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Essay: Chinese Virtues | * | * | Essay: Beautiful China 2001 | * | * | * | * | Essay: Cruelties To Women In Ancient China | * | * | Click For More Arielle Land!
The China Adventures of Arielle Gabriel

Thusday August 16

I worked three hours this morning learning FTP and did a lot this week in terms of Net Queen progress. Sunday was not good, on the Saturday I was thrilled when I accidentally got photos out of my email at Yahoo and moved them to my briefcase.

I wrote a lot in this diary, and did my spontaneous essay on Cruelty To Women in Ancient China. Left library on Sunday and went for fruit salad and egg custard at upscale dessert cafe.

On Monday I met with a teacher recruiter, and obtained a whole batch of easy speaker's corner jobs, which will put me on the bus for all of August, just getting money to start Chinese Harp lessons, and finish all my websites. I am so Net Queen that all I could think of this week was getting somewhere with FTP, of File Transfer Protocol.

I went back into all my July diaries and organized them, checked the grammar,and tried to get them out of Word into the Internet, where they will exist for the whole world, and not just be stuck in a private computer in China, this mattered to me.

There are also three articles, one on Taiwan, one on daily life around the house, and one on me and Mercy going out drinking in Shenzhen!

My rich Shanghai trader has wiggled out of his lessons for the week, the rich people are so busy they are not reliable as income sources for lessons.

I had an unusual night last night, in that I was asked to lead a conversational group at the most important media organ in the fastest growing city of China, the Shenzhen Daily, our newspaper! The building was a tower of economic glory, the entrance hall spectacular,with a sweeping staircase, palatial in its proportions.

No one greeted me, and I was confused, a woman finally appeared and led me to a table where I made discourse on the usual, life in Canada.

One of the listeners accompanied me to the bus stop later, and told me I was a special person, because I seem to think about the Chinese. Since I am with Chinese from the time I wake till the time I sleep, I guess I know just a little bit more than some businessmen, though it might be nice to be a tourist too, seeing the most beautiful places in China.

Saturday August 18

When I came home from the beach yesterday, where I had an argument with a coconut-seller! Mercy surprised me by asking me if I wanted to go to see what the The Chinese Hospital looked like.

The day had been a real Asian Terror of a Day, with extreme bad and extreme good.

I planned to have a really serene day at the Chinese Beach, which shows a tendency to foolish over-optimism, because S for Serene and C for Chinese are many pages apart in the dictionary. They cannot help it that there are so many of them. Brilliantly I did plan to elude the Chinese Crowd by getting there on a week-day.

Off on the 103 beach bus which led me a Chinese Beach, which did not rely on the beauty of nature to lure you in, not with girls in sailor suits at an entrance gate and Chinese youth parading their slim bodies about not getting too wet from actual sport.

It was quite fun to begin with, with cute and pushy Chinese women trying to lure me into hot food cafes, with steam rising into the boiling hot day. I looked for an iced tea, then walked along the beach.

Desperate for shade, I bought a huge coconut, sipping the milk with a plastic straw. I then sat down at a shady table beside the cocnut stand. I could not understand for a long time what the people were waving to me about. Could they actually want me to pay for the chair I was sitting in, when I had actually bought a snack just to be able to sit down?

Yes, they could. I looked at the Chinese tourists, they seemed to try this trick with them, yet the Chinese did not pay a second time. Chinese told me later that they get this happening to them as well at this type of beach, little did I know. Tourists, take note.

I was hurt, embarrassed, and singled out. The owner paid a get-out hands gesture to me.

I walked towards the entrance, with remnants of dignity, as my temper grew. I looked in my purse and gathered all the small Chinese coins I could find. I then went back and tossed them towards the table where the obnoxious Chinese man was sitting.

The Chinese themselves all laughed at this, and for once, in all my dealings with the Chinese, I hit a raw nerve.

How they love to laugh when we become irritable, aggravated, and show any type of emotional feeling. Even when we give them a compliment or give them a gift, there is often discomfort in the air. They do these things differently. All our emotion worlds are different, and there is a need for helpful information in this area. If we all knew what to do, we could do it.

They do not believe that a good person does anything for another just for doing that good deed, that everything is calculated. The Chinese actually believe the Good Person is One Who Does No Bad. Therefore the gift or the compliment is held back, in slight suspicion?

My own Chinese friends are not like this. Mercy is so darling, and Larry too is thoughtful, serious, and sensitive to others; as a man, slightly more restrained.

Back to the coconut-seller jerk! It was amazing to see him explode at me, and stoop to the table to hurl one of my own coins back at me. Of course, I am sure it was a small denomination!

