Saturday, May 15, 2010



Zhongdian, China ('Waiting for Godot')

The electricity, all over the city, went out at 0700 yesterday morning, so here I am the following day, Sunday, trying to get this written/online before the electricity goes out today (thus, up at 0330).  The additional 'challenge,' I'm using the 'community' computer.  My MacBook crashed.

Of course, Tibetan communities, like Zhongdian (northwestern Yunnan Province), a low priority for electricity and other amenities.  You can bet Beijing has the best of everything, never doing without anything (but clean air -- Zhongdian has it over them for that!).  Mao's motto now corrupted to, 'Serve the Government!'  The Chinese masses now only exisitng to support the Government, easily manipulated via TV. But, I believe B.J. is in for it in the future, as the masses are restive, an example recent violence against school children in eastern China.  And this wasn't perpetrated by Tibetans or Ughurs revolting but Han Chinese angry about local Government corruption.  This demonstrates the level of frustration the average person feeling as no way to protest, or redress grivances. Of course, people will be executed and punished, but this doesn't solve the underlying problem.

It was explained to me recently Chinese people's priorities:  1)  Money (nothing new here) 2)  Family (children) 3)  'Face,' (avoiding shame) 4)  Love 

What about integrity?  This in short supply in China, the world!

I think in all my years (70), I've never witnessed the world at such a low point (end of the Kali Age of Destruction).  Money has become 'God,' in the world!

Of course, things always go to their extreme before seeking/returning its opposite (Taoism).  Beginning 12.12.12, things will begin to change, to get better (if we survive that long). 'Hope springs eternal!'

Of course, I'm dealing with my own personal problems... I often do things that are harmful to myself, but I do them anyway (stupid).  Why?  I'm still self destructive to a degree, as you can't be creative without being destructive (Taoism again).  I seek pleasure now, hoping the pain won't happen 'this time,' but it always does, as one of the 'laws of Nature.'  'Go now, pay later!' and I do.  Maybe someday I'll be able to overcome myself, having developed discipline.  But, humans all too fallible, all too fraught with peril.  I suffer, cursing myself for my own stupidity, but some lessons I never seem to learn.  I ask myself, 'Will I ever?'

Certainly, the answers lie within, and not without.  This, if we can go deep into that 'mine, digging up what nuggets' you might discover. Most people never even 'enter this mine,' taking the easy way to oblivion.  Some enter, but are afraid of the 'darkness!'  Some have courage and pursue the depths of their unconsciousness.

This 'Pilgrimage,' is about entering that 'mine!' But, as the Shambala Sutra,' says, those seeking will be beset with demons, and other obstacles.  Already we have encountered such, people trying to prevent us from 'getting there!'  But, we will overcome every obstacle!

Remember, 'The light is with us, the light is within us,' showing the way!



Thursday, May 13, 2010



It's just a crazy time here in Zhongdian waiting 'for Godot' (our departure on 'Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailas')... that's all I can say about the things happening to me, both good, as well as, bad (my MacBook crashing)...

I had a significant dream...  A hen (chicken) was hanging around our milieu (?), and I couldn't understand this, why, etc.?  Then one day I discovered 'she' had laid many eggs and with the 'rooster' was sitting on them to hatch.  This was in amongst 'my things,' but we left them alone, as I was so surprised by this.  I know what this dream meant, as easy to interpret:  I'm the 'mother hen,' giving birth to a new family!

Your dreams are important as they are your unconscious mind communicating with 'you,' (your conscious mind), but symbolically.  So, try to remember your dreams, analyze them by writing down (keep a dream journal).

Yesterday too interesting!  First Bruce, his 'failing marriage,' including trying to help 'Cindy,' our bi-polar Tibetan girl (friend).  'Cindy' causes us much concern, as obviously self-destructive (won't take lithium).  Bruce had found me at N's Kitchen where I have been having breakfast.  Additionally, we discussed the sad state of affairs in the world circa 2010, particularly in the U.S.of A. 

Bruce, a former surgeon in L.A., now an inventor of many talents.  One of his he calls 'Biotoy,' a squirt gun whose non-toxic fluid is iridescent (glows in the dark).  Additinally, his company just received a $400K U.S. grant for a simple test which predicts the probability of infants developing diabetes.  Guess what...?

