written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006


News: I am staying in strange 70s era hotel about 100 feet from my apartment. I don't know for how long I will stay. There are no plumping fixtures under the sink, so everything that's in the sink drains directly onto the floor. Last night I went to the sleep to the sound of men playing a violent slap-intensive version of gin rummy. I have started teaching adults on the weekend nights. Adults are strange. I am working day and night on the weekends now. It's terrible, but mildly dealable. I had my first visit to a chinese dentist and simultaneously had my first chinese root canal. It was brilliantly perfect procedure, the best I have ever had. It was the equivalent of 130 U.S. dollars. That's 10% of what I pay in the U.S. It for now.

written with wuv by hannah


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Open Window

The Factory Road

Last week I headed west on my bike toward some mountains that always remind me of heading west in Tucson. And not unlike on the more hidden parts of the Tucson mountains, the western hills near ShiJingShan are pocked marked with small open pit mines. My bets they are simple dirt and rock mines excavated around the pre-existing wash, which has since turned into pools of factory run-off, or I can only speculate based on their proximity to that billowing factory in the background and taking into account that I have yet to experience any significant rain for the past 3 months. Spotted a man and boy fishing or skipping rocks. Standing under the freeway in this picture.

Trees planted in uniform rows in the former mine basin. Beijing has instituted region-wide project called the Green Belt (a belt of trees circling the city usually near the Ring Road freeways). The swathes of trees of course are to aid air quality primarily by keeping top soils and sand from blowing crazily all over the place and making Spring miserable as is custom.

This is the truck driver.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006


Hotmail is working sort of, but that was a big scare. I am officially changing my email to my gmail account that I have neglected to remember the password to for the last 4 months...


please change this in your contacts and start emailing me here. All though, sure I will still check hotmail.

Also, thanks to BENNY's! suggestion to try an anonymizer proxy muh-jigger now I can see my own blog after 4 months of not being about to see it. Its rather exciting. Also, David now I can see your new blog,which by the way is www.sleepytako.blogspot.com. That's all.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

booo Hotmail

I haven't been able to access hotmail (except only once for 2 hours) for the last 3 weeks. It's a nationwide problem, no one really knows what is going on, whether its technical or whether hotmail has somehow ended up on the Chinese firewall list, meaning its being blocked. You can never tell when a page is blocked or whether it has problems loading, you recieve the same error page. If it is being blocked it doesn't make much sense (and its probably an disasterous accident) as in, that China has extremely good relationship with Microsoft. (Famously, a few weeks ago when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the U.S. his first meeting was held not with GW but with Bill Gates, the chinese loooove Bill Gates) Here's an article illuminating hardly much at all about the problem except for the fact that is indeed widespread.

Add to my own frustration. I am having problems finding a suitable BIG name alternative to hotmail. My gmail account is inaccessible as well. I have forgotten the password to my yahoo account and "my" secret question to rectify the password problem is a question I don't remember having ever answered...Plus, I can feel google's blogger.com (the domain host for this blog) becoming ever more useless. Important buttons are not appearing when the page loads and other horrible things like not publishing when I press publish and losing things that I have written. It doesn't make it much easier that I am using a chinese operating system and everything on the screen apart from my own written text is in Chinese. So the possibility of pressing wrong "buttons" and accidentally deleting everything is precariously high.

I will sort a new email address soon...I really don't want "hanniepie1@yahoo.com" but for now that's how you can reach me...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Holiday Traveller: Day One: The Train to South East China

Haiyan, Yu Hua, and I boarded the sleeper train on Saturday, April 30th. The two of them are classmates from a Sunday lecture class in Chen Buddhism (popularly known by its Japanese name Zen Buddhism. Though Chen is apparently very different.)

I lucked out and got the relatively secluded top 4th tier bunk.

Haiyan looking up the word "vortex" and/or "dimension" as I was pseudo-informing her about Sedona, Arizona; and later, for some reason I gave her a rather needless history of the architect's Arcosanti's dream of thousands of people living in a single monster skyscraper in the middle of the Arizona desert. There was something about leaving Beijing, passing through miles and miles of unrelenting human settlement, that reminded me of that dream...That's Yu Hua eating a square of lima bean paste. He is a funny young business man who dresses and acts like a carefree student. He sang from a Buddhist hymnal book the whole trip. He is very good. He also kept showing up at random to give me whole packages of Mentos later in the trip when I ran into some pitying circumstances.
North to Southeast, Beijing to Nanchang, is about 780 miles, enough to pass through radical differences in landscape and climate: from grey to green, dry cool to hot humid, heavy industry to heavy agriculture. The soil is very fertile in these lands broken up by craggy limestone mountains and lying in the river basins of the Yangzi River (properly known as Chang Jiang).
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Bus from Jiujiang, Jiangxi; crossing the Yangzi River; to the dusty town of Huangmei, Hubei

Sunday morning: Inside of medium-distance bus that drops you off where ever you want to be left. That could be and often was anywhere out along the paved/dirt highway from Jiujiang to Huangmei and beyond. If you want to catch a bus just stand anywhere on the road with a bunch of luggage and eventually one will pick you up. (On Thursday, I experienced the same bus taxi phenomena from the 3 hour ride from Huangmei to Wuhan, which happens to be along a very heavily trafficked and high-speed interstate. The people stand virtually at random along the interstate. I think its a glorius idea, saves you the trouble of getting to the station miles away.)
My only picture of the mighty Yangzi River, which despite the pathetic composition of the picture is the second longest and largest river in the world, and the ummm...vein from which chinese civilization pulses.
Yu Hua, some helpful lady, and Haiyan in Huangmei.
Barber Shop
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Our Huangmei Taxi idle as Haiyan buys loads of fruit to deliver as offerings to the temple. Village People. The taxi, as we eventually ascend through mountain road side villages, is nearly impaled by a 15 ft bamboo pole carried by a small old women, nearly collided with a huge hog walking up the middle of the road, and beamed about five people who didn't respond or perhaps know how to respond to the rules of the road {those being primarily to 1.) honk when you are behind someone 2.) honk when passing someone, and 3.) to honk after having sucessfully passed someone.}
Destination: those Mountains.
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Si Zu Si, Fourth Master Temple

Our desitation! The gate to Si Zu Si, the Fourth Chen Master's temple, very old. The place where about 100 people gathered as disciples of the Zhuang Shi a Beijing Chen Tea Master (Haiyan's teacher) to learn about Tea Philisophy and meditation. This a rather remote and well-kept ancient temple. I still cannot believe that I was able to live here for 5 days.

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700 year old tree, or if that is not possible, "the really old tree"

There were few day tourists, as this location is pretty remote. Posted by Picasa

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson