Wednesday, August 23, 2006

23 August 06 Kashigar, Indy's Cafe

I sit satiated by some Ziao Fan (poluo) that Indy had given me. What an unexpected treat, as I'd planned to go to Orda for one last time. This was even better with raisons! Plus, the vegetable (always accompanying) was unusally good. This from my #2 Chinese daughter's mother, who's a very good cook! They really should open a restaurant, but I know... Too much work really, and for younger people!

I've got a new plan, and may not return to Kashigar for awhile (thus, the reason for planning to go to Orda for 'poluo' one last time). This I got while trying to go to sleep last night... Thus, I was out and on the way to the Bank of China early... The plan involves transferring funds from this Bank to the same, but new account in Shanghai (where money is easier to access). For some reason from Hu's China to Xinjiang, like the difference between New York State and Puerto Rico. We (they) claim it, but... Different rules between.

The plan involves cycling with 'Tom,' from Urumqi to Xinning, after the up coming Kanas Lake 'video' ride (in October): 'In seach of the 'Loch Kanas Monster!'

I had parked in front of Indy's (in the bike rack) on the way to do some shopping (needed a new 'ming,' or 'screen' for my tea 'jar.' When I returned Indy was opening the door, which surprised me. Normally, she doesn't open until 12 Noon (staying up so late, like 0200 everynight). But, today because the cleaning woman was coming (who arrived later with daughter) she opened at 10:30.

Across the street I see the shadow of a tree on a wall... I'm mesmerized, as it takes me to California in the blink of an eye--Palm Springs, circa. 1956! Deja Vu! This is a great example of 'visual sense memory,' a 'way to get there,' for actors. This, 'Method Acting,' invented by K. Stanislavsky and Lee Strasberg.

This is the first sunny day in Kashigar since I arrived. Part of the reason Kashigar has lost its 'luster,' is the weather... Not as good as I expected. Too many cloudy days! Too much dust! Too many Uyghur people, the street traffic absolutely insane (Bill Weir noticed too and refuses to cycle). Shanghai, with its own brand of 'honking madness,' not as 'insane' as Kashigar! It would be only a matter of time before an accident!

But, sitting here... I wish I could 'transport' Indy's Cafe to wherever I am! It will be the reason I visit Kashigar from time to time--such a 'wondefu' environment she's created! I think she would make a good 'production designer!'

In the meantime, much to do to get out of K-town tomorrow, shipping bicycles and other, storing items with Miss. Hu, planning our video/trip to Kanas Lake.

I'm still very much a part of 'modernity!' But, my goal is to get out of it within the next five years! By 2011! I'll be 71-years old (if make it that far), and old enough to really 'retire!'

'Elaine' (Hu Jiang, another of my 'Chinese daughers') came and met me at Indy's Cafe yesterday afternoon... I'm reminded of such as we had a good discussion about 'life!' I think at one point I did my 'usual rap,' about living in the 'now,' or present! I always use the example of myself, now 66-years old!

'Who would have ever though?' I ask! 'I was just a 'kid,' 'yesterday!' Now, I'm an old man with a history! All the cliches about how fast life passes, are true! It gets away from you, as generally speaking, we're all too focused on the 'future,' rather than the present. We go 'to bed one night 21-years old, and wake up the next morning,' 66-years old! All in between... A dream!

'Am I a man dreaming I'm a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I'm a man?'

We create our worlds with the concepts and words we use!

I'm a 'butterfly dreaming I'm a man,' for sure!

Making magic together,
Haqi
riding the Magic Dragon
in Kashigar, Xinjiang Provine, China

Saturday, August 19, 2006

18 August 06 at Indy's Cafe, Kashigar, Xinjiang Province, China

I'm sitting in 'Hutch's Corner,' so named, and the 3rd 'edition' of such in the world. Of course, the first at 'The Mate Factor' in Manitou Springs, Colorado, the second in Uddevalla, Sweden ('Yerba's' - a wonderful place!), the third here in Kashigar, the most amazing of all, Indy's Cafe!

I watch Zheng Lei ('Indy') make me a cup of coffee (behind the bar)! This is a wonderful woman, 'Indy,' at 28-years of age, a talented artist. She launched this Cafe one year ago, and has developed it into an 'institution!' (soon to be written up in the 'Lonely Planet'). I add some western notions, like English books and movies, a bicycle rack out front. But, this 'space,' is special because of her! She's one of my 'Chinese daughters!'

I'm blessed, as the 'Spirit' is constantly watching out for 'us!'

Today, and all the other days of my life, even the one's when I thought I'd die before sunset, blessings! Even on the worse day of your life you learn something!

What is 'life' anyway? Do you ever stop and think about such? Or, are you so caught up in the daily routine, you never have a chance? Best, stop, pause and reflect ocassionally, as you might want to change directions! You might just be going down the wrong road!

Me, I was 'captured' at an early age, and had 'no choice.' In fact, I once wrote a book entitled, 'No Choice,' an MS. so pornographic, I hope it never comes to light! But, what was important for me to 'understand' at the time was 'the message,' the Spirit (the Tao) was 'telling me, and that was, 'you better listen!' I really had 'no choice!'

If I conveyed the 'pain,' I've gone through during my earlier years, you can probably relate, as 'pain' is relative. We all suffer one way or another!

My experiences, however, fighting with 'Myself,' were 'nuclear' in size! The Ego versus the Tao (or whatever you want to call this, the 'other'). I had gone down one road, the Ego choosing the wrong one! And then after so many years coming to a 'fork!' The road signs were such: One said 'Life!' the other, or the one I was on said, 'Death!' I chose 'Life!' and it's made all the difference, giving up to 'The Tao,' overcoming my Ego desires!

Now, 'It's a Wonderful Life,' and I can relate to 'George' in Frank Capra's movie. He had wanted to never exist, but he found out that even the worst of 'lives,' is worth the pain! And he rejoiced, when his identity (his 'life') was returned! 'It's a wonderful theme,' and we wish 'Hollywood' made such now, instead of the usual 'violence as solution' theme!

Indy is playing Native American music interrupting my thoughts of 'themes' and 'Hollywood!' Note: She rarely plays Chinese music. In fact, her choice of music was one of the first things I noticed about the Cafe! Very hip!

Would you believe, there's an American movie company in Kashigar? Kashigar is 'doubling' for Kabul, as the movie (I'm told) is about the 1977, Afganistan war. Speaking of 'violence as solution,' here's yet another example of the 'shit' that 'Hollywood' continues to churn out! I'll get the title, and maybe you'll get to see Kashigar 'doubling' as Kabul in the future! There's always something a little good in a lot of bad, and vice versa.

