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A's Journal: Summer 2004

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  • A's Journal: Summer 2004

    The sender just gave me permission to post his emails to me, concerning his travels to Shaolin this past summer. They contain some interesting insight into the place. The names have been removed to maintain anonymity.

    "Alright people, guess it's finally time for email huh? Feels like it's been ages since I've emailed, but that's probably coz 5 days of transit ****ed me up good and proper.

    Alright so let's start from the start. Left Belize and Dru and Sach on Saturday, obviously GUTTED to see the back of THEM!! (sorry guys). Had a wicked time in Belize, 2 weeks of work followed by a week of dossing and diving was just right by me. Some of youse I already filled in about Belize, sorry to the others, will drop you guys a proper line soon. Getting out of Belize was no beef at all, stop in Dallas was minor and quick, and then onto LA. Damn let me try and remember LA. I don't think I can, I could feel my brain getting fairly swiss-cheesed by this point, I was glad just get the hell onto the flight to Hong Kong where I could actually get some sleep. That flight was alright except that I was sat between two portly chinese geezers for all 14 hours, but I got to watch Shrek 2 twice, obviously catching the last half first. Nothing much more to be said about that really. Hong Kong was cool if a bit mental. I arrived at like 7 am, so I basically checked into my hotel, showered and chipped out asap for some serious shopping, woohoo!! Hong Kong is a bit mental really, it's like, all massive tall buildings sqeezed together, and packed with people. Shops are open from like, 11am til 11pm, so the place is rammed the entire time, which makes for a pretty cool place. But it's a mess man, every road you go down is overhung by massive billboards and signs belonging to shops, it's like, a debauched consumer orgy... . Anyways, prices actually aren't that phat there, so just picked up a couple of toys and got the hell out. Next stop next morning, beijing.

    Beijing I got in late, and was out early morn, so didn't see it at all. But when I got to my room, after about half an hour, a I gt a call. I'm like, 'who the fk's gonna call me here?' And I really donwanna have to deal with front desk coz there is like, sod-all English going on. So I pick up, and this dude goes 'ree chi gurr?'. I'm like, huh? He goes 'you need CHINESE girl?'. I was like, 'yo...no...thanks'. I was impressed, it's like, the perfect business relationship innit? And this was one of the two official airport hotels. How many people just pass through in transit and get a shag on the way? The mind boggles, well mine does anyway.

    Alright, onto Zhangzhou. Obviously something had to **** up at least minorly at some point, so it did in the one place I head to that speaks ****-all English. Obviously my Mandarin studies have been less than thorough, so when I got shagged, I was shagged. Basically, my ticket had the wrong date on it. Now I wsa well aware of this, my gyel at STA had ****ed up, but she's all like 'oh it's ok, I checked with air china, you can use that and it's been registered on the system for the right date, for sheezy'. I arrive and Air China is like '**** you'. At least I think that's what they said. Either way, they weren't gonna make it easy. I finally make it on the plane, having been shunted atound like three times and paid both international and domestic airport tax (my little porter helper dude sucked, I don't even think he was official and then he wanted bare cash). So as I barely make it on the plane, my luggage obviously doesn't make it. I get to Zhangzhou and have to sit around for three hours for the **** to arrive. However, my master DID actually send a driver which rocked. Not that simple though, this dude comes up to me at the exit with a sign saying 'WED' so i was like, 'nah mate'. I then make a couple of calls going 'where's my car?' and I'm told he arrived with a sign saying WED. WHY? WHY? I still have had no answer, because I can;t ask the question. Anyways, luggage arrives, he drives me to Dengfeng. So far so good.

    You know what, this is well long, and it's near my bedtime, I'm gonna finish this **** tomorrow. Later skaters.

