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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 22, Part 1 我的中国之行,第22天,第1部分    

By Barry Pittman
7757 Views | 32 Comments | 1/11/2015 4:16:01 PM

Day 22 dawned.  I couldn’t believe how quickly time was passing.  It seemed like I’d arrived in China just a few days or so previously, but the facts were the facts.  I was entering my fourth week here, like it or not.  I felt a vague yet quite genuine sense of sadness that I'd have to be leaving China soon.  I’d felt immensely happy here and inwardly vowed that I would return, though I knew that due to work and other pressures back in Australia, this probably wouldn’t be as soon as I’d like.



Following on from our big hike yesterday visiting the impressive monastery in the deep hills around Shawan, Tina and I decided to have a quiet time today, mostly hanging around her home..  This suited me fine, because up till now,  I’d felt a bit guilty that some of the comments on the preceding thirty or so blog articles about this China trip so far published on the Chinalovematch.net website I hadn’t yet all answered.  I was a firm believer that if a person took the trouble to write something to me in good faith, the least I could do was to respond, even if I hadn’t particularly liked what had been said.  My parents had done their best to inculcate into me good manners and in this small respect at least, I was pleased that they seemed to have succeeded.



As I perused the comments made on some of CLM articles, I was mildly disappointed that a small handful of people of both genders had pointedly made clear they didn’t like the way I was handling things over here.  One or two armchair critics said they didn’t like me as a person. This had been based on what had been published so far that in all fairness to me, in certain respects wasn’t actually the complete story of what had been happening.  Due to sometimes very pressing circumstances, on some days I’d penned a rather abbreviated version of events, as opposed to telling a full and accurate narrative.  But as I soon learnt, some folks - both Chinese as well as Western -  had made precipitous, snap judgments of me based on what they’d read, without perhaps considering the exact situation or context in which the words had been initially written.  I ruefully realized that not everyone in the world was necessarily benign nor forgiving.



I guess the old cliché was true.  You can please some of the people some of the time, but it was impossible to please all the people all the time.  It was interesting however, that the most negative of comments had been penned anonymously.  I’m sure the people who’d criticized me so many weeks ago by now have moved on and no longer bother to read this blog.



On this day, Tina and I had our usual very light breakfast of some sort of noodle based concoction that she routinely made in the mornings whenever we ate at her place.  Sorry I can’t be more specific than this, because food as a rule didn’t particularly interest me.  As long as it wasn’t too spicy, sugary or fatty  -  and had no meat  -  it was fine.  A gastronomic connoisseur I most certainly wasn’t, unlike certain of my predecessors on this website such as Imi or Paul Fox.



Tina then casually mentioned her cleaner was coming to tidy up the apartment this morning. 



“Your what?” I  asked, somewhat surprised.



My cleaner”, Tina replied.



I was secretly amused by this, as the apartment itself was small and looked clean and tidy already, as far as I could see.  Probably it would only take a short time to make spotless, from top to bottom.  I had a five bedroom house back home that I managed to keep clean by myself, without needing the services of a cleaner.  Yet Tina had a housekeeper come in regularly, hence my covert amusement.  I was too coy to mention my hidden thoughts to her however, as I didn't want to appear overly opinionated about anything, even though of course, I was. This was part of the reason how I had landed myself in China and for that matter, why I was writing about it all.  I liked to think I had an active and enquiring brain, although I’m sure others would disagree.



It was great to relax on this day following the arduous time we'd had yesterday.  The only unpalatable item that try as I might, I could never get accustomed to here though was the squat toilet in Tina's bathroom.  I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but it bears repeating.



It was located right beside the shower, so if you took one wrong step or inadvertently slipped on a bar of soap, your foot would get stuck in the toilet hole, probably right up to your thigh or so it seemed to me.  Resultant nasty, compound fractures of the lower leg or ankle would then occur, or if you were lucky, perhaps just multiple severely strained or torn foot ligaments and tendons.  The thought of either scenario occurring appalled me, hence I was always extremely careful when using the bathroom.



The menacing hole in the ground lurking right beside me in the shower each morning was in fact like something out of a Stephen King novel.  In my admittedly over-imaginative mind, it attempted almost to draw me into it, putting me on high alert every time I went near it.  I wondered idley if it was possible for an entire person to somehow be sucked down into it, never to be seen again?  I’d heard there were huge numbers of missing people in China – perhaps these gaping plugholes everywhere formed a big part of the reason for so many sinister disappearances?