I had gone to find Nurmamat working at the Xinlong where the movie company is ensconsed, but came up empty handed. I went to promote Indy's Cafe, as I know the 'movie types,' will love this place. But, first I have to 'connect' Indy with Nurmamat. All this from Abdul, my Uyghur buddy, who turns out to be a very good guy (speaks English).

Abdul and Nurmamat went cycling with me the day we were followed by the Chinese police, this back last November, 05. We went from Kashigar to Opal, some 50KM each way. That's how I know both of them, from knowing Toby. Toby my American friend now living in Krygyzstan (with Indira girlfriend)...?

Ironically, this is what I'm going to do tomorrow with the Kashigar Elder's Cycling Group, cycle to Opal and back. And I'm wondering, as I haven't been back on the 'Magic Dragon' very long... How arduous will this be? And how will I do? Luckily, this group is slow!

Trying to get 'back in the saddle,' I cycled maybe 20KM yesterday and my weakness evident. Now, to do 100KM in one day... No doubt, it will take some recovering from. Oh, to be 30-years of age again!

I got my soft berth ticket for the 24th, Miss Hu informed me via text message/mobile. I'll be in Urumqi on the 25th, and then heading out on bicycle the 28th. This for Kanas Lake, some 800KM north of U-town. Then returning and over to Yili. Then returning to U-town, maybe gone all the months of September and October. But, I'm looking forward to this!

But, I have proposed to two Chinese videomakers in Shanghai that they join me. Many interesting things happen to me when I'm 'out there,' and I've often wished I had a camcorder along. So, you may get to 'come along!'

In the meantime, I'm in Kashigar, where there are many, many tourists, cyclists, and movie people! Amazing! What a difference, six months makes! I was here in the winter with no one! I was maybe one of a dozen 'lowei!' Now, hundreds!

I met a man this morning at the Xinibagh Hotel, this courtesy of Xiao Xu. He was Pakistani looking. I thought he was from Pakistan, which isn't very far away from Kashigar, maybe 300KM / 200 miles. But he could speak good English so I should have known. He was trying to cycle up to Tibet from Taskorgan (up in the Pamir range), but the Chinese police had stopped him. He wasn't daunted, however. Now, he said he's going up from Kashigar. I told him this was one of the most daunting 'ups' in the world. He understood. When I asked him where he was from, I got a shock! I thought I'd misheard! 'Las Vegas!' he said. 'From one desert to another!' Crazy! All Americans are 'fung la!' I would swear he was from Pakistan! This guy is from Las Vegas, Nevada!

Then today earlier at the Giant Bicycle Shop I met a German couple, and a Canadian. All touring on bicycles! All doing what I do. The German couple was buying some hand pumps. The Canadian preparing to cycle in Pakistan. So, I'm not alone in the world, nor do anything unusual. People just think so! Maybe it's my age... Most I meet are much younger. Then again, there's Mr. Wong, of the Kashigar Elder Cycling Group, and he's 75-years old!

So, all you 'old people' out there! Get on a bicycle! Live longer! You're never too old (to try at least).

Haqi
in Kashigar,
still trying!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

12. 08.06 Saturday, Urumqi - Mercury and Uranus go direct!

And now things will change, communication, arrangements, business, will go smoother! You laugh! Watch! Watch me! Watch us!

The reason you don't 'k-no-w' is because you're not watching, listening, you're not sensitive enough to pick of the 'station.' I just happen to be a better 'receiver' than you. Plus, you're 'tuned' to the wrong 'won!' Whereas I'm picking up 'Mercury and Uranus Radio,' you're listening to 50K 'clear channel' rock 'n roll 'station' (KG0 in SF) or CNN, or 24-hours of sports. That's the difference! It's all in what we want to 'here!' You want to be distracted so you don't have to think. I want not to be distracted, so I can be!

I just read a most amazing 'novel' ('fiction')! Novels are more important than 'non-fiction,' as they hold more 'truth!' Yes, it's true! The novel was 'invented' to hide 'truth' (the author's perceptions) within a story. As, the 'greater the truth, the more the author has to hide his truth!' Note, people don't really like the truth!

And this is an amazing novel, 'A Dictionary of Maqiao' by Chinese author Han Shaogong, and translated by Julia Lovell (a professor of Chinese at Cambridge). Wow! That's all I can say, having picked this book 'by accident' in the Foreign Language Bookstore in Shanghai.

Now, I've read hundreds of books in my life! You can say I'm erudite! My choice for best novel ever written, 'A Hundred Years of Solitude,' by Gabriel Marquez Garcia (?) or something... (I'll think of his proper name...? I could now, get his proper name, via baidu.com if I was able to get online... But, felled by 'retrogrades.').

But, this book, 'A Dictionary of Maqiao,' is in the same league a 'A Hundred Years...!' 'A Dictionary...' is about language of course... In fact, makes the same point, about language that 'we' discovered years ago... That language creates your world!

'The story,' about an 'educated youth,' (the author) who was sent 'down' to a village to toil with his hands during the 'Cultural Revolution ' (1968-78 in China). He lives in the village of 'Maqiao' in Hunan Province. We know Hunan as he mentions the real city of Changle several times. But, 'Maqiao' is not on any 'map,' except in Han's mind. I suspect the name comes from the Chinese minority group, 'Miao.'

During the six+ years Han was there doing common labor, he came across an infinity interesting group of people in his village. The book is about their lives, and more importantly, how they perceive the world (via language). He starts out every 'chapter,' with a word of phrase, and then compares it to Mandarin, etc. The 'Maqiao' people have created their 'world,' by choosing the meaning of the words (Chinese characters).

Hidden between the lines, in this 'novel,' are much wisdom about language, but also the world! Just because people are 'uneducated' and rural, doesn't mean they aren't full of wisdom! Concomitantly, Han exposes the true nature of the 'Cultural Revolution,' one of China's (Mao's) great acts of self loathing!

The Han Chinese, amazing people to have survived and prospering now!

I'm surprised this book is allowed (by the Chinese Government); that 'Soul Mountain' is banned? But, I think that has more to do with the authors than the material in these books. As, 'A Dictionary of Maqiao,' is much more revealing and 'dangerous,' in enlightening Chinese, than 'Soul Mountain.'

The Han Chinese, amazing people!

I'm going to send this book to Trueman Turnipseed in Colorado, as he's a reader. But, you should try to find, if you don't want to be distracted, and want to think! If you want to grow! It you want to become more conscious!

