Time for it all.
Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
101Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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I am going back through my notes and rewriting some passages I've neglected to publish on here. I tend to write a lot in notebooks but fail to rewrite and publish somehow. I guess it stems from my habit of never taking the same path back from a destination that got me there. Hard to explain but I rarely will walk back on the same path that got me there. To much new ground to cover and I don't want to miss it.
8/24/2011: Spent the afternoon jamming on the sax, writing my blog on my Nokia, eating "Pocky" (japanese stick-like cookies), and drinking a small bottle of Black Velvet that I bought in Dallas but had stashed in my backpack just for rainy days like this one. I also discovered a roll of chewing tobacco (snuff) that I had hidden in there but couldn't access since I put my main pack in this apartment, before going to the Mingtown Hostel at West lake in Hangzhou. So I am no longer a "Cigarette dipper", at least for a couple weeks
The Ballad of John Coltrane:
" Ever feel kind of down and out and don't know just what to do.
Livin' all of your days in darkness, let the sun shine through.
Ever feel somehow somewhere you lost your way.
and if you don't get a help quick, you won't make it through the day.
Could ya call on Lady Day (Billie Holiday), Could ya call on John Coltrane, now cause
they'll They'll wash your troubles away.
Plastic people with plastic minds on their way to plastic homes
No beginning--ain't no ending, just go on and on and on and on.
It's all because they're so afraid to say that they're alone.
Till I hear a risin' risin' on the saxophone.
Could ya call on Lady Day. Could ya call on John Coltrane cause
they'll wash your troubles away.
Ever feel kind of down and out and don't know what to do..... "
John died in his 40's from a heart condition. To early for him (and me) to go.
The guy was a heck of a singer yet he mainly played the Sax. Maybe he figured he could best express himself with his horn? I have years of practice if I want to attain those levels.
Back to the present day
I love the Chinese, they are just natural people with little pretense. If the inside of one's nose itches, they stick their finger up there with no concern about who is watching. They spit whenever where-ever they wish. They laugh and point at people they think appear out of place.
One started going through my shopping cart at the grocery store the other day out of curiosity. But when they smile at you it generally comes from the heart. Unless someone is trying to screw you their smiles are genuine. I get very positive vibes from the Chinese population
They do the strangest stuff but they are all concerned with the concept of "saving face". They will never admit it if they screw up. They will never accept a monetary tip of any kind. A store keeper will chase you down the street if you leave without accepting your change, even if merely a penny or two. Yet many Chinese are money hungry and will screw you whenever possible.. Cab drivers and little store owners come to mind here. Screwing foreigners is a way of gaining face but accepting a 3 cent tip causes one to lose face.
The girl from Minnesota came by at 10:00 AM to ask me to brekkies. Although not hungry I still accepted her offer since she doesn't know her way around and she's one of the two English speakers I currently know. She's pretty cool. I admire any young person who has the desire and the cojones to go out and live in the orient by themselves. My daughter "Athena" is like that to a great extent. Very nice to have people like the Minnesota gal as a neighbor and coworker. We went to some Chinese place (all places here besides KFC are Chinese), and had some pork, celery and egg dish.. Pretty nasty actually, I need to do my own cooking more, the more I eat Chinese food, the less I like it. Who wants to eat limp celery????
The Chinese do eat a lot of watermelon and are crazy about fried chicken. How's that for stereotypes? But it's entirely true. I eat tons of watermelon here as well since it's so cheap and readily available this time of year, and yes, I am also a lover of fried chicken and damned proud of it! Anyway, I hit the Muslim flat bread seller on the way home and have some greasy bread made with onion and eggs with spices for only 3 kwai a 1 pound bag. (50 cents or so) This bread is the only Chinese food, other than grilled meat, that I really like. I let the girl go to the park by herself since my feet need one days rest. I'm currently I'm having lunch and finishing up this page.