Finding Myself in China: They carefully explained that the ticket office is moved, and that I must 'go over there'! I looked at the guy, looked 'over there' and said: 'There's nothing @#$%^ over there!' He laughed and said: 'Come! I'll show you!' And he did. 'Over there' was a place a couple of hundred meters 'over there where they are digging' and you could get 'over there,' by a little walkway that they had prepared. Ah! I went back and got my bicycle and headed off to go 'over there,' but when I got 'over there,' I found myself on a main road, and had to ask a policemen where to go. Finally someone who could help me. He kindly pointed out that the ticket office was 'over there'!
Macao 2007 Summer Holiday
by R.P. BenDedek (11:31 AM 2/21/2015 Beijing Time)
Macao - The first of Three Different Holiday Trips
Since nothing spectacular happened to me in Macao except for the amount of money I lost gambling, this particular story focuses on the trials and tribulations of organizing the trip. From my front door to my hotel in Macao, a total of almost 12 hours, I used the following methods of transportation:
1 Train 1 Taxi 1 Plane 2 Buses 1 Ferry
Looking From the Cemetery on Taipa to Macao Island
Apart from one week in May of 2006 to attend a family wedding, I have not been home to Australia for holidays since January of 2005. Although I had thought to go home this summer, I ended up deciding not to bother. As I wrote in an article titled Shan Tang Sheng Jie"I love my life so much, that returning -- to Australia -- once a year just to spend an hour or two in polite conversation with whomever can get free from their busy schedules (they all live in different cities), is simply not what I want to do.
But this decision not to go home left me with the problem of what to do. Originally I had thought I might return to Paris and even duck across to Italy to visit Chiara Braccagni. Then I thought I might go to Japan. I had even thought of going back to Hong Hu to see the relatives there, and visit with Mingxing, (friend and former student) but he told me that he was going to be working throughout the Summer in Chengdu (where he studies). Finally I decided that since I had never been to Macao, and given that they have one attraction that I just love to death (playing pokie / slot machines) that that was what I would do.
Having made the decision, all I had to do was make the arrangements - not always as simple as it sounds in China. (See: Around the Bund - Shanghai) My first problem was to find a hotel. This turned out to be simple enough on this occasion. I just went to the Ctrip website, found one and booked it. Having worked that small detail out, (I booked into the Best Western Hotel Taipa), I had to organize the journey.
A-Ma Temple Macao Island (These two photographs are two halves of the whole scene)
Of course I was going to fly, and that naturally being from Shanghai, but that's when I discovered something strange. While Macao and Hong Kong are 'a part of China,' if you want to travel there from the mainland, it is 'an international destination,' and places like Ctrip may only sell domestic air tickets, not international air tickets. mmm? Not a problem though, I could just use my credit card and book through some other travel agency. That's when I got a new shock. Already knowing the approximate price of the air ticket, all those travel agencies advertised prices (for the American market) at up to 4 times the regular fee. I gave that away as a joke! In the end I decided to book a domestic ticket through Ctrip and go to Shenzhen, from whence I could go to Macao by Ferry. Oh no! Another Problem.
The nice high speed ferries travel regularly only between Hong Kong and Macau, not Shenzhen and Macao. The ordinary ferry from Shenzhen wouldn't get me to Macao until sometime in the evening, and I was already scheduled to leave my home in Suzhou very early in the morning. Finally I found that there were in fact 3 high speed ferries each day from Shenzhen, and my plane was due to arrive in Shenzhen one hour prior to the Ferry departure. Note that I said 'Due.' You will understand my trepidation a little later in this story.
Ruins of St. Paul's Church. They Lock that Edifice. Don't understand why?
Above Left: View from the Ediface looking down into the street.
From St. Paul's Church Ruins you can see the wall of the fort.
So now I have a hotel booked in Macao, with an arrival time at 4 pm, provided that the Ferry arrives in Macao on time, and provided I can find the hotel bus to take me from Macao Island to Taipa; and provided my plane arrives on time in Shenzhen to meet the shuttle bus to the Ferry port. Beginning to get the picture? So now I have a plane ticket to Shenzhen, a Ferry ticket to Macao, and a hotel to stay in when I get there. My plane is due to leave Shanghai Pudong airport (provided they don't change location at the last minute as they did when I flew from Wuhan to Shanghai), at 9:30 am. This just leaves me the problem of getting from Suzhou to Shanghai. This was, or so I thought, the least of my worries, because I had already checked out the details for catching an hourly express service originating from up near the 'walking street' (mall), and it was only going to cost me 50 rmb and would only take 90 minutes to get there.