But it gets worse.  Due to all the excessive walking I’d been doing lately, as well as my inability generally to perform what I considered to be advanced yoga positions, I found it quite painful and in fact, utterly impossible to sit down at the squat toilet.  I was completely unable to bend at the knees.  Thus I was in a quandary.  How to use the menacing hazard without soiling myself when I had to do a number two?  I dare not explain to any delicate Chinese ladies reading this what a number two is.  Suffice to say that most hard boiled male Westerners who’ve been around the block a few times, know what it means.



I felt somewhat embarrassed about this troublesome pickle.  Yet it was a private problem.  I wasn’t keen on raising the rather touchy subject with Tina for two reasons.  First, I didn’t wish to highlight the fact to her that I was an old fart with quite inflexible, gummed up joints.  Second, I knew Tina couldn’t do anything about it anyway.  She possessed a traditional squat toilet and that was it.  She couldn’t simply click her fingers, say “Hey presto!” and a normal pedestal toilet would mysteriously and suddenly appear.  Life’s never this simple, especially in a small country town in the deepest bowels of this ancient land (if you'll please pardon the pun).



The invidious situation in fact uncomfortably reminded me of my previous trip to China.  I’d met a lady and when we arrived at her place for the first time, to my chagrin, she told me,



“By the way, Barry, the toilet doesn’t flush here.  I don’t know why but I have someone coming tomorrow to take a look at it.  He was supposed to come yesterday or today but he never turned up. It might be out of action for a few days, it seems.”



"No worries," I tactfully yet somewhat concernedly replied, "I'm sure everything will be okay."



But sadly, this wasn't to be.



To be continued – Day 22, Part 2




第22天,天亮了。我简直不敢相信时间过得这么快,似乎大约几天前才抵达中国,但事实就是事实。不论喜欢与否,我的行程进入第四个星期。很快就得离开中国了,我心理隐约觉得有种真切的难过。我在这里的日子很开心,尽管我也在心里发誓说我会回来,但我知道回到澳大利亚后,由于工作和其他方面的压力,大概没有我想的那么快。



昨日参观沙湾高山上令人印象深刻的修道院后,长途跋涉回来,今天蒂娜和我决定安静一下,在家里呆着。这正合我意,之前发在Chinalovematch.net有关此行的30篇左右的博文的评论,到目前为止我还没有全部回答,我已经感觉到有点内疚。我坚信,如果一个人不嫌麻烦诚意给我写东西,即使我对所说的不是特别喜欢,至少应该做出回应。我的父母尽了最大努力培养我讲究礼貌,我感到高兴的是,至少在这个小方面,他们似乎取得了成功。



我细读一些CLM文章的评论后发现,基于在帖子里发的一些故事--有时形势所迫或部分时候我写得相当简略而不作完整准确的叙述,平心而论在某些方面并非完整--我有点失望极少数男女读者曾公开表示,他们不喜欢我在这里的处世方式。一两个吹毛求疵的人说他们不喜欢我这个人。但我很快就明白一些人, 无论是中国人和西方人,不考虑具体情况或原文的意思,就对所读到的东西草率做出评论。我沮丧地意识到,并非世上每个人都是宽容善良的。



有个陈词滥调是对的,你可以在某些时候取悦一些人,但不可能在任何时候取悦所有人。有趣的是最消极的评论使用匿名。我确信多个星期前抨击我的人现在已经懒得继续看这个博客了。



今天早上,蒂娜和我就像平时在她家吃早餐那样,简单吃些她调制的面条。我对食物一贯没有特别的兴趣,所以抱歉我不能说的太具体,只要不是太辣太甜或太油也没有肉就成。我肯定不是美食鉴赏家,不像这个网站上的个别前任,如Imi 或 Paul Fox。



