Friday, August 31, 2007


010907 (new month, September… Summer is fading thank God, as now my favorite time of year: Fall and winter…)

'Rain and dust,
The lack of trust,
In cities!

Begging (the questions),
Like bees in a hive,
Taking a dive,
In cities!

We fly about,
Like a shout
Stabbing the heart,
The noise,
Killing the soul,
On the dole
In cities!'

Give me the country (solitude, peace and quiet) anytime, anywhere! Big cities for the young!

Yesterday, the weather was sunny and cool, so I got on Ms. Fiets to cycle, just wanting outside. I also needed to test the rear derailleur on my bicycle, as had adjusted it (or tried to) as per Melvin's (my cycling 'guru') instructions.

I had many shopping tasks, as needed to investigate purchasing some things for personal and professional use: hat racks, VC-Rs, food, feathery darts (for game Rucha offers at 'HEC'), digital camera, mouse, DVD movies, etc. So, around I went first dropping off some laundry. Then I went to the large furniture mart looking for 'hat' (clothing) racks.

What's overwhelming in 'madernity' (Chinese version) is the amazing amount of 'things' available to purchase in the world (China, in this case). You would think that in XiNing, a backwater Provincial Capitol, 2,000KM west of the 'chic east,' that things might be limited. Not so! You can purchase anything here, including children!

I found many different clothing ('hat') racks, but I 'purchase,' 'people,' not the item alone. By that I mean I purchase from people who are helpful, flexible, and friendly, not the item itself. Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the people, who spoke no English, even as to giving you the price (in something other than Chinese). I know English is new to China, but if I had a retail business I'd make sure that the clerks knew how to give the prices in English. People wonder why they don't make money… I can explain to them why they don't.

It's easy to make money, if you're willing to grow, change, study, evolve and reach for the stars!

Since I was already in the northeastern part of XiNing (where the furniture mart is located), and the day was glorious (I can 'feel' Fall in the light!), I decided to try to find the road up to the TV tower. I'd try to find this road before but to no avail.

I took a fork to the right, on a road I'd been before, but this a dead end. Then I took the one I'd been up before thinking I hadn't gone far enough. This day, after much rain the dirt road was hard and easy, so I went up maybe two kilometers, only to discover this wasn't it either. I could see the road I wanted east, across a canyon. So back down I went.

I tried the street on the west side of the RR station. Another dead end. But, I'm also happy to explore as discovering more and more of XiNing.

Next, I head east of the RR station, hoping I'd find a road that looked 'official' and something that might lead up the mountain.

I found one about 1 KM east of the station. I went up only to get caught in a jam at the RR crossing. We had to wait until the 'Chengdu to Xining' train passed. But, then still a mess! Finally, I walked pass many motor vehicles to squeeze through and make it onto a road that paralleled the tracks. But, again it lead to a dead end. On the way back I stopped and purchased some apples from one of the millions of fruit/vegetable sellers (on the streets). I was hoping that gesturing (knew she wouldn't understand English) that she might point to the road going up to the TV tower. She didn't even understand the gesturing (some people no brains beyond their noses).

Down on the 'main road' I turned right returning to 'Zentral' giving up the search. I had many other tasks to accomplish. I need to ask someone how to find the road as I've now tried three times to find it without any luck.

I first went to a bicycle shop where I purchased a new bicycle lock.

From there to the computer mart, where Wu Ki Yi, our friend, works at He helped me investigate things like an electronic Chinese-English dictionary (500RMB / $65U.S.), a mouse (240RM / $30U.S.) and a digital camera (3,000RMB / $400U.S.). I didn't purchase any except for VC-Rs and some DVD movies.

From there on to Homey's the largest and best food supermarket in all of XiNing. I had to go there, as Rucha wanted some more feather darts for her HEC game. Additionally, I needed 'lu cha' (green tea) and some other items I can only purchase there. Plus, I indulge myself to some of the best freshly made yogurt here. You can't find raw cashews everywhere in XiNing.

Note, there are a million food stalls in XiNing, and maybe 100 food markets, but you can never find all you desire at just one. Even Homey's doesn't carry Yak milk powder.

By now it was nearing six o'clock, some clouds building up in the north (Qi Lian Shan range). I had been out most of the day, and now time to return.

When I did both 'Roman' (Guo Feng) with his 'fiancé,' and 'Michael' were there. Roman is joining as an investor/'share holder,' and 'Michael' was wanting Ujwal to come the following day to his friend's English School. 'Michael's' friend is looking for a foreigner to help promote her new English School. I had told Michael that I didn't know many 'laowei' ('foreigners') in XiNing so had recommended Ujwal (as in Nepal they speak more English). He also asked for Rucha or I to attend, but as usual they hadn't given us enough time. I declined for both of us.

Chinese people, if there's one difference between East and West, it's this… That, they don't ever seem to think and plan ahead like we do in the West. They want things now, never giving you any warning. When they do I don't respond!

In this case I didn't want to attend (get involved) for another reason… Carl is returning to XiNing to start his own English School under our ('s) aegis. Thus, I didn't want to help promote a competitor too much. I want to help people, but there's a limit in business.



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