市的男孩,事实上我两个我都喜欢——城市和乡村。但是,如果一定要我做选择的话,我会选择在沙湾或是峨嵋山附近的乡村地区。在这些地方,我觉得更放松,有更少的压力。对于我所厌倦的压力更主动更积极。而乡间的人们也不象城市里的人们一样,用那种直接的非常疏离冷漠的眼神看着你。



But it’s not for everyone.  If you don’t particularly enjoy long walks in the hills and prefer to socialize surrounded by a bit of glitz and glamour  -  sharing a regular mocha or cappuccino with friends in the local coffee shop  -  probably a small town isn’t for you.  Although by China standards, any town less than a population of one hundred thousand could be regarded as a small one.



但这并不适合所有的人。如果你并不享受在山中的长距离的行走,而更喜欢社会活动,喜欢被浮华和魅力所包围-- 在当地的一咖啡馆和朋友们一起喝一杯摩卡或是卡布奇诺-- 很可能小镇的生活并不适合你。虽然以中国的标准,任何少于10万人口的城镇都会被称为是小镇。



Another definition of a “country town” in China could be defined as one where there are no Western junk food stores around such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King or KFC  -  and no large shopping malls.  Such places are typically Western and tend to tarnish the beguiling charm of a traditional Chinese precinct.  “Begone!”, I say to these rubbish food places.

在中国”乡镇“的另一个定义是,任何一个没有西方垃圾食品连锁如麦当劳,披萨客,汉堡王或是肯德基的地方,或是任何一个没有大型商城的地方。这些地方非常西化,也有破坏了中国传统区域的魅力。我对这些垃圾食品的地方说”走开”。

By the way, I've attached to this article a photo of where Tina lives, a two bedroom unit on the ground floor of a six story building.  She's lived there for over twenty years and seems absolutely content.  The somewhat bleak exterior disguises an apartment filled with abundance, love and happiness  on the inside.  How many superficially nice Western dwellings are the exact reverse of this!



顺便说一下,我在篇文章里附了一张TINA住处的相片,在栋6层楼中的一楼,两房的居室。她在这里生活超过了20年,而且看起来非常的满意这里。这个外面看起来有些破旧的公寓,里面很丰富,充满爱和幸福。有多少表面肤浅的西方好男人过着的是跟她完全相反的生活啊。



Back to the story at hand.  After an interesting journey peering through the bus window, Tina and I duly arrived in Chengdu around three in the afternoon.  We checked in to a hotel nearby and were shown two rooms, to see which one we’d prefer.  They looked almost identical to me.  Tina however chose the second room.  I later learnt this was the more expensive of the two at 260 yuan.  If I’d have known this at the time, I would’ve insisted she take the first room at 220 yuan.  I silently noted that next time we were to stay in Chengdu, I’d make a prior online booking through a service such as booking.com and secure a hotel room for half the price of what we paid here.  I knew discount accommodation was readily available in a big city like Chengdu, one simply had to do a little due diligence to find it.  Tina seemed to not care about being ripped off by high prices many places charged for different products or goods.



回到我们的故事中来。经过一段有趣的观望巴士窗外风景的旅程之后,在下午大约3点时,我和TINA按时到达成都。我们在附近入住了一个宾馆。他们带我们看了两间房问我们更喜欢哪一间。对于我来说,它们都一样,如果我一开始就知道的话,我会坚持她要第一间房,220元每晚。我悄悄的注意到如果我们下次再来成都的话,我会在网上在booking.com的网站提前做预定,这样的话,我们可以以现在的半价拿到房间。我知道象成都这样的大城市总是可以拿到打折的房价的,只要勤快一些就可以找到。TINA看起来在很多地方却不太在意被不同的产品或商品收取更高的费用。



I was getting to know Tina more and more. Little things like this indicated to me that though she was a lovely, genuine, sweet and decent human being, she didn’t really possess a business head, God bless her.  Perhaps another example will highlight what I mean here, as follows.



我现在越来越了解TINA。这些小事情提示我,虽然她非常的可爱,真诚,温柔,体面,她却并不太有商业头脑。上帝保佑她。也许下面的另一个例子会更加的解释我这里的意思。



We were walking along the street in Chengdu when we came upon a street performer, a face painted mime. Folks could take photos with him for just two yuan.  So after a couple of photos of him and I together, Tina gave him a ten yuan note – the performer pocketed it and offered no change, nor did Tina ask for any.  I was a little surprised, but Tina seemed oblivious to this, simply walking off.  Had I known a couple of photos taking less than sixty seconds would’ve cost ten yuan, rather than the two yuan advertised, I’d have said “No thanks” and kept on walking.