然后蒂娜不经意提到她的保洁员今天上午来清洁公寓。



“你的什么?” 我怀疑地问。



“我的保洁员” 蒂娜说。



我心里暗暗被逗乐了,因为据我看来公寓本身很小,看着又干净整洁。也许只需要很短的时间就可以从上到下让它变得一尘不染。我家里有个五居室的房子,一直都是我自己打理保持清洁不需要请人。然而,蒂娜需要人定期来做清洁,私底下我真的被逗乐了。我不希望自己显得过于自以为是--当然我是--我也就隐讳不提。这也是我来中国的部分原因,也是我写这一切的部分原因。我喜欢把自己想成有个积极和善于思索的大脑,但我相信其他人会不同意。 



经过昨天一天的艰辛后,今天真是太放松了。尽管我一直在努力,但是我可能永远无法习惯的唯一令人不快 的是蒂娜的蹲式马桶,它就在浴室里。在我看来,如果你失足或无意滑踩到一块肥皂上,你的脚会卡进厕所洞,大概卡到你的大腿。不堪的景象,合着小腿或脚踝骨折,或者如果你幸运,或许只是多处韧带和肌腱严重拉伤或撕裂。出现哪种情况都令我骇然,所以使用洗手间的时候我总是非常小心。



每天早晨淋浴时潜在旁边吓人的地洞就像斯蒂芬•金的小说的某个场景。在我公认的过度想象力里,它似乎试图把我进吸去,因此每次接近我都保持高度警惕。我天马行空的想着是否存在整个人被吸进去然后消失的可能性?我听说中国有大量的失踪人口 - -也许这些随处可见张着大口的排水孔是这么多神秘失踪的大部分原因?



但是事情变得更糟。由于近期走路过度,以及不能标准的做好在我看来相当高难度的瑜伽姿势,对上蹲厕我觉得很痛苦的,事实上根本不可能,膝盖完全不能弯曲。因此我左右为难。上二号时如何使用吓人的蹲厕而不弄脏自己?我不敢向娇弱的中国女士解释何为二号,只要说大部分见多识广的硬汉西方男人知道何意就够了。



我觉得这个麻烦的处境有些尴尬。然而这是一个私人问题。我不想与蒂娜提及这个敏感问题的原因有两个。首先,我不希望为此而凸显自己是相当呆板毫无适应力的讨厌鬼这一事实。其次,我知道蒂娜对此无能为力。她有个蹲式马桶,仅此而已。她不能简单的打个响指说:“芝麻开门!”,然后标准的坐式马桶会突然神秘出现。生活可不这么简单,尤其是在这片古老土地肠子最深处的小乡镇上(请原谅这个双关语)。



这个令人厌恶的情况让我令人不安地想起以前的中国之旅。我之前见了一位女士,第一次去见她,当我们抵达她的处所,她懊恼的告诉我,



“顺便说一句,巴里,我这里的厕所堵了。我不知道原因,但我约人明天来修了。他本来昨天就该来了可是没见人。这几天恐怕不能用了“。



“不用担心”我委婉而有点担心的回答说,“我相信一切都会顺利的。”

但可悲的是,事实上不是。



我朋友的公寓至少有坐式马桶。但问题是,正如令人不安的墨菲定律,那一天我严重腹泻(也被一些人称为可怕的巴厘岛肚皮,苏丹屎还是蒙特祖马的复仇)。



接下来经历的耻辱是我这一生中最尴尬的其中一件。即使现在想起来,当时的不堪场景还会使我的手轻微颤抖,额头紧张冒汗。但我必须说出这个折磨人的故事。以某种方式把自己与这个可怕的事件相关的不舒服内疚摆脱出来。接下来的那一天发生了最可憎的事,我被它无情地烦扰缠绕到现在,我要一劳永逸驱走这让人羞愧和耻辱的疯狂恶魔。



未完待续,第22天,第2部分


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 32) 1 2 3 4 More...
#2015-02-18 14:13:41 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, I am thrilled to see that you haven't forgotten the thread in your ongoing series about the infamous Chinese squatter. I was beginning to fear we'd heard the last of this incredibly engrossing topic with nary even a tearful goodbye. But not so. Thanks for remembering Mate.

On a serious note, you truly need not worry about the odd vocal naysayer regarding your handling of things in China. People tend to read someone else's blog and put themselves into the picture. Suddenly they are imposing their own life experiences onto your current experiences and blending them together. So they are not really reacting to what is happening to you at the moment, but rather to something that happened to them sometime in the past. My point is that it really isn't personal and meant as an attack. Often enough it my be more of a self criticism of how they handled something in a manner they've come to regret, and all you've done is brought it all back to them.