Herewith some 'jacket' praise, but first a pithy description:

"In the heart of one of China's darkest eras, every word was a little revolution!

From the daring imagination of one of China's greatest living novelists comes a work of startling power and originality--the story of a young man 'displaced' to a small village in rural China during the 1960s. Told in the format of a dictionary, with a series of vignetttes disguised as entries. 'A Dictionary of Maqiao' is a novel of bold invention, and a fascinating, comic, deeply moving journey through the dark heart of the Cultural Revolution.

Entries trace the wisdom and absurdities of Maqiao: the petty squables, family grudges, poverty, infidelities, fantasies, lunatics, bullies, superstitions, and especially the odd logic in their use of language; where the word for 'beginning' is the same as the word for 'end;' where the wor(l)d 'little big brother' means 'older sister;' to be 'scientific' means to be 'lazy,' and 'streetsickness' is a disease afficting villagers visiting big cities .

Filled with colorful characters, from a weeping ox to a man so poisonous that snakes die when they bite him, 'A Dictionary of Maqiao' is both an important work of Chinese literature and a probing inquiry into the extraordinary power of language!"

'The best novel of the year!' ('San Franciso Chronicle Book Review')

'A wonderful, many-layered novel... Clever, sympathetic, and amusing!' ('London Times Literary Supplement')

Yesterday, in Urumqi, my own 'Maqiao' and an interesting time as always!

From my unnamed 'hotel California,' (lower class Chinese neighborhood) I walk to where I need to be, which is near People's Square (ritzy commercial). I'm in quest of a Bank of China, and know where the main branch is located. From 'Hotel California Take Two! ' this is probably 3 KM distance . But, I know Urumqi well now, and easy to find my way around... Everything is familar!

At the BoC, 'many lowei,' and I overheard a conversation, some English from a Uyghur guide 'helping' a group of anglo tourists. I caught, 'O.K., you don't have to trust me, but I'm only a student!' Note, Uyghur people have the same reputation as gypsies!

But, as always in China, I have trouble with the ATM machines (gypsy machines)! Would you believe there's one in the lobby that is without the option 'withdrawal.' This, I guess, is just for 'inquiring.' 'Wo bu ming bai?'

But, I finally find one that coughs up 'da Yuan!'

From there I decide to use the toilet at the Hoi Tak, the five-star hotel on People's Square--just across the street. Afterwards, I get the idea to sit in the lobby and check to see if they have a 'wifi cloud.' If they do I can get online (as my China Unicom account not working).

I sit in a comfortable chair, and set up my MacBook, order a cup of coffee, which comes as steamed milk and a bowl of peanuts. They've misunderstood of course! I eat the peanuts ('hua son' in Chinese) and have them turn the milk into coffee--very good coffee I might add (for 25RMB / $3 U.S.).

Using my MacBook I discover China Mobile networks are available, and not one but several. But, these are not for 'free,' however, requiring a username and password. I'm happy to pay the 2 Mu per minute charge, this amounting to about .03 cents U.S. (they bill you through your mobile telephone account). But, how to utilize and get online...? We figure out the instructions, I think, as in Chinese... You have to send their 'code' via your mobile to a four-digit telephone number.

Since I'm new with Tom Han's mobile, I have to figure out how to do this too, compose a text message. Luckily, Nokia has made it simple, and I'm able to figure it out! Yea! I send it, and the message is replied to almost immediate (a computer), sending the user name and password. But, of course, this is in Chinese! What to do? I ask...

This ends up being, a three-hour long, meeting-many-people session (a pretty German woman who works at the hotel included), but with all the consultants and long discussions, never getting on line! The employees at the hotel, very generous with assistance, but there is always something lost between cultures. I do discover how it works, but then, in the end, tired of being there, I have to depart without getting online...

One of the smarter 'bellhops,' for lack of a better description, informs me he's figured out the reason (besides Uranus, which he knows not). For each session, you have to get a new password. And the one I had, had expired. In the end, it seemed to work, but didn't... www.cyclingpeace.org I could get to, but not others. I should have been cursing Mercury and Uranus by now!

This is why I need our China Unicom account working!

In the process I had talked to Tom Han who was helpful as always. In addition, he'd figured out why the China Unicom account (or equipment) wasn't working. It seems that the CU agent, the one we had had so much trouble with in Shanghai (the angry young Chinese man) had failed to send the paper work to China Unicom! So, CU had 'cut us off.' Uranus again! But, according to Tom Han, we're supposed to retify this situation on Monday. In the meantime, I haven't had access to the Internet (except going to Cyber Club)! Uranus again!

One of the reasons I walk the streets, I'm able to give RMB away (to beggars). Walking around Urumqi yesterday, besides being blessed, I run into three people I know (what are the odds of this?)! Additionally, I meet three new people!

One of the new, a Dr. Fu, from Taiwan, who walked right up and started a conversation with me! We exchanged cards and photographs. I'm now invited to Taiwan, where she lives. In exchange I gave her Sharon's number in Beijing.

The second was the German woman at the Hoi Tak Hotel... 'Melanie,' a lovely young (27-years old) honey blond from Leizig! I mentioned Bach and Saxony. in turn, she hovered around to help with my 'computer' problem. This gave me a chance to pass on my card, and explain my crazy life.

Who was the third I befriended? A lovely, 17-year old Chinese woman I sat next to at Cyber Club (there's always a reason you are somewhere, and it's not the reason you know). She spoke good English, as had visited the U.S. twice (mentioning San Francisco). 'Amy' (Li Change, her Chinese name) gave me her photograph with her email address on it. She's on the way to Beijing to finish her studies in 'finance!' Ah, parental pressure... Study 'finance' and get rich! What a cutie though! Another 'daughter' that I will 'adopt' and get a job for at the Olympics!

What did I do afterwards? I can hardly remember! Oh, I got ripped off buying some fruit, this by a Uyghur man. But, I'm glad I can help! Rip me off, steal from me, and I shall only pray for you! What did Jesus do on the cross? He asked God to forgive them! Human beings, particularly the uneducated street people, they survive by their wits.

For me it was another 'lesson,' in how careful I have to be (as I'm vunerable to such)! If you have a heart, you're bound to get ripped off! It comes with the territory! Be a ruthless mother fucker and you'll probably get killed! Which would you prefer?