Walking the streets up to 'Monte Fort'
The building on the left was opposite the Street going up to 'Monte Fort'
The mural on the right in the photo above is located near the intersection of "Lago Da Se" and "Travessa Da Se" and the Church of Maria Nascenti (I believe). This was not far from Senado Square as I walked to the Fort.
From the top of the fort you can walk down the stairs in this next picture to the interior or enter a building above ground and take the escalators
Photograph above - Bottom Frame is the escalator exit close to St. Paul's Ruins.
Next problem! Now that I have organized everything, I went to get the bus ticket. That was when I discovered that the 90 minute journey from Suzhou - was to Hongqiao airport, and that it would take another hour to get to Pudong Airport. Since the earliest bus was scheduled to leave at 6am, this meant that I would not arrive at the airport until at least 8:30am - provided there were no hold ups. This would leave me just 30 minutes to go through check-in and security. I didn't like my chances!
Ok! Well, I can catch the train from Suzhou to Shanghai - only takes about an hour. This will not be a problem! (Sure!) The real question was whether I could get to the airport on time. So I checked out the bus times. It turned out that there was a No. 5 bus leaving from Shanghai railway station that would take only 70 minutes to get to Pudong airport. So that meant that I needed to allow for a 20 minute search and wait for the bus to leave; 70 minutes + for the trip, and an arrival at the airport at least 1.5 hours prior to 9.30am. So I needed to be at the railway station at the latest by 6.30am. Ahh! I could do it! There were two trains leaving Suzhou that would get me there by that time. So I set off for the railway station to buy a ticket.
Government Administration Building
Life is always difficult for the foreigner in China. You see - while I knew exactly where to go to pay for an advanced reserved train ticket, the Suzhou rail authorities decided to move that sales point to another location. So imagine my surprise when the ticket seller would not sell me a ticket, but instead tells me to go 'over there' to buy it. Where is 'over there'? I returned to the entrance and asked a policeman. He, pointing off in the distance, tells me it is 'over there'! There is nothing 'over there' except a few shops, behind which is the road, behind which they are digging up the ground in preparation for something. I walked a little further and told someone my plight and said I couldn't find the place 'over there.' Not a problem though, because that man knew where I should go, and pointing off into the distance, told me to 'go over there'! I walked a little further and got mobbed by taxi drivers.
So I told them my problem, and they understood it exactly. They carefully explained that the ticket office is moved, and that I must 'go over there'! I looked at the guy, looked 'over there' and said: 'There's nothing @#$%^ over there!' He laughed and said: 'Come! I'll show you!' And he did. 'Over there' was a place a couple of hundred meters 'over there where they are digging' and you could get 'over there,' by a little walkway that they had prepared. Ah! I went back and got my bicycle and headed off to go 'over there,' but when I got 'over there,' I found myself on a main road, and had to ask a policemen where to go. Finally someone who could help me. He kindly pointed out that the ticket office was 'over there'!
I crossed the road and started walking. I went a little way and encountered a driveway down and up which people were walking, at the bottom of which was some sort of big shed. I thought: 'This can't be it.' But as I continued to walk, I realized that there was nothing ahead that even remotely resembled any type of business or office. I turned around. Just then a man standing on the footpath asked me if I was looking for the ticket office, and advised me it was to be found 'down there’! Well - at last! I went into the shed-like building, and found the queues very short and in no time at all I was at the counter to buy my ticket.
Hac Sa (Cantonese) Beach (Hei Sa Wan) at Coloane - Lu Huan
Mr. Lou Kau and his mansion at "Travessa Da Se"
"Ticket to Shanghai on the 11th at 5:20 am!" I announced.
"Which type of ticket?" he asked. And that's when my overworked brain decided not to function. I could not for the life of me remember how to order a soft or hard seat ticket. Not to worry though, I decided to say: 'Ordinary ticket!' That should cover it, and it did. The ticket cost me just 15 rmb. That however was not a good sign! When I got home I checked the dictionary to see what 'Wu zuo' meant, and found it was a ticket for a 'no seat' journey! What this meant, was that I was going to be standing between the carriages beside the toilets for the whole of the journey. 'Oh golly gosh - darn it!' I thought! (well it was more like: I've got a @#$%^&* ticket and @#$%^ have to stand for the whole @#$%^& journey. #$%^& this trip I don't want to go!)