What did I do afterwards?  So many things happen to me in one day I can hardly remember...

I went for a ride around the city (I don't know if Zhongdian cam be classified as a 'city?'). I was feeling the need to ride as much as possible as I know what's coming... Up and up on a heavily-laden Ms. Fiets!  Note, older bodies loose it so quickly...

I added 100 RMB to my China Unicom (mobile telephone) account. 

You prepay everything in China.  They always want rent, everything paid as far in advance as they can get.  There's no trust, no integrity in China (the world). BOHICA

On the way to Xinhua Bookstore (a bookstore and hotel chain all over China) I ran into two Japanese cyclists.  Two more cyclists wanting to cycle up into Tibet, but without the knowledge of... They accompanied me into the book store, where we discovered the electricity out, and all over the 'city.'  The two Japanese guys asked about a bicycle shop where they could get plastic tire strips (help to prevent flats).  I ended up giving them a new Schwalbe tube, as no good bicycle shops in Zhongdian ('Shangri-La' it ain't).

Later at Noah's Cafe, I fell asleep in front of the fire in the wood stove (mesmerizing staring at a flickering flame).  It's been unusually cold in Zhongdian up at 3200M ASL in May. Cloudy and raining for the past week, the locals say as this is very unusual.  Since there was no electricity they could only offer hot water they had boiled on the woodstove.

Note, it's O.K. to stay as long as you want in restaurants or no stigma taking a 'public' naps. In China you can usually sleep anywhere without hassle (except the hotel we stayed at in Macao).  You see Chinese workers sitting on a street curb, head down on arms/knees fast asleep.

But, while at Noah's Cafe the electrity returned, so I was able to get a cup of hot coffee.

Later I was sitting in the 'lobby' at the Noah Guest House, and in walked two people I know from Lijiang.  I was stunned as what are the chances...?  Both Peter, from Australia, and Frederique, from France, up in Zhongdian on a mission.  Turns out Alex. our mutual friend wanted them to meet with 'Mei,' the manager of Noah's G.H.  I mean the 'connections' swirling around me like a tornado -- I had no idea Alex. was old friends with 'Mei,' and how I ended up in her Guest House?  Again, the 'connections' swirling around me.  Frederique, and her Tibetan friend invited us to join them for dinner.  I had been waiting for 'Elvis,' Fei and Mr. Liu to arrive to take to dinner.  So it worked out wonderfully well. 

Best of all, we ended up in a Nepali-Indian Restaurant (Buskar's) where we enjoyed dhat bhat and Masala Cha (tea).  It turned out to be a lovely 'party,' meeting all kinds of new 'laowei' (foreigners):  Harrison, the bartender, just in from America, and 'Bart,' looking like Kevin's son.  You'd be surprised how many foreigners there are now in China.

After dinner everyone but me, Fei and Mr. Liu went for drinks at Jason's Raven Bar across from the Harmony Guest House.

I returned to Noah's to dream about a hen laying eggs!

My life, a movie!


Modern Life Sucks!

Modern Life Sucks!
The cat licks,
The woman rubs,
The woman talks,
The woman works,
The woman listens,
The stereo plays,
Modern life!
The cat sleeps under the wood stove.
The manager departs,
Someone farts,
Modern life!
The manager puts another log in the stove,
We're in a grove,
Of plastic trees,
Modern life!
What to do?
Get out of it!
The weather grey,
What a day!
The computer crashes
Thank God for stashes!
Modern life!
Vehicles honk,
'If you are paying my mortgage!'
Such strife,
Modern life!
What to do?
Get out of it!
Modern life,
The Other,
Where I want to be,
To see!
Modern life, it sucks!

Sunday, May 09, 2010


100510 (note the numbers)


We've been in Zhongdian, a tourist town (new name, 'Shangri-La'), some 200KM northwest of Lijiang.  Today, the 4th day in Zhongdian.  But, problems have delayed our continuing on, mainly caused by money.  Money, now 'God' in the world, you can't do much without.   And we need more cash because of the remote route we're having to take (thanks to the Chinese Government).  This is what is 'primitive' about western China... Banking.