当我们在成都街头行走时,路过一个街头卖艺者,脸上画着画。路人只要付两元就可以和他合影。我和他一起拍了两张相片之后,TINA付给他一张10-- 卖艺者将钱收进了口袋却没有找零,TINA也没有让他找零。我很吃惊,但是TINA看起来很清楚怎么回事,径直走开了。如果我知道只需不用短短60秒照两张相片,就要付10元,而不是2元,我肯定会说“不用了,谢谢”,然后走开的。



This is a trivial example but the more I was with her, little incidents like this occurred  that illustrated to me what a tender hearted, unselfish soul she was. As a business person however, this wasn’t my habit.  I don’t cheat anyone, nor would I want to.  Yet at the same time, I’m not extravagant or wasteful.



这是一个非常小的例子,但是,我和她一起呆得越久,这样小的事情发生的越多,提示我她是一位多么好心肠的,一点也不自私自利的人。然后,做为一个商人,这却不是我的习惯。我不会欺骗任何人,我也不想欺骗任何人。但是,同时,我也不会奢侈或浪费。



In any case, following this incident, Tina and I kept exploring Chengdu.  It was full of beautiful ladies, many of whom no doubt are involved in Chinese online dating, so go for it guys!  She recounted to me that she didn’t like the city, saying whenever she came here, as soon as her business was finished, she’d hightail it back to Shawan as soon as possible. This explained to me her somewhat surprising lack of familiarity with the place.



无论如何,这小事件之后,我和TINA又继续探险成都。这里满是漂亮的女人,他们其中很人中肯定也会在网络交友,所以,男士们向前冲吧!她跟我说她不喜欢这座城市,说道无论什么时候她来这里,只要一办完事,她就会马上回去沙湾。这也就解释了为什么她对这个城市让人吃惊的不熟悉。



On this afternoon however, we had two or three hours to kill before dark.  Tina started chatting to a couple of motorcycle taxi drivers near a cab rank, who were actively touting for business.



 “Where in Chengdu do you recommend?”, she enquired.



“We take you to very nice place”, one driver assured us.  So within a minute or two, Tina was on the back of one motorbike and I was on the back of the other, swerving and adeptly dodging around multiple cars, buses and pedestrians – and anything else that got in our way!



然后,今天下午天黑之前我们还有两到三个小时。TINA开始跟两个摩的司机聊天,这两司机主动介绍旅游讯息。



“在成都你有什么好推荐的呢?”她问道。



“我们会带你去一个非常好的地方”,一个司机向我们保证。于是,一两分钟后,TINA坐在了一辆摩托车的后座,我而坐上了另一辆的后座,绕过了一些小车,一些公车,一些行人,以及所有其他拦路的东西。



During the entire journey across town, I hung on with one hand only, as with my other hand, I furiously clung on to my handheld videocam unit, recording every second of the noise and confusion of the motorcycle taxi trip.  It’ll make for some great viewing back home when I show it to my friends, I’m sure.  Unless you’ve experienced it directly, most people have no real idea of the endemic traffic chaos in China, let alone from the pillion seat of a motorbike taxi!



在穿过镇子的整个旅程中,我只用一只手扶着,另一只手紧紧地抓着我的录相片,录下了这段摩托旅程中的每一分钟的吵闹和喧哗。我肯定,回家之后我可以向朋友们做一个很好的展示。除非自己经历过,大部分人对中国的地方交通混乱可是毫无想法的,更不要说是在一车辆摩托车的后座上所看到的这些。



The part of town we were taken to was some sort of historic street,  a tourist precinct, great for photo opportunities.  To be quite honest though, such tourist traps were not really for me.  I prefer authenticity; reality; tradition, not fancy artworks, gaudiness or dancing street performers.



我们被带去的这个镇的子部分是一条历史街道,一个旅游区域,是拍照的好相会。然后,老实的说,我并不是很喜欢这类型的地方。我更喜欢更真实一些的,更传统一些的,不需要很美的艺术品,华而不实的,或是街头演艺者。



Although as Tina and I contentedly strolled through this area, I did succumb to one feature  -  one gimmick  - found here.  An ear cleaning service!