Well, as things turned out, this foul up turned out to be the most blessed event in all the organization of my multiple journeys. But first, I still had a problem. How was I going to get from Home to the railway station? Taxi of course! What if I couldn't find a taxi? I'd have to walk. How long would it take to walk to the station? About an hour! So I figured that I needed to leave home by 4.15 am so that if I couldn't find a taxi, I could walk to the station by 5:20am.
Come the morning of July 11th, I walked out the gates of my school (fortunately the Guard was awake) and immediately a taxi pulled up in front of me. Wow! What luck! Ten minutes later I was at the station. 35 minutes early! I sat outside the station for 20 minutes, drinking a coke, smoking cigarettes and talking to all the locals who had slept out during the night so that they could get an early morning ticket. With 15 minutes to go, I entered the station, to be confronted by a sign that said the first train (my train) was running 90 minutes late! How lovely!
Below: Looking toward Zhuhai on the Mainland, from the Fort.
Looking From the Museum on Taipa toward the Gambling Area
Turning on my heels I bolted for the ticket office and explained that I needed to be on the first train. I didn't care about the cost. Just give me a ticket. The lady asked to see my other ticket, and after scribbling something on it, stamped it with an official stamp and sent me back to the station. I was now booked for a 'standing ride' on the second train at 5:36 am. and at no extra cost. Had I purchased a soft or hard seat ticket the day I went to book the ticket, this would not have been possible. The train came in, I got on, and together with all the others crowding between the carriages, I stood all the way to Shanghai. Not a soul spoke to me - just about me! As we arrived at Shanghai, a guard passing through the train stopped and in Chinese asked me where I had boarded. When I announced that I had boarded in Suzhou, all those lovely people who had spent the last hour talking about me - fainted!
On the left an image of a den of iniquity On the right a statue of a famous person at the Museum garden on Taipa
Once outside the Shanghai railway station I had difficulty finding the No. 5 bus to the airport, and when a female taxi driver started to pester me I told her I would not pay such money. She asked me to name a price. Already knowing that it was between 160 and 200 rmb, I told her that I would pay 100 rmb. She immediately accepted the price, and, without using the meter, set off for the airport. Along the way she told me that I was the first foreigner in her 15 years of driving, to enter her cab - hence the special price.
Well I made it to Pudong airport on time; the plane left on time; arrived on time; the ferry left on time; the shuttle bus to the hotel arrived on time; and about 11 hours after I set out from Shanghai China, I arrived in Macao China. I stayed in Macao from July 11th to 20th. During that time Mingxing contacted me and informed me that his job fell through. So on July 20th I headed off to Chengdu Sichuan.
Remember how earlier I drew attention to the word 'Due'? While my trip from Suzhou to Macao went off without a hitch, when it came time to fly from Shenzhen to Chengdu, that word 'due' took on real significance. But for that story you will have to wait until I write about my trip to LeShan in Chengdu Sichuan.
Returning to the Mainland
I had to take a boat back to Shenzhen where I was to take a plane to Chengdu. I traveled to the boat dock by hotel shuttle bus and found myself in the company of a number of hotel staff who were returning home to Zhuhai. A point of interest -- in Macau the traffic travels in a civilized manner on the left of the carriageway. Actually the drivers in Macau are extremely polite, considerate and submissive to road rules.
I hope you enjoyed this little story - or at least the photographs.
When you stand to speak you are doing more than reciting words. You are in fact engaged in communicating with an audience your opinions, ideas, feelings, passions and/or knowledge on a subject. They expect you to express yourself with feeling and passion and to actually know what you are talking about. Therefore it is essential that you KNOW what you are talking about – and – show the appropriate body language, gestures, actions and emotions associated with your topic.
The kids used to turn up repeatedly throughout the day just to look at the foreigner, touch him, feel the hair on his (the monkey’s) arms and generally just gawk. China has changed a lot over the years but there have been times when a foreigner in a small town or village would attract huge crowds. Sometimes people would be known to suddenly come upon you, look up at your face and just plain scream! I’m not joking!
The Sichuan region is designated as a global hotspot for biodiversity, ... 12,000 species of plants and 1,122 species of vertebrates, the area includes more than half of the habitat for the Earth's wild giant panda population.