First, 'Rucha' was unable to access her German bank account here in Zhongdian.    Secondly, our driver Mu quit when back in Lijiang, having driven Rucha back to try ATMs there.  But, some other problem with her account (in Germany) as she was unable to get the cash we need.  So, today she will call her banker in Garding, but we won't know much until the end of the day, as Germany -7 hours (earlier).

I wasn't unhappy about Mu quitting, as I never thought much of him (my intuition).  He is a 'professional' driver, but offered little beyond that skill.  And then there has been the rife between me and Irlin (all about Mu's daily rate, etc.).  Ugh!

BUT, WE WILL OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES!  This on our way to 'deliver two 'rocks,'' to Mt. Kailas!  

In the meantime, we're getting to know 'Shangri-La,' with it's 'Old Town,' and other tourist attractions (mostly Tibetan Buddhist, and what Nature offers: snowy mountains, National Park, hiking, cycling, etc.).  Note, it's still winter here at 27 degrees north latitude (raining and cold), snowing higher as can see new white tops).  Thus, maybe it's a blessing we're delayed as we're going up and up and most likely there will be snow at the passes (4k M + ASL).  Snow presents problems for people riding bicycles.

Upon arriving in Zhongdian Thursday evening (6th) Rucha and I checked into Noah's Guest House, unable to locate Norman's (a friend in Lijiang).  'Richard' (Xu Tan) and Zhu decided to camp out, the others ('Elvis, Mr. Zhu, and Fei) ensconced themselves in a hostel, with XuNi choosing to be alone in a hotel room (found a 3-star for only 40RMB / $5U.S per). 

Yesterday, Richard and I accomplished a myriad of tasks, cycling around the town on our unladen bicycles (so light and fast compared to travelling).  

We started at 'N's Kitchen,' having breakfast, then trying to find Merida Bicycle Shop (turned out to be just a small shop where they sell only).  We then cranked to the Hostel (on the edge of town), where we repaired our MSR Whisperlite camping stove (don't buy one:  Primus better).  Or, I should say we got the stove going after taking it apart.  I suspect bad petrol causing an inefficient (yellow) flame.

Then I returned to my room, where via email (Internet connection/MacBook), I discovered Mu had quit via Irlin, and this without warning!  Note, we suspect they're lovers, and she had influenced his decision (he seemed happy enough) because she's mad at me.  

What is the theme of Kafka's 'No Exit?'  or is this Camus'?  'Hell is other people!'   But, people are both 'hell,' and 'heaven,' as demonstrated by my German partner, 'Rucha.'   If Irlin is 'hell,' Rucha is 'heaven!' 

It was Mother's Day yesterday (9th), so I had Alex, a friend in Lijiang, cook 'Rucha' (Rotraut Boyens) a meal at his Alexandre's Restaurant in Lijiang.  He's a professional French chef, and I've partaken many times of his wonderful cuisine (rates such a word).   NOTE, IF EVER IN LIJIANG GO TO ALEXANDRE'S IN OLD TOWN ('5.1 COMMUNE' BUILDING ON WUYI)!

We suspect part of the problem accessing cash (the Euro from Europe), may be the current Greek inancial crisis.  But, we know by the end of this day (10th). I may have to return to Lijiang and access my U.S. dollar account.  Why is modern life so complicated?

As far as drivers go, we can find better than Mu/Irlin.  Zhu has a driver's license, so if worse comes to worse we'll put his bicycle in the back of the truck, and he can drive.

Speaking of good people, our bicycle mechanic in Lijiang, Zhao Gang/Merida, came up here to Zhongdian (on the bus) and replaced my crank set, installing my used one on Richard's bicycle.  

God knows what I've spent on Ms. Fiets (in the last 11 years), but I need every advantage (all the parts working properly) to crank up these mountains on bad roads). 

And yesterday Fei, my newest Chinese daughter,  filed my big toe nail (deformed) down, so it doesn't rub against others (causing 'corns').  Normally I have this done at a foot massage place, but the one here in Zhongdian, 'Mayo!' which means in Chinese, 'don't have!'   But, there's always a solution.  Fei needs money, so I contrive tasks to make sure she has some (paid her 100RMB / $13U.S. for the 'toe job').  Such a good attitude this young Chinese woman has (what Irlin lacks)!