We're created a culture ('world') where money has become 'God,' so what do we expect? We create demand for things (via television and advertising) that can't be met! But, that doesn't stop the desire to have those things. And the less fortunate will get whatever, anyway they can! If they have to rip people off, or steal, they will! Mother wants a TV set! Baby is crying as hungry! Grandpa needs new pants. What if you're under educated and can't get a job, have no money... ? What do you do? Some can only think of getting whatever anyway they can, and if it's illegal or immoral, so what! Momma is happy, baby stops crying, and Grandpa pats you on the head when you bring 'home the bacon!' They don't ask how you got it!

You'll be shocked to discover I'm a Communist at heart! Marx, had some good ideas! The only problem... They've been corrupted by human beings (when put in practice)! 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!'

But, 'Communism' is really just more 'sharing.' What's wrong with that? Nobody wants to! 'Semper Fi,' (Latin sic) the Marine motto goes! Bascially, I've got mine, fuck you! Or, what's normally used as an example... Wits, and desire are uneven amongst mortals, meaning... In a group of people some will be glad to share, while others (the 'clever' and greedy) want it all! Others, the 'haves' describe this as some wanting to work; others lazy. Guess what 'group' they're in?

'Communism,' the philosophy, is a utopeian idea. Marx should have been smart enough to realize it would never work in reality!

But, that doesn't prevent me from being 'won' at heart, a 'Communist!' Me and Mao would have agreed on the 'Capitalist Roaders!'

Further down the street I pass a young Chinese man standing waiting, and recognize his face. I'm bad with names, but I never forget a face. In this case, I even remembered his first name 'Li,' as many are so named. This young man a computer salesman in a Sony/Vaio store in computer mart. Or, so he was when I met him last summer when he helped me find a 'Net Bar.'

In fact, this young man, on duty at the time, left his job to walk two blocks, up many flights of stairs to guide me to a 'Net Bar!' I was so impressed I made a point of getting to know him better, hoping someday to buy something from him to repay the gesture. Then there, yesterday, standing, waiting for a bus. He recognized me too!

We exchanged a few words, him politely listening, so respectful, as to miss his bus, just so he wouldn't be rude!

It's this contrast in behaivor that's so stark in Chinese culture. If they know you, they'll 'kowtow!' If they don't you're just another piece of meat to run over!

From there I walked on to 'K2' an outdoor store! I'd walked past it in the morning, and spied bicycles in the windows. So, I was eager to check out (I'm in need of some things for our cycling trip). What should I hear upon entering, but 'Haqi!' my name! And who should I behold, but the Chinese man who ran the Merida bike shop where I met Gordon (last summer).

This Chinese man speaks so little English, however, so I never really got to know him outside of going to his Merida Bicycle shop. I don't even know his name! But, I knew at the time his business would fail ultimately competing with two Giant Bicycle shops (he wasn't much of a salesperson). Sure enough the last time I went by there last winter the space had 'morphed' into a music store. I had wondered what would happen to a guy like this...? Now, here he was selling outdoor gear! It's the 'Peter Principle!'

I tried to explain to him what I was doing back in Urumqi, giving him my postcard, and the (photocopied) article written about me, this in Chinese ('Kashigar Daily' paper).

I inquired about some 'Gore Tex' boots, but way too expensive (1,200RMB / $135 U.S.).

Part of the reasoning for checking out the store, I needed to acquire another plastic bag , for the one the fruit was in had ripped. 'Ripped off,' and the bag 'ripped.' Here, however, being a friend of someone that worked in the store they gave me happily. Thus, I went looking further for something to purchase (to compensate)! I finally found a floppy hat, one that fit, and actually something I have been looking to purchase. The price 52Y / $7 U.S. They charged me only 45RMB. I wore it out the store.

The hat is the 'Kailas' brand of clothing (Made in China), and the woman behind the counter recognized that I knew Mt. 'Kailas' in Chinese, 'Garem Buchi!' (or so sounding). This I had learned from Elia (now and forever more back with her parents in Fujian Province--never to actually make it there).

When I got back to my hotel 'room,' I discovered the beige nylon hat is 'flawed' in concept and design (never look closely enough when buying ) But, I'm hopeful I can have it altered by my Chinese seamstress in K-town. I'm always doing this kind of thing, rarely happy with 'store bought' stuff, and paying someone to alter! Such helps us both, however!

Afterwards, I meditate focusing on my 'Madonna' hung on the wall in #315. I intend to buy this print of a young woman as important to me. Not that it's a 'work of art,' just that it has special meaning to me. But, I'll be suspect buying this half-naked woman! Because I'm male, they'll think I'm a 'voyeur' or sex fiend. If they only knew!

If you only knew!

From the'Tao Te Ching:

"The valley spirit never dies!
It is named the mysterious female!
And the doorway of the mysterious female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprung!
It is within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry!"

Lao Tzu (meaning old wise man... His real name, 'Li Er.')

Haqi
a Taoist poet,
happily in Urumqi

10.08.06 Urumqi, Xinjiang Province after nine weeks in 'hell!'

(Ah, the weather in Urumqi upon arrival... the cool, the dry, the weather heaven to me! And this morning in Beijing, 90% green humidity, the fog so thick the taxi driver said the planes wouldn't fly! Llittle did he know! From Beijing to Urumqi was like travelling between hell and heaven!)

But the last two days in Beijing, however, packed with interesting experiences! I'm amazed at my life sometimes, the things that happened to me... somewhere between the smell of a gardenia, and the sight of a billowing cloud.

On Tuesday, when Stephanie and David were departing Beijing, David took Tom and I to lunch as 'repayment.' A nice gesture, as we paid his way back to Shanghai. And this wasn't any old place, but the most famous restaurant for 'roasted Beijing duck,' in all of Beijing! It's right off the shopping/walking street... Next door to a McDonald's!

Note! Advertising prevades every space in China! It's worse here than anywhere I've ever lived (note, Mao! Your effect had just the reverse!)! The 'McDonald's' name on the rubber slippers in my room at the 'Inner Mongolia' Hotel. Where will names appear next? They're already painting women's bodies with advertising!

The 'Amazing Roasted Beijing Duck Restaurant'... I wish I could think of the Chinese name... I have it in three Chinese characters (on two porcelan docks I bought as presents for Indy and Miss Hu in K-Town!). But, in Pinyin or English, I'll have to get for you! You'll want to go when you attend the Beijing Olympics (now only 730 days left until the Opening Ceremonies...).

This 'duck place' one of those Chinese 'eating palaces' I call them, with Mao and Henry Kissinger's photograph in the lobby. A veritable 'institution!' where every tourist comes to sample the famous duck before departing.

'Duck before deparing!' 'Mind your head!' it says in the subway!

