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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 5 我的中国之行--第5天    

By Barry Pittman
4360 Views | 18 Comments | 5/31/2014 10:14:38 AM

Day 5 on Mt Emei dawned to be quite lovely, a brisk 8 degrees Centigrade or so, even though it was summer.  In winter, I was told this area was covered in snow, quite unwelcoming for tourists and almost impossible for hikers to safely navigate due to slippery ice on the steps, making them exceedingly dangerous to traverse.  Especially if carrying a backpack, that raises one’s centre of gravity, meaning once you start to fall or trip over, it’s difficult to recover from. 



I actually had experienced this when walking in the dry yesterday.  When very fatigued, I’d made one or two missteps and suddenly found myself almost going over the edge as the weight of the high up backpack tried to drag me off the steps.  Heart in mouth stuff!  I then knew why Tina had been constantly telling me to walk on the side where the handrail was, not the steep other side.



Even though the Mt Emei hotel room Tina and I currently occupied was of a higher standard than most others we'd been in, I still hated the squat toilet.  It was even worse than others I'd encountered in that it was located in the MIDDLE of the shower!  So one had to be very careful indeed when having a wash, to straddle one’s feet on either side of the toilet and not step into it.  I simply can’t fathom what blithering idiot designed such a dangerous configuration. I’m certain that the relevant health and safety authorities in Western countries would never allow such a bathroom mantrap as this.



Squat toilets unfortunately seem to be a continuing theme in my articles.  I’m aware though that many Chinese ladies within the Chinalovematch.net site must have these in their homes. This is an online Chinese dating website after all, with a huge client database. I sincerely hope that I don’t offend these ladies by my negative observations on their toilets. 



To put it into context, I’m a relatively tall person at 188cms and my knees are not the best.  I’ve never had to assume the squat position much in all my life, so I’m quite unaccustomed to it. Thus FOR ME, being forced to squat is damned uncomfortable, particularly when feeling tired. So my views on squat toilets are personal opinions only as a gummy-kneed Westerner and most certainly, I don’t wish to be thought of as an ignorant Westerner unaware of some important aspects of the traditional Chinese way of life.



In this supposedly four star hotel, there was no toilet paper evident.  It slowly dawned on me that because the toilet was set INSIDE the shower area, one presumably had to use the running water to clean one's backside?



If this is true, what about when you need to go to the toilet when the shower is off?   And what do you do if you have a bad case of diarrhea?



In any case, the temperature was warming and the summit was beckoning. On the way out of the hotel, I admired the aquarium out front, with several decent sized fish in it. Tina and I were headed for the top, another thousand or so steps higher.  It was a blessed relief to not carry our backpacks on this final leg - we'd arranged to leave them at the hotel and collect them a few hours later when we returned.



On the way up, we had to pass by an area known as the “monkey feeding zone”.  Sure enough, we were lucky – a dozen or so apes were present when we arrived. An excited group of Chinese were busily feeding them and the monkeys were having a ball with all the free food being dished out. Cries of amazement and squeals of delight from excited women and children were evident as the chimps did their thing. The scene was very interesting indeed to observe.  Tina was afraid of them but I loved them and moved closer, right up to the fence where they were sitting.  



Suddenly a small monkey jumped onto my arm – a few Chinese women standing behind me cried out in terror but I felt absolutely charmed by the beautiful creature that was pawing away at my jacket sleeve.  His prehensile feet were quite soft to the touch and he looked so adorable.  He was better looking than some young humans I’d seen!  Then as quickly as he’d arrived, he was gone again.  I felt quite privileged to have shared this unusual and quite charming experience.  Sadly I don’t have a photo of it as Tina was standing well away from the action, watching from a distance.



I saw one large monkey grab an entire big bag of peanuts from a startled  Chinese man.  When he attempted to retrieve his bag, the monkey growled at him.  I burst out laughing at this funny sight, mainly because of the aggrieved and annoyed look on the man’s face. He’d just lost a big, freshly opened packet of peanuts to a mischievous monkey!  I hoped the man wasn’t too offended by my guffaws of laughter that he obviously must've heard, as I was standing right next to him!



Soon this animal became tired of gorging himself with nuts and leapt onto the ground beside another Chinese man who had a plastic water bottle protruding from his backpack.  In the space of just a few seconds, the clever chimp forcibly grabbed the water bottle out of the backpack, with the startled Chinese man scuttling off bravely in a state of terror.  The monkey then carefully unscrewed the lid from the bottle and happily started drinking water from it.