    OKay, this is not tomorrow, this is the day after, and I'm hitting the sack soon so I'l get on with it. Arriving in Dengfeng, my dude, whose name I managed to discern is thi, not di and not ti, somewhere in between, gets onthe phone. 10 mins later Shi De Cheng walks in the door. For those not in the know, Shi De Cheng is one of the few remaining warrior monks of shaolin remaining. I think the De denotes 31st gen, and ther are 35s about now. He like knows the lot, and my guy is international, he teaches in Italy, Vegas, has a school in France, and his one here. He is a proper don. So he busts in white pants, ecole de shaolin t-shirt, big fat smile, little bit of english, helps me sort out my room and the whole bit. I get taken up to my room, and Cheng tells me he's gonna take me out for dinner. I'm like, cool maaaan, this dude actually gives a ****, and he so does, he's the nicest guy, it's hard to remember that he is so big. Him and thi take me to dinner, we obviously get our own room, the owner insists. in the centre of our round table, ther is this big metsl dish sunk into the table, with a steel ball type thing in the center which splits around the middle, and coming out of the ball is a pipe which goes up, and out the window. A hole has been made in the window for this pipe, appaerntly with a small rock. Basically how it works is, the waitress raises the top half and in the bottom half she lights a little fire, then brings top half down again. And in the metal dish she purs water which starts boiling away, and to this is added various spices. then in come the dishes of raw veg (which i was actyallu unable to identify) and little pots of sauce. the veg go in the water, you take the veg out, dip in the sauce, and eat. I was like, aaaaah what a good idea! Then I tasted the sauce, and I was like, mmmmm, quite nice! It's like this strong savoury peanuty oily stuff. Anyway, three pieces of veg later, I'm like, this is gross. Then in comes the raw fish, which is also dumped into the water, This is after a while taken out and given to me, also to dip in the sauce. The fish (obviously) tastes of fishy water, and the peaniut sauce (to which you CAN add random things) is just not helping. I munch through this for a while chatting to sifu for a bit, and all is good, I get 'full' and we head out. The meal was filth, but it was so cool that his dude took me out, wharraguy. Anyway, I chill out for the rest of that day, to begin trainging the next day.

    Bored hitting sac, continue tomorrow.

    Training takes place at Shi De Chengs school, this is basically a full boarding school for many chinese kids. They live there, have all their lessons there and do ther training there. At any point there tend to be abunch of foreigners training ther too. These guys either stay at the school or, like me, stay at a hotel. The school is on a roadside, said road being big but quiet and leading up to one of the mountains which has bare steps going up, very cool not checked it out preoperly yet. Classes go from 0900-1100, then 1530-1730. This actually leavese little time for much else as after lunch and dinner and needing to be in bed by ten really, you're pretty much done - hence me taking aaaages to email, sorry. Training is drills, going through moves, drilling them, the forms, with some stretching and running scattered about. Different days we do different extra worky-outy things. I am not really onto forms at all yet. Still going through foundational moves called chi bu gong which will build up into my first form. This is harder than expected. When I last did kung fu, you basically go on into your basic froms pretty soon, and they ARE your basic moves, i think it's similar with karate (dee?), but here you have to have the basic moves down first before you learn the form, and these range from basic kicks, to low stances going into spins and lifiting into some other stance, or jump kicks, or spin jump kick things. All things whcih are so far leaving me feeling fairly uncoordinated. My legs are proving the greatest problem, they are simply not up to the task yet. But in all fairness, I've not even completed 1 full week of training so hey-ho.

    They don;t speak any English. Any...at all, not a bit, nope....none. Andi speak roughly the same amount of mandarin. So we're getting on great. The dude coaching me is cool though, he jsut demonstrates and shoves me into position, it's not causing too much hassle yet. There are two other gwae lo there, an american girl and german lad, both of whom who kick ass, well compared to me anyway. They are doing a stick form and a sword form as well as their first fist form. As they have been here at least three months, with at least five months hardcore trraingin elsewhere or trainging in some other discipline, this means I will almost certainly not get to do weapons with only 6 weeks. No beef, I'll get what I get, it;s all good.It's pretty facking hot as well, that definitely don;t help, but better than cold eh? So that's training, good, just exhausting, but that was exacltyh the plan, The only shame is the fact that there is ot much spare time to be had. We only get one and a half days off, so local **** only. Thinking maybe to take few days off at end, to try and see some stuuf like the wall and ****, but even that is a significant loss of time, hmmmm, not sure bout that.