In the restaurant we were ushered to the 4th floor by a pretty young Chinese woman whose red dress slit up to catch my attention! Later we found out why--why the 4th floor! We saw 'many 'lowie ' in the newly decorated dining room (very nicely done)!

David ordered the famous duck of course, and some other dishes. However, I wanted only 'chao mi fan' (fried rice). Not to be daunted the waiter said it would take some time to prepare, as not offered on the menu.

In contrast, the duck was quickly rolled up on a cart and carved by a smiling and properly dressed 'duck chef.' He offered a sample like a sommlier poured a glass of wine, this to test! I didn't!

Note: I used to love duck more than chicken, as it has a richer taste! But, now, I'm as strict as I can be with my macrobiotic diet (mostly rice).

I did enjoy the spinach, a staple vegetable easily gotten, as practically every Chinese restaurant offers such.

When my 'chao mi fan,' finally arrived it was but a tiny bowl, as if to say... No duck, no rice! But, with the spinach, and spiced tea it was enough for me. I'm always happy to under eat! The tea out of the famous long-spout tea pots popular in tourist restaurants in China.

When I asked about what I thought was 'tofu,' several quick warnings darted in my direction. 'No, no! not tofu! but meat!' Would you believe camel meat!
I was totally unprepared for such! What is camel meat doing in a famous duck restaurant? Camel meat, and why would David order? It brought back our trip to the Taklimakan Desert with Rucha, where we saw many camels, some domesticated, some wild! I quickly flashed on where was this 'camel' meat was from...?

David and Tom sampled it, but weren't impressed. David compared it to dried beef, but couldn't think of the name. 'Jerky,' I supplied. He quickly remembered.

David went to college in Oklahoma, some small school where they 'were very kind to him.' This must be where 'he got religion,' because he has used the word 'believer! ' This must be where he sampled 'jerky.' 'All believers eat jerky!' should be the bumper sticker!

The 'tab' for three people (without beer) 340RMB / $40 U.S. That's steep for China! The following day's lunch (Tom and I), near 'Inner Mongolia') was cost but 20RMB). Later we discovered found out why the tab was such at the 'duck restaurant'... The Chinese are very clever at charging 'lowei' (foreigners) more! Ask for to eat on the 3rd floor when you go there, lower in price!

When I wanted to buy my porcelan ducks (the chopstick holders as part of every place setting), our pretty slit-up-to-the-thigh red dress guided us up and down floors. Seems the two little ducks I wanted couldn't be found as not normally sold. But, our excursion paid off, as one was found in a case on one floor, and another in another case on another floor. This to the tune of 50RMB / $6 U.S., which probably has cost them .10 cents each! But, a gift is a gift, and I knew the girls in K-town would apprecate!

I took a photograph of David and Tom, with Mao and Henry, and we were off.

I had it in mind to acquire some IRS forms from the U.S. Embassy. But, upon calling, and actually getting a western-speaking human being, I found out that they hadn't been sent this year, and why didn't I download them from the site? So, yet another way, the U.S. Government is lining their pockets (another service they're not providing).

Governments, the scourge of modernity!

I had another task in mind while we were in the Beijing Hotel... Now, I forget what...? Of course, getting out of 'Dodge,' formost in my mind.

So, I steered the boys to Tianemmen Square, as David had never been. It wasn't but a short (maybe 1KM) walk along a very wide boulevard (the same one on TV in 1989, when the Chinese man stopped the tank--I'll never forget the pictures on TV). This wide boulevard splits the Square on the north ('bay'), the 'Forbidden City, ' and the expanse to the south ('nan') at the end of which is Mao's Tomb.

We walked along with millions of other tourists no doubt on vacation! I knew the throng had to be such as I remembered it was a Tuesday, not the weekend. When you don't have a 'regular job' you forget about these kinds of things. Also, in China... There are crowds everywhere and most of the time!

I took more photographs, the first of David and Tom, with Mao's gigantic 'headshot' over the entrance to the 'Forbidden City' (in the b.g.). Later Tom told me they change this every year. Mao remains 'fortiesh' looking forever!

Then under the boulevard to the openess of the 'Square' itself, and the 'Monument to the People's Heroes.'

There were thousands of tourists milling about and just about as many police! See the photographs, at www.cyclingpeace.org/gallery ('Shanghai and Beijing, July, August, 06').

As we walked I reminded the boys, 'that thousands have died right here where we walk!' To me Tianammen Square is a very sad place! Now, that blood-soaked concrete removed by the government, supports automobiles at a drive-in movie theater in Hunan Province! The owner said 'he got a good deal!'

It's so ironic, what's happened in China in the past thirty years! Because of such I always mention, to those who might understand, that if Mao was ressurected, he would see the massive work of all the 'Capitalist Roaders! China has become what he hated most! If he could only see and partake of 'Oriental Plaza' (massive apartment/hotel/mall complex) in Beijing he'd have a heart attack and die on the spot! There's even a Tiffany's!

I took some more photographs with the boys in front of various 'worker's' statues and we walked to the subway station.

And then on Wednesday...

Yali and Ricoe departed for their respective homes, Yali returning Thursday evening to join Tom for the train ride back to Shanghai.

In the meantime, we (mostly Tom) kept trying to book my railway ticket to Urumqi. We had been told this, and told that, that some tickets would be available at various times at various places!

Poor Tom! He's so loyal and responsible--the best 'assistant' I've every had! He ends up going here, and everywhere for me! At one point he went to the Railway station late at night (long subway ride), only to discover it's a miasma (like the air in Beijing). So, I wasn't sure what to do! I knew I didn't want to stay in Beijing any longer than possible. Then we heard they were selling train tickets for the 12th, Sunday. But, that turned out to be another rumor.

Then I got the idea I would fly, the fares something like 2400 RMB, compared to 6-800RMB via train (turned out to be 1K RMB), and I'm forever trying to save! But, I compared the two and found out flying was only 700RMB more expensive (considering two more nights in the Beijing hotel, etc.)!

So, Wednesday we spent buying my Air China ticket, and meeting with Jerry and Sharon. They had been suggested to contact by John of NBC: One American man with a TV background and his Chinese 'companion.'

Later I tried to explain to 'Tom,' that western 'couples,' aren't always married. 'De riguer' in China. But, the 'coupling' in China completely different!

The ticket agency first wanted to deliver my Air China ticket to our hotel, but I explained to Tom why better to go there. Additionally, it turned out to cost only 2200RMB / $250U.S.