My point is that you have created an emotion in someone with your writing, and one strong enough to get him or her to comment. That's good writing, so no need for regrets of any kind.

#2015-02-18 21:05:42 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"I am thrilled to see that you haven't forgotten the thread in your ongoing series about the infamous Chinese squatter. I was beginning to fear we'd heard the last of this incredibly engrossing topic"

Thanks for this, John.

I wish everyone here shared your enthusiasm about this interesting topic, as I've heard some dark mutterings by certain ladies on the forums about what a low class person I must be to keep bringing this subject up. (rofl)

"you have created an emotion in someone with your writing, and one strong enough to get him or her to comment. That's good writing, so no need for regrets of any kind. "

Thanks also for your thoughts on how some people who criticise me may not necessarily be doing it out of ill will or malice. There may be various underlying, less obvious reasons for their actions. This is certainly worth remembering.

It reminds me also of the following piece of wisdom.

Say nothing.
Do nothing.
Be nothing.


I wish to thank you also John, for awarding me a GOLD MEMBERSHIP voucher, from the New Year's Eve photo competition (where I was the only entrant, lol).

But since I already possess a Gold membership, I have no need for this. I therefore would like to offer it as a PRIZE for whoever makes the most interesting comment during any of my articles on Day 22 (there are eight of them in total).

The comment doesn't need to be supportive of me. Nor does it need to be particularly long. The main criterion being that it needs to be either interesting OR humorous OR outrageous in some way. The sky's the limit.

Being a Gold Member of this site is what allowed me to meet Tina in the early stages of our relationship. It's quite a valuable and important asset and well worth the money. I urge every CLM member who doesn't already possess a Gold membership to either enter this competition or purchase one - or both!

Best wishes to all. :)

#2015-02-19 13:26:28 by Biancadou @Biancadou

Hey, Barry, I'm sorry that some people made some bad comments about your article, it seems they make you a little sad, even they don't like the articles you posted here, or they don't like the way you handle stuff here, so what? you are yourself, you are using your eyes and heart to watch and to feel, there's nothing bad for it, I like those articles, because you write what you have seen and thought, you are yourself.
I don't know why your Chinese is so good, you are better than mine, lol! Do you write Chinese by yourself or you have someone who can help you translate? Anyway, I enjoy your articles, your pics and of course, your story with your precious Chinese lover, it's a pitty you will go back soon, and it's a pitty I can't see more interesting articles you write about China, you are really an intellegent person, I hope you can stick yourself even not everyone likes you. Hope everything going well for you !

#2015-02-19 16:05:05 by linda0422 @linda0422

Barry,you are a very kind man.I can tell,you love china,and have deep thought.You had some great ideas about what the goverment should do for chinese people.l really appreciate.

Please dont be upset with those people who dont like your articles. You are not RMB,so it is impossible that everyone likes you.hehe...please just ignore them.:)

#2015-02-19 20:04:49 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Biancadou

"I'm sorry that some people made some bad comments about your article"

Thank you for your wise comments, Biancadou.

I agree with everything you've said. People who write in and say that they do not agree with what I am doing or how I am acting in China are reducing in number these days They were more common in the early days of my articles, several months ago now. But I seem to have worn them out. Outlived them all. :D

As for my Chinese translation, I wish I could take credit for it but LadyMonika has been doing all the hard work here. She is a highly intelligent, multilingual person who has done herself proud. I feel I can say that all of us here on CLM have greatly appreciated her wonderful translation efforts.

I should say though that for various reasons, my next article (Day 22, part 2) will not be translated. Though the rest of the Day 22 articles (parts 3 up to part 8) will be translated.

The reason Day 22 Part 2 has not been translated may become clear when it is published here next week. It was deemed a little too hot to handle for most delicate Chinese ladies to deal with. Any volunteers to do the translation however for Part 2 are welcome.

My very best wishes to you, Biancadou. :)(f)(d)

#2015-02-20 16:14:08 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Barry1

I think, and hope, that your comment responding to my comment about the squatters properly reflects your ability to appreciate sarcasm when you see/read/here it. However, as I am sure you intended with your careful wording, I am not 100% sure. Well done Maestro.