Westerners all have dirty ears”, Tina and I were sagely advised by the authoritative ear specialist.  How could I resist this?  So for 30 yuan, I duly had my ears cleaned!



我和TINA在这个地方开心的闲逛的时候,我于当地的一个特色所降服了。耳朵清洁服务



“西方的耳朵都好脏”,权威的耳朵专家英明的跟我和TINA说。我怎么能抵抗得了这个呢?只要30元,就可以让我的耳朵变得干干净净。



“Your ears are not too bad”, the clinician soon solemnly stated, as he concentrated on peering into my ears with a light strapped to his forehead, sticking a little steel spoon into them and scraping out all the dried wax. He then stuck a super sized cotton bud into  my ears up to his elbows (or so it seemed) and started vigorously twirling.  Then finally he held a piece of metal held up to my ears before clanging it a few times with another piece of metal, shaking out any residual  in my head. Thank heaven I could still hear okay at the completion of this somewhat disconcerting and invasive process!



“你的耳朵不算太差”,很快临床医生很严肃的说。他头上绑着一个灯,专注地看进我的耳朵,用一个小小的不锈钢匙探入我的耳朵,掏出所有的干的耳屎。然后把一个很的棉球探入我的耳朵,棉球一直延到他的手肘处(看起来象是这样),然后开始使劲的转动。最后他拿着一小块金属片放入我的耳朵,和另一块金属片一起铿铿做响,把我耳朵里的残留抖出来。谢天谢地,这个有些让人不安的入侵程序完成后,我仍能够听得清楚。



All this provided some great amusement for a parade of passing Chinese, as everything was being done in a public thoroughfare.  They invariably all stared at me as I sat in the hot seat with an odd looking man sitting beside me, who kept shoving various implements into my ears.   I guess it must’ve looked kind of funny, now that I think about it.



而整个过程让路过的中国人提供了很大的娱乐,因为一切都是在公开场所进行的。当我坐在热凳上,身边坐着一个古怪的人,不停地用各种不同的工具挖我的耳朵时,他们全部盯着我看。我猜这看来起很好笑。



Such a service in a public place wouldn’t be allowed in a Western country due to public liability or insurance issues.



因为公共责任或是保险事项,这样的一项在公共场所的服务在西方国家是不会被告允许的。



Tina and I ended up having a late lunch in a nice restaurant in the area, fish and veges.  Our practice of having only one main meal per day was continuing, with light snacks during the rest of the day such as nuts or watermelon.  As a tip, I find if ever feeling peckish, chewing gum is good to get around this.



TINA和我最后很晚才在当地一家很好的餐馆吃午饭,鱼和蔬菜。我们每天只吃一餐主餐的习惯仍在继续,其他时间只吃一些小食,比如坚果或是西瓜。在旅程中时,我发现如果觉得饿的话,嚼口香糖很有帮助。



We returned to the hotel late that afternoon in a three wheeled pedicab.  I enjoyed these things, so much more character being chauffeured around in them compared to a normal vehicular taxi.  One actually has time to see the sights, smell the scents and listen to the madding, agitated sounds of the action occurring all around.cobwebs



下午比较晚的时候我们坐三轮车回到宾馆。和普通的的士车比较起来,我更喜欢这样有特色的坐三轮到处走。这样的话,就可以有时候看看风景,闻闻气味,听听各种声音,在各种混乱之中的各种令人发狂的声音。



Back at the hotel, we settled in for the night.  I’d still not watched any TV nor listened to any radio on this trip, such a difference to being back home, where cable television and talkback radio ruled.



Yet Tina and I felt comfortable enough in each other’s presence to not require external stimuli such as this.  If we weren’t out sight seeing, eating, chatting or travelling, we were generally either having an afternoon nap or else hiking happily out in the hills somewhere.



Though our mouths with the language differences sometimes tripped us up, the rest of our taut, lean bodies and minds were usually and appreciatively, in tight synch and accord with each other



Life was good – and getting better!