    General points about china so far, they drive like they just got given wheels and roads and that's it, but here they take it slow so aaaall good.
    Everyone spits...a lot, there s planty of hhhhnnnnrrrrnnaaaak all over the place which is prety grim, it's much worse when they do it indoors, it's even worse again when they do it while you're eating.
    Weapon shopping is fun.
    They eat a LOT of pork, the word for meat is also the word for pork, i have already fallen on my face in this respect several times, i prefer not to think about it.

    And that is generally it I think. At least for now. If interseting things happen I will jot them down. You guys need to catch me up on all your random adventures. xxx and xxx, glad to hear you guys not killed each other yet. xxx, xx, they squabbling like b****es? tell the truth now. Did you guys get yoursleves molested in Rio or what? Now don't be shy, you know you love it. xxx, where the **** are you man? Tell me whasgwan g, has xx got drunk and molested YOU yet? xxx baby, ignore that last one, you know you da man, where you been man? Should be blazing up my inbox.
    Sammer, chill the **** out man! Muchos apologies for not mailing, I've not mailed anyone dude!! what can I say? Except keep the bitches OUT OF MY BED!! Or at least clean up after...nono **** that, keep them the **** OUT! Oh and real glad to hear the interviews going well ho. You changed mind about Edinburgh, wha' happened?
    Richard you were right man, Shi De Cheng is the man, I'm getting taught by Sian We (prob spelt wrong) and he is a dude also. having heard reports of some of the other schools, I owe you man.
    Ali keep the porno antics live man, but where are the updates?
    Isaiah, good to hear from you man, I waited for you too! Must have been stood right next to each other! Thanx for waiting, appreciate it and thank your ma for waiting too! How is home?
    All the rest, one love, keep it real, you get no personals coz I not heard from youse! So hit me back, or you just ain't cool...

    Alright people, thas enough for now, gonna hit the sac. Everyone be safe, miss me, and get typing,

    the one


    Addendum...for the more observant, the dates are out of whack, this was written a while before sending, took a while to gather all the addresses, so updates are coming soon, peaceout
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com



  • #2
    A continuation of the emails:

    Easy peeps,

    okay, been a while since the last update, so here we go, time for a catch up.

    Been very busy since the last mail, but been very good. Training has gone great, Just checked on that last mail I sent out and man, we really have moved on. Okay, the training commences with a run. At first, this was down to the end of the road (which is long, okay?), and back. This was fine, if obviously tiring. However, I soon found out that this was not the regular run, and we soon moved onto that, which means hitting the end of the road, crossing the road at the end , going over a little bridge upto a set of steps which is actually another little bridge and into the park which is actually the foot of the nearby mountain. We then run up this path (which is paved) occasioanly broken by stepos going up, until you get a whole bunch of steps together, to the top of this and back. Been doing this since the end of the first week and it is still a bitch. Johan, the German dude I train with, and Sian Wei, our teacher, have this pace which I cannot describe. At any moment they might hit the boost and just vanish. I can't begin to describe the **** Sian Wei can do. Once we were running at the end of the session, which is when he often does his own fitness workout, and we carried on past the steps for a bit. We returned to find Sian Wei and a mate of his, squat jumping these steps five at a time, and then getting into pressup position and going down the steps, and then on and on. We sometimes just sit and watch him tumble when we finish, horizontal spins, somersaults, crazy spins, the works, he is the don, I do not get it, none of us do. He's a real nice guy too, and that makes him a phat teacher, he gave me my chinese name the other day too, it translates to Blue Dragon, which I was quite pleased with, he seems to think it;s appropriate for me and he's the teacher I guess. at least I dint make up the **** myself eh?

    Everything has improved, the drills after the run, the stretches, the chi bun gong, some days are better than others, some sessions are ****, but that's just the way. I have now completed my first fist form, and am ust tweaking it. Meanwhile I am learning the stick chi bun gong, and the first stick form, ooooohhh yeeeeeaaaah. Very psyched about this, it's a cool form, and the stick is bare fun, so no complaints at all.

    Had to take a few days off coz got sick, this was a surprising setback. The stretches went to **** on my return, but they have kinda come back now, the only bitch is my calves are killing constantly. I think this is all the concrete work in the training shoes which are basically good plimsoles, and therefore thin. This is slowing things down as a lot of the **** is low, and then crampy pain kicks in, but hey! Ibuprofen should tide me over for now!