Point well taken! And I had even made the Chinese all around enjoy a good laugh!

The evening went well. Mercy and I sailed out into the night, discussing the trip to Canada I do not have the money to make, though I will have the airlines ticket in a few days. I will take some sort of trip during October 1 National Holiday probably to Nanning to see Tracy, and to visit the singers in the park again. Maybe a day trip to Vietnam.

Mercy is interested in the idea of me having a Chinese Boyfriend and decided that a knowledge of Chinese Medicine would bring me deeper into Chinese Culture. Realistically, I am beginning to think the Gap between East and West is more like a Chasm.

She told me that this would interest any Chinese Men I might meet and go out with, I am beginning to give up this whole lark of a Chinese Boyfriend, predicted by Vanessa, in a psychic reading last December in snowy Montreal.

Mercy wore a slight polka-dotted red dress, and we discussed how thin Chinese are, and then mentioned my Dad sending me a return ticket to the airport, and Mercy said she wanted me to come back, I Miss You, she said, so encouragingly.

It had been a bad spat with the pushy cocunut-seller,and I worried about my own racism. I must be more calm.

We have a very open way of talking. I mentioned that some Chinese, especially like her and Larry and Tracy, and some of my students, were so fresh and friendly, that in a country with over a billion people, there had to be a vast diversity of people.

We walked through the beautiful night talking about travel places in China. Mercy thinks it is so wonderful I travel. I have not hit too many romantic Asian places since I have been here, and we had a laugh about Beijing, as the place all Chinese want me to go to. The problem is that I am asthmatic, and Beijin is one of the top ten cities for air pollution.

Mercy told me that Shanghai was not as cultured as Beijing, but they would love me because I was a Foreigner. I still want to see the Old Shanghai, with its narrow labrynth of crowded streets. There is an antiques market there, where I want to look for the inexpensive and the offbeat, such as old toys, old kitchen utensils, and everything for the house I will never have, unless I clean up my business skills.

After buying strawberry juice and mango soya milk at Carrefour, we then then arrived through the shady back lanes at the Chinese Hospital.

First we stored our drinks and sun umbrella in the communal bedroom shared by both doctors and nurses! Lest anyone think this is a sign of the wildness of the Chinese, quite the contrary. It shows how incredibly sexually conservative and self-controlled they are. The men never infringe upon the women.

I sometimes wonder about the hairlesssness of the men, and the breastlessness of the women; though I was once a kind and non-racist person, when you yourself are being laughed at as The Foreigner, you begin to look at them critically. They judge us with their eyes to be unattractive, too.

The hospital was spotlessly clean, though not to the eagle eye of Mercy, excellent and popular as a nurse as she is a friend.

The quiet was so conspicuous that I wanted to stay there! The corridors were wide and you almost feel you were not in Asia, the place was so calm, cool, and efficient.

Dr. Yung was working in the TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine Unit, when we arrived, and was a gracious and excellent host. I was shown the bees in the jar used for joint pain, and told them that I had a friend, Jeff, whose mother wanted the bee treatment for MS, muscular dystrophy, yet it was too expensive for her family.

Dr. Yung was interested in my interest in his field, and gave me a sample of acupuncture, inserting six or seven pink needles in me. I received no anaesthetic and actually screamed when the needles went in around my infected sinuses. Is it supposed to hurt when needles go into your head without freezing?

Mercy grabbed my hand, and I held on to her like a big baby, and I realized that Chinese people bear up without yelling!

I sat talking with five needles stuck in my face, not too much like a romantic Asian Adventuress, one between my eyes, and two on each side of my face, around the mouth and sinuses.

We finished off my improvement with fire being lit inside a glass bowl, which was then stuck onto my left arm, and pulled off with a sucking motion. This looked great, yet I think it will be the acupuncture and acupressure that helps me in the end.

The doctor and Mercy laughed in Chinese about my Folkloric Western Ways, such as spending money. They are fascinated by how we relate to money. All I have done is buy cheap wicker goods at the marketplace to decorate my room.

The Chinese like almost no furniture, except for card tables to eat off, folding chairs, plastic stools only eight inches from the ground, fans, television sets, computers, plastic stacking units for clothes, plastic standaway wardrobes for hanging clothes in, and beds. House after house is furnished like this, even among the Middle Classes.

Still I was honoured by the request of this doctor, so respected by others in his profession, to visit his family, he repeated this request several times so I believe he is sincere. He is in our neighbourhood, and I will go to see his family. The entire staff at this hospital has been most courteous and friendly to me.

Mercy took me to a receiving arrea, because she has been concerned for my blood pressure, believing it to be too low because of my finger cut of several weeks ago. We were surprised to find it completely normal!