“I can’t believe that the monkey unscrewed the water bottle!” extolled a surprised Westerner standing nearby.



“Yes, primates are quite intelligent, you know!” I responded back to him.  We were both mighty amused at the sight of this cheeky chimp sitting contentedly on his backside, holding the water bottle up to his mouth and guzzling from it for all he was worth.  This is one image etched in my mind that’ll remain there for many years.  Witnessing weird occurrences  is what traveling is all about, incidents like this make it all worthwhile.



But enough of this monkey business.  The looming Emei summit needed to be reached.  Half way up, one had the option of taking a cable car  -   or else walk.  Tina and I ended up doing both options.  We went up and back on the cable car, then up and back via walking. On principle, I didn’t want to conquer the mountain using an aid such as a cable car.  I felt compelled to do it by foot.  Charlie mike. Charlie mike.  Charlie mike, I inwardly kept repeating to myself.



The ascent to the top was rather strenuous, consisting of about a thousand or so steps.  Thank God we’d left our backpacks at the hotel in the village below.  Freed from our burdens however, we proceeded rather briskly, passing many other plump Chinese who were obviously struggling.  I felt their pain and sympathised with them, more than they knew.



The actual top of Mt Emei contains several temples.  It also contains a large golden statue rising around eighty or so metres off the ground and looks quite impressive.  This must be why many maps refer to this area as the "Golden Summit". 



Wonderful views of the countryside all around can be gained from the top as well.  At one place, large boulders hung precariously on the edge of a precipice, a great place for photo opportunities.  In heroic superman style, I made a beeline for the boulders to jump up on but Tina grabbed me by the waist and refused to let me go. I pleaded with her to take a photo of me standing up on the rocks but she clasped her hands firmly around my waist and steadfastly refused to let me do this. She said this foolhardy feat was for “stupid young people” only!



After an hour or so of perusing all the temples and "spiritual goods" shops on the summit, Tina and I ventured back down the steps leading into the Mt Emei village.  It was around 3.30pm, too late to continue our descent down the mountain so we booked for a second night at the hotel we'd stayed in the previous night, you know, the one with no toilet paper and the toilet in the middle of the shower recess.  Oh happy days!



Tina said we may as well have an early dinner and asked if I'd like to eat fish.  I said sure, but a minute or two later, to my consternation, one of the hotel staff came out with a small hand net and scooped up one of the aquarium fish I'd been admiring just that morning.  I felt like crying out 



"Stop!  I've changed my mind - I don't want fish!"



But it was too late.  Tina and I ended up eating that creature and I must admit to feeling a little guilty about it.  I’m a vegetarian by choice, although I do eat seafood.



Following dinner, we had an early night.  Like most of the days so far on this fascinating journey, I felt exhausted.  The area turned quite cold as darkness fell.  By around 9.00pm, it was freezing.  We each had separate beds in the twin share room.  Soon after falling asleep in mine, I awoke suddenly to find Tina had jumped into bed with me, whispering



"Barry, it's so cold here....  do you mind if I warm myself up a little?



在这里我想说一下,这个系列的文章不会是为了让人兴奋或是非常的吸引人。它只是简单的相对简洁的记录一个人去一个他所不熟悉的环境中的旅程。写下来的所来的东西都是事实发生的。它不是故事而是事实。



然而某些日子会非常的平凡,而某些日子却会非常的有趣。这意味着某些文章会不可避免的会有些无趣甚至时枯躁,可是,不幸的是, 我不能改变事实。对于那些发现这个事实的读者来说,没有必要读一些你不感兴趣的文章是非常自然的事。如果我写的东西让你觉得很无聊,你可以随时停止阅读。强迫自己读然后抱怨太无趣了,那就没有任何意义了。我说这些显然很没有无趣,可是这是事实。



请了解,我在这里写这些为了你们也只是为了我自己。



在峨嵋山的第五天的清晨让人非常的愉悦,微风轻拂,温度大约为10摄氏度。冬天的时候,这里可是盖满了雨,非常的不欢迎旅人,也非常不可能攀登,因为台阶上的冰块实在是太危险了。