Jerry called while we were on our way and we were to meet in Zoe's, near the Grand Hyatt Hotel inside the Oriental Plaza-- this at 3P.M.

Note, in just a few short days in Beijing I learned 'the lay of the land' so to speak. The first time in Beijing, last summer, with Subodh, Meera, and Nisha, it was all too confusing.

The travel agency turned out to be near Oriental Plaza, and on the 7th floor of the 'theater building.' This was more like a 'party,' than a travel agency, illustrating the difference between Chinese and American 'business.' Here there must have been 20 young people in one room. But, all went well and soon on to Zoe's. But, where?

Turned out it was apart of the Oriental Complex as Jerry had described. After asking in the Grand Hyatt, it wasn't long before we were there and ordering a 'Fat Burner' smoothie.

Jerry and Sharon live half the time in Jackson Heights, Queens, and half their time in Beijing. He a former NBC employee meeting her in Beijing. She's really the most interesting of the two (as women are to me), fluent in English, an artist, documentary filmmaker, and advertising agency worker (for 'dinero'). She has an interesting voice too... I could turn her into a voice-over talent!

They were helpful about doing business in China, and producing a TV series in particular. I learned much. We parted friends, and a vow to get together again next time we're in Beijing (early November for them). Although I doubt I'll ever go to Beijing again, and then only under protest! What a city, another example of 'distopeia,' the water in the hotel stinking (I didn't want to bath in it). How can so many millions of people live there (they just don't know any better).

'Oh, mama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of Beijing, with the Kashigar blues again?'

That evening Tom went off to meet a girl friend (they had met in Urumqi) and I packed.

Up at 0500, as the my flight departed at 0820 I was quickly ready to go. I let 'Tom' sleep until 0530 as planned, although his mobile (alarm) woke him up at 0520. Thus, we were out the door early, which turned out to be a good idea! We got a taxi 'right off the bat!' (Note, I wonder how Chinese people would translate that?. 'Right off the bat,' a baseball term, meaning quickly, as soon as the ball touches the bat! Here meaning, as soon as we walked to the street (a taxi stopped).)

I'm an 'early bird' anyway, but as I told 'Tom,' the first time at a new airport and in a 'foreign' country, get there early... You never know!

And was I right, and happy to be at the airport early! Gosh, at 0700 hours already thoussands of travellers pulling their little hardcases on wheels. (Note, someone made much money on that idea... Simple... Put wheels on luggage!)

From here on, and all the way to the hotel in Urumqi, a 'textbook,' trip. Every thing went perfectly well! I can feel both Mercury and Uranus relinquishing their 'grip!'

When the gate changed for CA 1293, I quickly noticed, and asked a uniformed woman at Gate A... 'Information,' was the only English word the attendant knew, but I knew what to do. On the way to the counter I spied the electronic board that told me 1293 was departing from gate 25G, not 'A.' They don't have enough gates at Beijing Airport for the number of flights so, you get on a bus, and are taken to where the aircraft is parked.

We were on the first bus, where a Chinese man offered me his seat. I declined and tried to explain, as he spoke some English. He was fascinated that I'd ridden 'Ms. Fiets' all over China!

This, offering me a seat, had happened to me several times on the subway, and now I believe the people in Beijing more polite than the people in Shanghai. This maybe the difference between the 'New York City' of China, and the 'Washington, D.C.?' In Shanghai this rarely happens (with 22 million. Beijing has a mere 15 million).

The aircraft turned out to be an Airbus 340, with four engines... I was wondering why such a large aircraft, but should have known. It turned out there wasn't a vacant seat of the 300 possible.

Everything is always full in China. I should remember this, always fantasizing, and hoping for fewer.

I was in 11K, a window seat, with only one to climb over. He turned out to be a Chinese man who works for the Chinese Government in Urumqi. Young and restless he devoured the big breakfast served. I abstained wanting to watch the Chinese movie 'S Tom ' had purchased entitled, 'Warm Spring!' This was a first for me watching a DVD on my MacBook, 7-miles above and 7-miles per minute over mother earth!

The take-roll took :40 seconds (I always time being a pilot myself), and thought so long because of the heavier weighed aircraft (with enough fuel for the four hours to Urumqi --and 300 passengers, baggage, and freight)!

While my Chinese companion enjoyed his breakfast, I was taken with my DVD movie, 'Warm Spring! ' The story about a sacrificing grandfather, who raises two orphans by working hard in the fields. The first an older son, married to a barren wife. The second a little girl who had run away from her village to escape beatings at the hands of foster parents.

The acting superb, an uplifting story that brought tears to my eyes! Certainly the kind of movie I'd make! The theme... Sacrificing overcomes all, bringing love! There can be no more uplifting theme! It's the story of 'Christ!'

While 'Hollywood' makes movies where 'violence is the solution,' China makes movies where 'Love is the solution!' What a difference! America can only decline and fail ultimately with this idea!

No problems obtaining my bags, and quickly put on a cart. Like I said earlier, a 'textbook trip!' from start to finish.

Even 'U Tom' was waiting at the Xiang You Hotel (next to the Railway Station)! I was surprised as I'd tried to call him on the way, but 'out of service.' I found out later that I had the wrong telephone number. 'U Tom' not quite as efficient as 'S Tom.'

He had bought me a train ticket to Kashigar for Monday (first opportunity). So, the first order of business was finding a hotel, this for longer than one day (as I had reserved at the Xiang You)--wasn't planning staying in U-town so long. The fare was 529RMB, so I promptly handed him 600RMB for his effort. He was suprised, saying not necessary.

I have to explain to (rural, un-westernized) Chinese all the time, that when they work for us, they get paid.

But, first lunch! I had my usual, 'Chao mi fan,' but 'U Tom' wouldn't eat, as Moslem. He said he wasn't sure about the Chinese restaurant. I offered to take us to a Uyghur restaurant, but he begged off as not being hungry.

We weren't sure what to do about finding another hotel, thus ensued two hours of calling ('S Tom' in Beijing), all our friends and relatives, and several hotels in U-town. Again, I was amazed, as all full, or expensive! I was again reminded this is vacation time, and 'the tourist season!'

Finally frustrated (getting desperate) I decided to take a taxi and investigate a new hotel we happened on to by chance when we were last here with Rucha (April 30th). Walking to hail a taxi, an older woman accosted us, bearing 'gifts!' Don't tell me I'm not blessed by the people on the street!

This woman knew a hotel that had a private room with hot-water bath for 100RMB. Quickly, the 'owner,' was there even paying for the taxi! It 'felt' right.