回到宾馆,我们开始休息。在这次旅程中,我还是没有看到任何的电视或是听任何的收音机。和我在家的时候非常不一样,在家全部有线电视节目或是讲话收单机节目的天下。



然而,TINA和我都觉得很舒服,并不需要这些刺激物。如果我们不是出来观光,吃饭,聊天或是旅行,我们通常就会睡个午觉或是开心地在哪个地方的山上。



虽然我们说着不同的语言,有时会让我们相互不理解,但是,其余的我们的身体精神通常却都是相互感激,互相感应的。


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 30) 1 2 3 More...
#2014-07-10 21:54:14 by Grace172 @Grace172

Tina is very pretty and kind, you are very young when you are dancing. You two are good couples.
You are so brave that let a man in the street pick your ears. I will be afraid for it unless he is a doctor in the hospital.
After your ears were cleaned, did you hear Lily said "I love you" to you clearly?:)

#2014-07-10 23:08:57 by prana @prana

我在成都待过一段时间。

同样,我也不喜欢成都。

巴里,你跳舞的样子好可爱……(giggle)

#2014-07-11 00:36:25 by Barry1 @Barry1

@prana

"Barry, your dance looks so cute "

Thanks for this, Prana.

Many Chinese love dancing. Whilst my dancing skills rate very lowly compared to them, I still say that life's too short to be a spectator. Join in! (dance)

As far as Chengdu goes, it was just another big city to me. Full of nice people, no doubt - but if given the chance, I'd far prefer the wilds and wilderness around Mt Emei, where one has room to breath; room to walk; and room to be one with oneself.

#2014-07-11 04:33:13 by anonymous10923 @anonymous10923

Barry: "Though our mouths with the language differences sometimes tripped us up, the rest of our taut, lean bodies and minds were usually and appreciatively, in tight synch and accord with each other."

Cats out of the bag now my friend :)

Once again good dialogue and excellent photos!

Bye Bye George! :):)

#2014-07-11 09:44:41 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Grace172

"you are very young when you are dancing"

Thanks for this, Grace. I must admit that most people I met on my journey refused to believe I was 60 years old, as I will be later this year. I put it down to good genes.

You also said,

"You are so brave that let a man in the street pick your ears"

This is true, now that I think about it. But the man had said to me, "Westerners all have dirty ears", so I had to prove him wrong. And I did! (y)

"did you hear Lily said "I love you" to you clearly?"

No Grace, unfortunately I must've missed this. Maybe I should have the man clean my ears again - perhaps I'll pick it up next time if I'm lucky! 8)

#2014-07-11 09:49:34 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous10923

"good dialogue and excellent photos! "

Thanks for this, Anon10923. There are so many interesting things to see in China, great photo opportunities are everywhere!

You also said,

"Cats out of the bag now my friend.....Bye Bye George!"

Something happened the next day (day 17) to cast doubt on this, I'm afraid. Life wasn't all champagne and roses, I'm afraid. Keep tuned and you'll see what I mean. (sweat)

#2014-07-11 10:52:30 by anonymous10928 @anonymous10928

1. Barry 应该早就回到澳洲了吧。。。。现在都7月中旬了。我们很想知道最后的结局?写快点好不?

2. Lily 住那么简陋的房子,还是一楼,四川肯定很潮湿。居住条件真的很一般。Lily 自己不是一个经济宽裕的人,却还是抢着给Barry买单。这太那个了吧~~~

#2014-07-11 14:57:56 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous10928

"Now in mid-July. We would like to know the final outcome? Write soon, okay?"

You would like to know the final outcome between Tina and I? Did George end up getting her - or myself?

This is a very good question. The answer is pending in an upcoming article. Thank you for asking this.

You also said,

"she was not a financially secure person, but still is scrambling to pay Barry."

Tina is a lovely person who does not care about money. I spoke to her about buying a newer apartment. Something a little quieter and more modern. You will read more about this in the near future. I hope you will be able to read it.

Thank you for your comments, Anon10928. (y)

#2014-07-11 16:01:14 by destiny1 @destiny1

Barry, very interesting, very good article, read part 16 today from the first part, feel very enjoyable. Thank you for the good article let me to know more about the west in China. Wish you find your true love here.

Barry,非常有趣的旅行,非常好的文章,今天从第一部分阅读到第16部分,感觉非常过瘾。谢谢你的好文章让我更多地了解西方人眼中的中国。祝福你在这里找到你真正的爱情。

#2014-07-11 18:58:53 by anonymous10939 @anonymous10939

爱玛啊,为什么都光着膀子,但粗鲁了

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