It is uncertain what caused the following event, but something on the pylon hit one of the windows. The people in the immediate vicinity fled their seats, and as the ship continued reversing, the window buckled and smashed, sending shards of glass everywhere. One man received a cut to his arm, and while not bleeding profusely, nevertheless was bleeding. A young boy was covered in glass, and although unhurt, had to be deftly 'de-glassed.' I felt someone's hand on my back pocket. Always cautious, I was walking with my hands in my pockets, specifically to keep the cloth on the seat of my pants tight. I tightened my grip. When this did not seem to discourage the brazen (and inept) thief, I quickly sidestepped to the left, and left him both surprised and embarrassed. He dropped his head so I could not see his face, and quickly retracted the jacket that had covered his hand to conceal his actions. He disappeared quickly.
After following the pathway around the mountain we were faced with a choice of either a path downward or a trail upward. We chose the upward trail, and hoped to find something. After climbing over boulders and headed in the direction of some boys sitting atop one, we arrived at a spectacular viewpoint. We had an almost 360 degree view of Mudu. While we were marveling at the view before us, I heard a few voices off in the distance behind us. When I turned to look, I was surprised to find that there was a ridge there, completely jam packed with people taking in the 'better view.'
Between September 1st and October 5th quite a number of things have happened, not the least of which is that the city Sign has disappeared. Over a period of days I saw the sign being dismantled and had assumed that they were going to 'refresh' the place so to speak. One evening on my way home from visiting Judy, the traffic at the roundabout up from the school, was stopped. The road was blocked off with a rope, and a number of people in hard hats were running around. I had no idea as to what was going on and as there were only two of us left on the bus I decided to walk the rest of the way. A very officious 'hard hat' started signaling me to go back. A student ran up to me and warned me that it was dangerous to proceed.
China has become "home" for me, and I love living here. Of course, even though I absolutely love Hong Hu ("You are crazy!" say my students), and had hoped to stay here for many years to come, I know it is time to move on. China is still a backward country, and still suffering the effects of Communist propaganda. Nothing changes fast here, and very few people are willing to "do anything" to bring about change, even when they know that change is both necessary and beneficial. Every foreign teacher knows the reality of the statement: "Teaching in China is the most frustrating job ever!"
We were also treated to a demonstration of 'Shaolin' arts. Not only did the performer put himself through the hoops (pardon the pun) but got Sam up to 'trip the lights fantastic!' When they called for volunteers to take part, Sam eagerly volunteered. Never ones to miss an opportunity to see a foreigner make a fool of himself, the Chinese MC readily accepted Sam's offer. The tiny performer took one look at him and said: 'Whoa! How heavy is he?' Just to see if he could do what he wanted, he picked Sam up in a bear hug. That was certainly entertaining. What Sam thought when the guy grabbed him front on and lifted him, I have no idea!
The presence of a foreigner, in drawing the usual inquisitive response, also resulted in a stern admonition from the proprietor to the workers to return to their station. Not before I managed to get some photos however. This complex is a genuine operating place of worship, that abounds in monks and other religious persons. It has both very old temples, and some very new ones, some of which are not even completed yet. Additional Photographs
(2007) Really, we only went there to eat pizza at Carole's Restaurant, but noting a few changes in the area, decided to take a few new shots. From the vantage point on the upstairs balcony of the restaurant, I started off the process by taking photos of people in the street who kept pointing out the foreigner
I watched one old man stand next to me and urinate into the garden. I watched a policeman running around trying to catch a street urchin who momentarily took refuge beside me. I watched an official of some sort ask for identity papers of two locals who threw their cigarette butts on the ground and was in the middle of a funny debate with a Tibetan woman about my lack of desire to buy a crucifix, when a policeman appeared and chased her off into the distance. Additional Photographs from LeShan
The Sichuan region is designated as a global hotspot for biodiversity, ... 12,000 species of plants and 1,122 species of vertebrates, the area includes more than half of the habitat for the Earth's wild giant panda population. The photographs displayed here were actually taken in 2006.
Mt. Emei is 3000 metres high, and one can avail oneself of several or all of a variety of methods of ascending and descending the mountain. From a hard slog hike, to an easy access bus ride and from being carried in a cable car to being carried in a 'jampan' (sedan chair) by locals, there are a variety of ways to get around. As a foreigner, I was given special treatment, and the normal price of 220 rmb per night at the hotel, was reduced to just 140 rmb (which was just twice the price that other guests we spoke to had paid.) Additional Mt. Emei Files: 1)Climbing Mt.Emei2)Top of Mt.Emei3)Following the Baoxian Stream
I had so many photographs from Chengdu, that I created this special file to display just a particular aspect of the beauty of Wuhou Temple: Chengdu: SiChuan Art and Flowers. This file contains no commentary.
The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage Park. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]