Regarding the Gold upgrade, I love your idea, let's see where we can take it. I will shortly be in touch via QQ to discuss.it in some detail.

@Biancadou

I agree with pretty much everything you have said here, especially when you say that Barry has no reason to take any heed to the people bashing him, because "you are yourself". A famous Western saying is that "everyone marches to the beat of their own drum", and I think that is what you are saying about Barry, and that his drum is beating just fine. He maybe a little different than you or me, he maybe "outside the box" that others can't escape, he maybe seeing things differently than others would see them, BUT he is seeing them in a way that no one need criticize!

Everything he has said or written, imagined or described, is good, is honourable, is interesting and is worthy of careful consideration. Some of what he has written is downright life changing if we take the time to consider it carefully, and then look at ourselves in the mirror openly and honestly. Between the fart jokes and the toilet humor, their lies some profound wisdom.

Thank you, Biancadou, for pointing that out!

Having said all that, I am compelled to tell you not to waste another second envying Barry's written Chinese, which I assure you is virtually non-existence (as is mine btw). You should instead admire @LadyMonika's Chinese as it is she who has been admirably and generously translating Barry's blogs as of late.

#2015-02-21 01:57:43 by anonymous12995 @anonymous12995

"my articles on Day 22 (there are eight of them in total). "

EIGHT of THEM?

(whew)

how many days in total left?

this is the longest day ever, going to take 1 month i reckon to blog them

#2015-02-21 12:39:18 by Barry1 @Barry1

@linda0422

"You had some great ideas about what the government should do for chinese people. l really appreciate."

Thank you for your thoughts, Linda. I do seem to be a very thoughtful and kind person yourself.

You also said,

"Please don't be upset with those people who don't like your articles. You are not RMB,so it is impossible that everyone likes you"

Yes, this is what both @JohnAbbot and @Biancadou advised also. I must thank you all for being so empathic and generous in your comments.

Funnily enough, if it came down to a choice between being hated or being ignored, I'd prefer to be hated. Because this at least would mean that people are taking an interest in what I've said, even if it's a negative interest.

I remember the words of a famous singer here in Australia. Many people did not like him. When he was singing at an outdoor concert in front of a crowd once, a group of people at the front started booing him. Rather than becoming upset, we can all learn a lesson from the words he spoke to the protesters through the microphone:

"I know some of you may not like me. I know some of you may disapprove of me. Do you realise how I know this? It is because YOU ALL LOVE ME!" he bellowed out loudly, whilst grinning and waving his arms triumphantly up in the air.

Upon saying this, the crowd of haters at the front became quiet. The singer finished his concert in great style. All was well with the world. Because the man knew that the best way to deal with hate was to show love and good humour.

Best wishes to you, Linda. :)(f)(d)

#2015-02-21 17:02:00 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous12995

"my articles on Day 22 (there are eight of them in total). EIGHT of THEM? ........ this is the longest day ever,"

Remember there were eight articles that were published for Day 21 also, that took about two months to wade through, at about one article per week.

My aim is that the series of articles about my last China trip should eventually be finished sometime during the year of 2019, some five years after I commenced writing them But by then, I should have made at least a few other trips back to China.

If I write diligently, a series of blog articles could then be made about every ensuing trip, each one taking about five years or so to completely publish, assuming the rate of one article per week.

I thus potentially will have enough material to be published on this website for around the next 20 or so years.

My best guess is that my work will finally be finished here around 2035. This year will be here before we all know it. I'm sure you'll agree with me that if you blink a few times, the next twenty or so years will come and go unbelievably quickly.

Of course, if I double my output, the twenty year writing period could be stretched out to 40 years. So conceivably, I could still be writing here around 2055.

There's a possibility the site may have changed its format slightly between now and 2055 however. The editor John also could be growing a little long in the tooth by then, God bless him.

I guess we'll all have to simple see what happens - maybe the next editor will also be happy for me to continue writing - I reckon I have enough in me to continue to at least 2065! :)(dance)(y)

#2015-02-23 12:05:17 by anonymous13002 @anonymous13002

@Barry - Is it me, or is that "Damsel in Distress" shirt utterly cool? 8)

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