    What else? Okay, caught Sian Wei practising the breakdancing kick thing. Dunno what it's called, the one where you go onto one hand, and kick your legs into the air over your head and then flip back. I go over and ask him if he breakdances, he doesn't quite get me but laffs and does the Toprock, the space-clearing stood up move. I'm like yeah, that! You know the six-step? He's like huh? So i get down and sow him, and he's well psyched! So i teach it to him counting the six through in chinese with him, he catches on qucik, and we been tweakin it since. But when I finish and get off the floor, I see that a whole bunch of the kids who'd been resting on the road nearby where they'd been trainig, were trying to do this six-step, they been watching the whole time! So I go over, get on the floor, and start showing one of them. After going through it once or twice, I start counting with it through in Chinese, I go "Yee" and then from behind me, like twenty of them go "YEE!!" and do the piece!! Then "Ur", and once again "UR!!", and they all count thru after me and do the set, they have so much discipline, these kids are amazing! It was so fun! I did it with them a couple more times and left em to it. The kids at the school are very cool. In general they are real happy too. This is a big deal, coz I have met people at other schools now, where the kids are just terrorized by their masters, strict ****. And it means they slack whenever they get the chance, and they have no respect, it's a shame. I like my place a lot. Got a good vibe.

    Man what else? Plenty else. Took part in a parade that the school was part of. Basically all the schools in DengFeng head out in the morning to represent, everyone gets dressed up in funky outfits and line the roads, and in the midst you get big batches of kids who all perform some form or another together. Awesome to watch, our kids are real good, bashing away at their form in tandem, and they are so small as well! Me and the other foreigners were obviously part of the contingent lining the road, holding flags and watching, but was cool to be there. Biggest take home message for me, there are thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS of kids studying Kung Fu in DengFeng, they seemed to go on forever, it was mad. WE were coming up toi this mountain/hillside, and in the distance I could see these lil black shapes dotted all over it. I was like, what the &*%$ is that? Get closer and it's all kids in black outfits doing their morning training, and that is just one school! What are all these kids gonna do with it? Coz I don't think academics are very good at a lot of these schools, strange situation.

    Decided to scrap Beijing, but gonna hit Shanghai and check out the black market. This will be a very short stop before heading back. ****, less than two weeks to go, can hardly believe it. I have been dreaming about food. A lot. Almost every night for a week. And it'll be anything, pizza, cake, fried chicken, my ma's food, just not the food here. Will be glad to get back, just have to figure out how to get thru customs with all the random **** I will be bringing back.

    Also went to Shaolin, and managed NOT to see the temple or the shaolin show, but instead ended up going up an entire set of mountains, long story, but awsome trip.

    Man that is so enough for now. Time for a few shoutouts methinks.
    xxxx, no training katanas my friend, that is just not chinese. And I think I am pushing my luck with the few I am bringing back anyways, sorry dude.
    xxx, no way is 2 a.m.s a week the King's way, you're doing too much! It's time to stop woman! Where you guys at, headed back yet?
    xxx, here is your damn props girl, you better reckonise! Where you been? You lazing your butt around my hometown still?
    xxxx, you guys have started the inca trail now right? Youse should be well on your way, time for some more stories dude, update, update! Cheers for the advice as well, gonna check out archos, but only the newest baby, prob'ly can't gettit but hey.
    xxxx, thanx for your advice too! Notice how I watched out for that?! How was the hockey?
    xxxx, really sorry I've not emailed you yet hon, getting onto it quick. As you can see, being ill ****t a lot up, it's coming! I still have to check out your site page thing!
    xxx! xxxx, pal, buddy...how the **** do you ask for ibuprofen in chinese?! As you can see I took your advice, and glad Kenya was a blast.
    xxxx, sounds like proper fun dude, i am proper jealous of you lving it up, and the food! Dammit the food!
    xxxx, guess you never finished being a corporate bitch slave eh? You never finished your story! And by the way, everyone got your email! Familiar, with the send to all function? You do software programming bruv?!
    xxx baby! Sorry i dint get back to you sooner man, was real hapy to get you mail, made a **** day good. And the football not finish either bitch? And yo, got random rates off a waitress today!...I think. It's a short story, but a boring one.
    xxx! No worries man, how did the exams go? I had no idea about these! And I jump on MSN occasionally, where you at huh?
    xxxx! Got nutting to say, but wanted to say it anyways! Yoooooooouu knoooooooow!
    xxx, I had a dream about you! For real! Nothing gross, just a dream.
    xxxx, don't think you got my first mail babe! And I was hating you and everything! It's on the tail of this P