Then again, poor Irlin... If you heard her life story it might bring tears to your eyes -- such a sad tale, and most likely the reason for her troubled personality:  Unwanted, her mother told her (when only 8-years old), 'Why were you born, you should die!'  With words of encouragement like these, people can hardly fail!!!!!!  Thanks, Mother! If only her mother had been Rucha, she'd be 'soaring like an eagle!'  Note, it's important that you 'choose' the right parents!

Rucha and I have spent thousands (of RMB) on trying to help Irlin, but recently it's become apparent, that maybe she's too 'wounded,' to save.  But, as I've said before, 'When all else fails, try love!  So, we will keep trying to love Irlin!  And 'we will find out,' as Rucha so often exclaims!

F.A. Hutchison, 'Hutch, Haqi, Nima, Alexander, and Ahya
on the road to Mt. Kailas


Saturday, May 08, 2010



'Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailas,' becomes a 'battle ground' for good versus evil!

How do I describe yesterday, Friday, May 7th, 2010, a 'bad day' maybe -- this in Zhongdian, China, after cycling up from Lijiang.  If I didn't know better I would suspect a full moon, but the moon is going 'dark' (waning).

Attacked by 'demons' is the only way I can describe it.  If this has never happened to you, you wouldn't believe it!  Life is simple for the simple minded , yet more complicated to the evolved mind.  How do I explain? To me existence is a vast array of forces (opposites) 'fighting,' to balance the world and sometimes you are 'fodder,' for such.  Such was the case yesterday in Zhongdian, China, where I was attacked!

I got into a fight with Irlin, my Chinese 'daughter,' and Xu Tan (my Chinese 'son') got in the middle of it.  I had copied him on SMS messages to Irlin, and he thought it was about him, not her.   

I was angry at Irlin for getting me into this money mess with Mr. Mu our driver.  I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, as she either misunderstood me about his daily rate.  Then when she wouldn't respond to my messages things got 'messy.'   Now, the entire trip is in jeopardy, as I've thought of calling it all off!   

I can't get online (to distract myself), as the hotel has turned off the Internet connection (it would never occur to them that someone might want to get online so late) -- but maybe a 'blessing in disguise,' as maybe i'm 'protesting too much!'   Thus, in the middle of the night in Zhongdian, China, I fume (blowing out the A.C.-heater)!  But, if I can survive the night, hopefully a better day tomorrow!  

Yes, Mitch, hope is the only thing we can cling to, when nothing else is left!  And right now, at 1A.M., alone in a hotel room (in China) in a great battle with myself, I hope!  'We have met the enemy and he is us!'

I suppose part of it is stress!  First, after trying to 'get the show on the road,' in Lijiang for so long (China for four years), then cycling 200KM up to 'Shangri-la,' I have been attacked by demons.  Chinese demons as China is driving me mad!

I made a mistake when I allowed other people to join this 'adventure.'   I should have gone alone with 'Rucha.'  But, this hardly possible because of the situation:  she can't cycle with us;  other vagaries impossible to explain (if you're not a foreigner in China).  Thus, we needed a motor vehicle and driver...  Enter Irlin, and Mr. Mu...

What they don't understand is that this isn't a simple cycling trip, but a spiritual 'pilgrimage,' at least for me.  And now one I've discovered (just today) that it pits the forces of good and evil against one another.  How would I know this...?  Sometimes you just know, and can't explain to a mundane world.

In 2010, there's so much bad energy in the world, this as we come out of the 'Age of Kali.'   This is the 'bottom,' for sure, and now I'm personally involved.

But, I know one thing for sure!  When all else fails, try love!  This is what overcomes all!

I've said to the group, when faced with seemingly insurmountable problems (Chinese Government, visa renewal, etc.), WE WILL OVERCOME EVERY OBSTACLE!'  I know now this means overcoming my own ego, purifying myself in the process!  This trip (life itself) is a test for all of us, and we must not fail!

'The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and kilometers to go before I sleep!' (Robert Frost).

F.A. Hutchison

Zhongdian, Yunnan Province, China

'Pilgrimage to Mt. Kailas'