虽然我们现在所住的旅馆比我们所住过的所有的旅馆标准都高一些,但是我还是非常憎恶那个厕所。对很多中国厕所的不喜欢似乎会成为我个系列文章的一个不变的主题。



这个旅馆每晚费用为200元,让人会觉得这应该是一个合理的标准。然而跟其他我所见过的厕所不同,他的蹲式厕所的坑坑竟然就在淋浴间里面。所以冲凉的时候,就跨在那个坑坑上面。我认为这种设置实在是太危险了。只要跨错一步,你的脚就会直接踩进那个坑坑里,非常可能让你很恶心的摔一跤,而且非常可能扭伤或摔碎脚踝。我们在这里住了两晚,每次都没有厕所纸。让我觉得这是因为厕所是设在淋浴间里面,他们大约觉得应该在冲凉的时候用手指来清洗你的屁股。有哪个读者可以告诉这是不是真的啊?如果



真是这样的话,那你想在没有冲凉的时候上厕所可该怎么办啊?或是如果你很不幸的拉肚子可该怎么办?



走出旅馆的时候,我欣赏了一会旅馆前面的养鱼池,里面有好几条相当大的鱼。TINA和我出发去峨嵋山的最高点,在另外的一千多台阶的高处。让人欣喜的是,这次我们不用背背包。我们把背包留在了旅馆中,几个小时之后我们从最高点下来的时候我们再去领背包。



往上爬的时候,我们经过一群让人兴奋的中国人,他们忙于喂养6只猴子。这个情景看起来真的是非常的刺激。TINA非常的害怕,而我却很喜欢它们,而且越走越近。



我靠近了那个篱笆,猴子们坐在篱笆后面吃东西。突然,一只小猴子跳到我的手臂上。站在我后面的一群中国人吓得全部尖叫起来,但是我却完全被这个漂亮的小家伙给迷住了,它正在扒拉我穿着的夹克的袖子。那个善于抓握的爪子非常的柔软,而且,它看起来非常的可爱。



我看到一只大猴子正在抢一大袋花生,一个中国男人正在从这个袋子里掏花生出来喂它。当那个男人试图把他的袋子拿回的时候,那个大猴子对他嘶嘶的猛叫。看到这个搞笑的场景,我不禁大笑了起来。很快,这只猴子就吃饱了花生,它跳到地上,站在另外一个中国男人的身边,这个男人的背包上面装着一个塑料水瓶子。这只猴子非常用力的把水瓶从男人的背包中拉出来,打开盖子,然后开始快乐的喝水,就跟一个人似的。看着这些猴子实在是一件有意味的事情,所以,我们在那里呆了大约半个小时。



看够了这些猴子们,我们还要继续朝隐约可见的峨嵋山顶进发。走到一半路程的时候,可以选择坐缆车或者是继续走路。TINA和我最后两个都选了。我们走上去然后坐缆车下来。



这段路是相当艰苦的,大约有一千多个台阶。幸运的是,我们已经将背包留在了峨嵋山庄的旅馆中。我相当轻快地继续前行,超过了好多其他的中国人,他们显然在努力挣扎。我了解他们的痛苦非常的同情他们。



实际上,峨嵋山顶有好几座寺庙,还有一座非常大的金色的雕像。这个雕像离地面有大约80多米高,非常的引人注目。这大概也是很多地图将这个地方称为“金顶”的原因。



同时,在山顶上时可以看到四周非常美丽的乡村景色。有一个地方,在一个悬崖边有好几个大岩石,是拍照的好地主。我径直走过去想要跳上去,但是,TINA却抱住了我的腰不让我过去。她说这样的鲁莽的举动只是愚蠢的人才会做的。



大约用了一个小时细细的观看了山顶上所有的寺庙和售卖神品的商店之后,TINA和我就往回走了。这个时候大约是下午3点半,太晚了,我们不可能再走下山去。于是,我们又定了一晚我们昨晚住过的那个旅馆



我有说过我特别讨厌那里的厕所吗? :)



TINA说我们可能可以早一些吃晚饭,并且问我是否想吃鱼。我说当然,但是一两分钟后,让我吃惊的是,一个旅馆工作人员拿着一个小手网走了出去,捞起一条我今天早上欣赏过的鱼池中的鱼。我几乎叫了起来



“等等,我改变主意了,我不想吃鱼了!”