I knew the spirit had been guiding me to such when the room I'm in now has a painting of a 'Madonna.' 'Welcome' she has said, this half-naked lovely young woman (me)!

Now, the hotel isn't much, but 'out of the way,' and quiet. The bed is good, and I have everything I need, like privacy! Plus, I save money.

I had planned to join U Tom at 'English Corner,' this at 2000 hours (8P.M.). But, it struck me being back in Xinjiang. In Xinjiang they go by two different times: the Chinese are on Beijing Time (like me) and the Uyghur people on 'Xinjiang Time' two hours earlier.

I remembered that this 'English Corner,' is mostly Uyghur people, so I was confused. I was wondering if U Tom had given me the wrong time? Additionally, I had to walk all the way there (no Chinese directions for any taxi driver). So, I tried to call him. When you're not suppose to go, the spirit directs, and I didn't get U Tom, but some Chinese people who didn't understand and hung up (after I kept saying 'Tom?'). I had probably dialed the wrong number. The upshot... I ended up not going.

Later at 2000 U Tom called, wondering where I was. He was a bit upset, as I told him I'd repay him the money I had to 'borrow back' when the hotel wanted 600RMB for the total deal (short on cash I was going to the nearest ATM). I tried to explain we'd get together tomorrow (today), and not to worry. When he accused me of 'lying' I was miffed, tacken aback, but knowing they sometimes choose the wrong English words, didn't let it borther me!

'U Tom'... kind of a strange 'duck' anyway. But, I shall make amends with another 100RMB that he'll try to refuse. One moment they desperately need money, the next they're refusing it! What to do?

Such is life in China, such is life living in a different culture!

I was at the same time relieved, as I'd gotten up at 0500 in Beijing, after not sleeping much the prior night. So, the thought of not having to contend with the 'madding crowd' suddenly appealed!

I decided to try to get online. Unfortunately, something has happened to my China Unicom 'connection,' and I wasn't able from the hotel room. I'm hoping this is an easy 'fix!' But, there's always something with this hi-tech gear!

I called S Tom, as he was arriving at the Railway Station in Beijing, and told him to call the CU agent-people in Shanghai the next morning. Find out what they might know, and how to get working.

I spend the rest of the evening writing this, and drifting off early, the sound of the electric fan-- music to my ear!

Haqi
happily in Urumqi

Saturday, August 05, 2006

05 August 06

We're in Bei Jing City! This after an all night ride (12 hours) on 'Z14' the 'express' train from Shanghai. It bore down on the night like a bullet, not stopping once! This new to me, as the first time for such 'haste.'

Also new and different... They didn't take our tickets (normally exchange for a plastic card and then swapped before 'landing'--this to prevent people from 'cheating'). They also served a complimentary dinner (which was surprisingly good). But, no AC outlet (part of the reason for a 'soft berth' as computer needs).

'Tom,' and 'David' were with me in a compartment, and 'Stephanie' and 'Ceres' in the next car #2. We were in car #1, also a first. I thought we'd be near the engine, but car #1 was at the end of the train (and thus more jerking). You just can't tell by the numbers where the car ('carriage,' or 'wagon' as Rotraut calls such).

A Chinese man joined us, as a 'soft-berth' compartment has four 'beds,' compared with a 'hard berth,' with six (and no door to close).

Mr. Li, 50-years old, spoke very good English, as from Hong Kong. An investment banker, with connections, I was eager to get his card. We're (www.haaqi.com) is looking for such. When the WEB site (www.haaqi.com) up and running I'll ask him to have a look. You never know. He also worked for the U.N. in New York City. These are the kind of people you don't meet travelling on a 'hard seat!'

Mr. Li has a daughter who just graduated from Cambridge University in the U.K. In law no less! They're on their way to South America (her graduating present). He says he 'loves to travel,' having been to 61 different countries.

But, Mr. Li snored, and that means I didn't sleep (so close to the most annoying sound in the world). I 'got even' by getting up and working online.

98% of Chinese men snore! I'm not sure if it's because they smoke cigarettes, but probably. 'Tom' doesn't smoke and doesn't snore! Thank God! I'm so happy I'm not a Chinese woman, having to sleep next to a 'buzzing saw!'

Stephanie was ill during the night, not used to travelling by train (I don't think). She said it was the pizza she ate at lunch. Pizza in Shanghai.

Shanghai is definitely not China, but then pizza in Shanghai really isn't pizza? What do the Chinese know about Italian pizza? And what do Italians know about dumplings ('momo' in Tibetan)?

On the moving train the China Unicom connection (to the Internet) worked well (only disconnected once)! I was online for one hour and one-half (0400--0530), the train speeding through the night.

'Racing, racing, racing,
Through the countryside
How wide, China!'

Now, in the hotel room in Beijing the China Unicom 'connection' not working so well! Go figure... the number of users in the daytime, no doubt.

Pulling into the Bei Jing Railway Station, Mr. Li told us something I found curious. Seems the Shanghai train is discriminated against (and vice versa in Shanghai for the Bei Jing train). How silly! We, being on the Shanghai train, were relegated to platform #12. The Bei Jing train stops at platform #1. Thus, they make the people riding the Shanghai train walk further. The same for the Beijing people in Shanghai. Tit for tat!

Oh, the pettiness of supposedly 'adults!' No wonder why they are so many wars going on!

Ricoe was right there to meet us! In fact, I saw his face looking in the window! Thus, we followed him, through 'millions' of travelling Chinese. He was going to have us take the subway, but I said 'taxi!' This might have been a mistake as it took twenty minutes waiting just to get out of the parking lot, plus 130 Yuan / $15 U.S. (for two taxis) to the hotel.

Seems this was an 'abnormal' day (Saturday) with many events attracting out-of-towners (thus the 'jam'). But, looking outside, and hearing the 'honking madness' I've become familar with in Chinese cites, I labelled it 'chaos!'

'Oh, mama can this really be the end to be stuck inside of eastern China with the Xinjiang blues again?'

It was a long ride to the 'Beijing Inner Mongolia Hotel,' but not far from Ricoe's University, and relatively close to the 'Olympic Green' (where we'll be meeting with the NBC people on Monday morning). So, we've done well with the hotel, at only 220RMB / $25 U.S. per, which for Beijing (or Shanghai) is reasonable. Plus, it's good--surprisingly as no carpet anywhere (usually carpeting signifies a better hotel).

I'm now somewhat of an 'expert' in Chinese hotels, this having stayed in probably 30 all over China (past one year).