    The rest of you! Update, update! A lot of youse been veeeerryy quiet out on elective, and other things, you suck.
    One quick request, anyone heard from xxx or xxx? If you have let me know, I've not heard anything in ages, and a lil concerned that they may have sh@**ED each other to death or something...or something.

    Alright peeps, all done, you guys be safe in all you do, check ya soon,

    a
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com


    Comment


    • #3
      How much did you say you were paying??? You seriously should of negotiated. He offered me training and accom for Y600. Hey is that French dude still there and I heard some great stuff about one of the female shifus there, but sadly missed her. THey tell me she is freaking awesome. Good to hear your log and truly dude, nearly makes me want to head back on the next plane. You said you didn't get out to the temple?? WEll I'll be fvcked......... where's your run route to then and how far are you doing?? So you did the "stairmaster " on songshan ha?? Cool........... don't forget to be nice to nuns in damo dong ( and don't forget your "donation" , likely won't understand a thing they say to you, but believe me, it's some beautiful words and they're well wishing for your future........ )...also if you can get through the crowds, the temple of meditation ( add poinient confused face here) is a great see. You gotta go to the temple man!!!! How often are you going to be so close???? !!!!

      If you have a digital camera, there's a wangba ( internet cafe )around there somewhere up a flight of stairs ( but with out a scanner ) or go to CITS and bribe WangYu Min to use his. It'll be nice to see what everyone's up to anf some training pics 'd be very cool if you can swing them.

      Enjoy your trip dude and cheers

      Blooming Lotus

      Btw: do try the duck and stay away from that mutton soup wang yu min'll recommend you!!! It tastes worse than it looks!!! ( actually, now that you mention it, it doesn't taste like anything at all......... :P ) Now you've got me homesick so cheers ......

      blooming lotus
      "honestly girls dont seem to want anything other then whatever they want "atm" then that can always change:"
      maestro's love genius.

      first we work to live, then we live to work, ..& then when someone else can do it good enough without us - we can all run off and die.
      Blooming tianshi lotus

      "find something & thatd turn me on.." drahillionaire, warren buffet.

      'if you keep going, eventually you get there' chuck norris

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmmmm, he's not posting this stuff. I am. For him. Anonymously. For reasons that shall remain between he and I.

        Therefore, one might assume that there's a chance he's not reading it. Might not respond to it either.

        So, if you get no response, don't let your panties get all twisted up.

        I just hate when the russbo babes get their panties all twisted up....
        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

        (more comments in my User Profile)
        russbo.com


        Comment


        • #5
          This would probably be a really good time to mention how it's best to just ditch them altogether, but being it's a buddhist type board, I m just going to restrain myself .......

          no panty twisting but cheers for sharing it anyway, good to hear the gwailo are still about and sharing their experiences. Inspiring..truly

          and now back to your regular programming........


          ( btw : you called me a babe???? lol........ guess you missed all of those kfm posts to the opposite ha ? ..gotta love lack of communication :P )
          Last edited by blooming tianshi lotus; 12-06-2004, 10:49 PM.
          "honestly girls dont seem to want anything other then whatever they want "atm" then that can always change:"
          maestro's love genius.

          first we work to live, then we live to work, ..& then when someone else can do it good enough without us - we can all run off and die.
          Blooming tianshi lotus

          "find something & thatd turn me on.." drahillionaire, warren buffet.

          'if you keep going, eventually you get there' chuck norris

          Comment


          • #6
            sounds awesome... i havent even travelled properly. one day just hard to break the grip of 9 - 5

            Comment

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