但是,已经太晚了,TINA和我不得不吃那条鱼。我得承认对于这一点我有点不高兴。



吃过晚饭之后,我们可以早些休息。跟这个假期中的大多数日子一样,我非常的累,筋疲力尽。当夜晚降临的时候,这个地面变得相当的冷。大约晚上9点的时候,感觉就象在寒冬,感觉冻死人了。在这个双人房中本来我们两个人各有一个床。我睡着不多久就突然醒了过来,我发现TINA跳上了我的床,轻轻的说



Barry,这里实在是太冷了,你不介意我在这取一下暖吧?“


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 18) 1 2 More...
#2014-06-06 15:44:29 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, in case you're not cognizant of it, it is just possible that Tina is making a move on you. I urge you strongly to read Imi's recent posting of Part 13 of his series, in which he made the immense blunder of failing to move on such a similar obvious sign by his Lily that suggested a sexual encounter was in the making.

DO NOT make that same mistake Barry! Grab this golden opportunity and make hay while the sun is shining, because it might then shine for the rest of your life.

Of course if I'm reading Tina wrong on this then it may ruin your chances with her forever, but not to worry, that's a chance I'm willing to take.

#2014-06-06 16:39:41 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"DO NOT make that same mistake Barry!........ Of course if I'm reading Tina wrong on this then it may ruin your chances with her forever"

Thanks so much for your great advice, John.

I can see why you're the proprietor of a great online Chinese dating website such as this - you're a very smart and wise matchmaker as well.

Cupid must've learnt all his romantic strategies, ploys and tricks from you, I think - well done indeed! :D

#2014-06-06 20:22:22 by anonymous10267 @anonymous10267

"Tina was afraid of them..."
"Tina was standing well away from the action, watching from a distance."

Why scared? They are so cute! What a cute experience.

Regarding Tina's move on you...it could be another test to see how much of a gentleman you are. Either way, your checkered shirt is working its magic!

#2014-06-06 20:30:36 by anonymous10268 @anonymous10268

Barry, can you tell us more about the monkeys and their relationship to the mountain you and Tina climbed. Were they everywhere? Or only in select places?

#2014-06-07 01:16:05 by Grace172 @Grace172

"Barry, it's so cold here.... do you mind if I warm myself up a little?"(giggle)
You beat George finally!(clap)

#2014-06-07 04:14:48 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry -

"I can see why you're the proprietor of a great online Chinese dating website such as this - you're a very smart and wise matchmaker as well.

Cupid must've learnt all his romantic strategies, ploys and tricks from you, I think - well done indeed!"

I am, with a pain in my heart, sensing the slightest hint of sarcasm in your comment to me above. ;(

#2014-06-07 04:15:33 by anonymous10271 @anonymous10271

Barry, so far I am really enjoying your trip vicariously, even a bit jealous I might add. Monkeys can be cute as a button in 1 second their instincts take over and these monkeys can be very scary...Throw a grown man around with ease....

The statues are brilliant, very well made. How far is this place from Chengdu?

about her wanting to warm up in your bed, all as I can think to say is ....."go Barry go Barry"!!!!

#2014-06-07 23:04:09 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous10267

Thanks for your comments, Anon10267.

Tina is scared of the monkeys because recently she was chased by a big dog hiking in the foothills around Shawan. She fell over and cut her legs. But I feel her fears go deeper than this. Maybe as a child something happened to scare her?

The small monkeys are really cute. But the larger, mature ones look a little intimidating. Especially when they hiss or growl at you.

As for my check shirt, yes - it's my good luck charm and indeed, it'll do its job well, I hope. One day I may even take it off. (giggle)

#2014-06-07 23:20:36 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous10268

Thanks for the question, Anon10268.

The monkeys were only in certain areas. There was a "monkey ecology zone" near the base of the mountain. Then around two thirds of the way up, there was a temple where plenty of monkeys were seen.

Then up near the summit near the Emei village, was another "monkey feeding zone".

Hikers are warned to all carry bamboo poles, should they encounter wild monkeys. Not so much to hit them with, but to rap the pole on the ground, making a loud noise.

I found the monkeys to be intelligent and a lot of fun. Yet Tina was scared of them.

Basically all they want to do is to steal food or water from you, if it's in plain sight or they can smell it. They don't want to attack you for the sake of doing this. They're not like a tiger that might want to eat you!

The monkeys are a charming addition to the Mt Emei trail. The place wouldn't be the same without them.

#2014-06-07 23:23:41 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Grace172

Thanks for your amusing comment, Grace.

Though I can neither confirm nor deny anything at this stage, sorry about that.

Let's just say that Tina and I are getting to know eachother more and more.

Though is this necessarily a good thing?

Or maybe it can equally be a bad thing? (think)

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