After having a short meeting with 'Tom' and 'Ricoe,' I retired for the day. Tom and Ricoe went off to find a Bank of China for 'dinero,' or the 'People's money' (RMB). Sure! If you believe that, then you're not paying attention! The 'old man' wanted to be alone! Too much 'togetherness' makes me grumpy! Asian people don't understand (as always body to body).

Advertising is everywhere in your face in China (probably the world)! In my room (#223), McDonalds' on the rubber slippers (these in every hotel room as needed in the combination 'shower and bathroom'). Another 'first!' Advertising on the rubber slippers ! Where next...? The inside of the toilet lid!

On a good TV set, 61 channels, filled with every kind of 'fare,' from news, to sports, to variety shows, movies, music videos, historical dramas, 'soap operas.' There was even a documentary about Mozart. You'd be suprised by how much Chinese TV is like American! Only one difference, the language!

I watched CCTV 9, which is all English!

I saw the horror of the war in Lebanon! I watched a new Prime Minister being congratulated in the Ukraine. I watched the hurricaine in southern China, the news as usual (same 'shit' no matter when you drop in to discover). I ended of watching 'Getaway,' hosted by a black man, this episode in Australia.

So, here I am in Beijing, watching a TV show about Austrailia, hosted by a black man (wearing a NY Yankees cap) from the U.S. Truly, 'globalization' personified!

I tried to call 'Tom' twice, but 'power off!'

I took a nap!

I took a hot-water shower (first in months)!

I read my book, an amazingly good novel, by a Chinese author, Han Shaogong, entitled, 'A Dictionary of Maqiao.'

Basically about 'language,' I quote from:

"Dogs have no language, and so dogs are never 'streetsick.' Once humans become linguistic beings, they attain possibilities that other animals lack completely--they can harness the magical powers of language, language becomes prophecy, a mass hysteria that confuses true and false, and that establishes fictions, manufacturing one factual miracle after another. After I'd thought of this, I conducted an experiment using my daughter. I took her on a car journey, having pronounced beforehand that she wouldn't get carsick; and, as predicted, she was perfectly happy for the whole journey, didn't feel a trace of discomfort. The next time we travelled by car, I predicted she would get carsick, as a result, she became incredibly anxious, unable to sit still, until in the end her face went ashen, her brow creased over, and she larned onto me, half-sick before the car had even started moving! I can't claim my experiment has been exhaustively tested, but it serves as proof that language isn't something to be sneezed at, it'a a dangerous thing we need to defend ourselves against and handle with respect. Language is a kind of incantation, a dictionary is a kind of 'Pandora's Box' capable of releasing a hundred thousand spirits and demons!"

I've been saying for years that we create 'our worlds' from our minds with concepts and words!

"And what about 'revolution,' 'knowledge,' 'hometown,' 'director,' 'labor reform criminal,' 'god,' 'generation gap?' What have these words already manufactured? What else will they manufacture?"

My task as a poet has been to 'deconstruct' language. This to show you that words are not 'etched in stone.' As Humpty Dumpty once said, 'When I choose a word, I choose its meaning!' H.D., a smart guy!

"Humpty Dumpty, sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty, had a great fall!
All the king's men, and all the king's horses,
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again!"

Have you ever wondered what the meaning of this childhood nusery rhyme is? Something very profound! It means that once you understand the nature of words you can never 'go back' ('back together again'), living in a 'literal' world!

'Only children run to the dictionary!' Humpty Dumpty said.

F.A.
Hutch
Haqi
the magic dragon
in 'Beijing-aling'

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

02 August 06 Shan Hai still

We on the verge of departing for Beijing, this to meet the NBC people. Then me on to Xinjiang and two months of cycling! Yea! Most might be excited about meeting the NBC people... Me, I'm exciting about cycling in the 'wilds' of Xinjiang, and seeing Kanas Lake (where the dragon lives).

I might as well be in 'hell,' as to be in Shang Hai in the summer! But, most people wouldn't understand! In the U.S. it would be like living in New Orleans, or St. Louis. I can't think of any place on earth I'd rather not live (even visit)!

Certainly, Shang Hai is a major metropolis in the world, an international city with much to offer (young people). It's also congested, polluted, and overrun with people; the 'honking-madness ' of Chinese cities, I call it.

If there's anything that's going to drive me out of China, it's too many people! I think the only place for me is Tibet (in China). Xinjiang's cities also maddening. The traffic in Kashigar is insane! Uyghur people so stupid they don't even know the difference between red and green!

I asked David yesterday this question, he from Tapai, and Hong Kong! Why have rules if we're not going to follow them? Note, people, motor bikes, vehicles, go at any time and the 'wrong way,' in Shang Hai. You have to be very careful on the streets in Shang Hai, or get hit. They won't stop!

It's a game of 'chicken,' 'dodge ball,' and 'demo derby' on the streets in Asian cities. Everyone in a hurry, with no patience! 'No Time!' is the name of the music video we're producing: 'Hurry, hurry, hurry! Worry, worry, worry! No time, no time, no time! Money, money, money! Rushing, rushing, rushing, No time!' It's insanity!

I tried to explain to David the 'Too-many-rats-in-a-cage' syndrome! This is what is happening in Asia, and soon to come to your 'local theater,' wherever you live!

There are too many people on the earth! Worse, more every year! We're 'red lining' population! Why do you think so many wars, 'natural' catastrophies, global warming, new diseases, etc.? 'They' are trying to reduce population, one that's getting out of control!

Wake up world, or there's no hope! All you have to do is come to Asia to see the 'future.' And, oh Lord, this is not something I want to be around for... Luckily, I won't have a body to partake of...

In the meantime, the old 'shuck and jive,' I call it, all the 'bullshit' that comes from dealing with 'modernity!' I can't wait to get out of it!
'Oh mama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of modernity, with the primitive blues again?' (to paraphrase Bob Dylan).

But, most don't understand... They think all the so-called convenience of living in 'air-conditioned boxes' is wonderful!

I will be living in a round house, what we call a 'yurt.' The Chinese call these 'Kazaka houses.'

Native Americans understood the value of living in round 'houses.' It's only in so-called 'modern' times that squares we're labelled 'more efficient!' Ah, the capitalist roader' lament, 'more efficient!' What we should be is less efficient! Ah, but then less money, oh my God, what am I saying...

'Oh mama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of modernity, with the primitive blues again?' (to paraphrase Bob Dylan).

You can have it! For me, only a few more years then 'I'm history!'

In the meantime, the ole...

From Shang High, where wishing I was, 'hai' that is,

Haqi
the magic dragon!