Finding Myself in China: We followed the bus driver’s suggestion and found ourselves walking through a very beautiful but desolate area which took us forthwith to Jin Ji Lake, but we arrived at a point reasonably removed from public use. After taking a few photos we set off to return to the bus stop and instead, eventually, found ourselves on a main road serviced by buses that none of us knew anything about. The trip to the bus stop however was quite interesting for it took us through a new development area of housing and shops - all far too pricey for any of us hungry guys to even consider stopping for food, but at least the scenery was great.
Jin Ji Lake Walkabout in Suzhou
by R.P. BenDedek (11:13 AM 7/28/2015 Beijing Time)
This article was originally published at Magic City Morning Star on Jan 17, 2008. The original article has been edited for American spelling and grammar points and extra photographs have been included as well as a few links to relevant information.
Golden Chicken Lake out by the Dongfang Zhimen
For readers who have never come across my articles before, I am an Australian Conversational English Teacher living and working in China. I have been teaching for 5 years (in 2008 ), and for these last twelve months I have been employed by the Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. I have been a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News for a few years now, (and since 2009 the Acting Editor) and today, the purpose of this article is simply to introduce some sights of Suzhou that I have not previously shown. You needn't bother to thank for me this, I'm only doing it because yesterday was the last day of term and it is so cold here that I have no intention of going outside. So what is one to do with one's time? Easy answer: 'Write an article for Magic City.'
We started out day out by going to Tiger Hill (left frame above) and ended up at Jin Ji Hu (right frame). That Sculpture was a gift from Singapore.
The principle purpose of these photographs is to introduce Jin Ji Lake, but there are some others of the Xiyuan Temple beside the college, as well as a couple taken from within the school. I do hope you enjoy the photographs.
This year New Years Day in the western calendar coincided with a Chinese festival and the students were given a two day holiday. We all had Monday January First and Tuesday Second free from classes, but to recoup some lost classes we all had to go to school on Saturday. Ultimately it meant that we had a 3 day weekend.
My fellow Foreign English teacher Albert, his former student Jerry, and I, decided to go to Tiger Hill to take some photos. I had previously taken photographs from outside, but had never been inside. None of us knew the cost of entrance to the park but the usual 40 rmb charge had been increased to 60 rmb because it was a public holiday. While that did not bother me - I purchased a special card last year which gets me into many places - the boys were not inclined to pay the 60 rmb fee. Instead, following Jerry, we caught a bus to Jin Ji Lake.
Jin Ji Lake Suzhou (Jinji Hu)
Top and middle photo below: The top frame shows the friendship sculpture from Singapore from a different perspective and the middle frame is taken further down the boardwalk.
Photograph Above is one of many different types of artistic works found at Jin Ji Hu
Well that was a fun trip. Firstly it was a cold day, secondly we caught the wrong bus and ended up on the wrong side of Jin Ji Lake, and thirdly, there was a good stiff breeze to remind us of how frail is the mortal coil. Some time into the bus journey to Jin Ji (as of 2014 one can take the subway and get out at Dongfang Zhimen), Jerry enquired of the driver as to where we should get off. The driver pointed out the error in taking that particular bus to Jin Ji and advised us to get off immediately and follow the road to the left. Now for those of you who might be considering coming to Suzhou, let me tell you that there is indeed a golf club there, because it was right beside the bus stop. Unfortunately, since I have no actual idea of where we were, I can't actually tell you where the club is. But for all those foreigners who have previously asked me - Yes there is a Golf Course.
We followed the bus driver’s suggestion and found ourselves walking through a very beautiful but desolate area which took us forthwith to Jin Ji Lake, but we arrived at a point reasonably removed from public use. After taking a few photos we set off to return to the bus stop and instead - eventually - found ourselves on a main road serviced by buses that none of us knew anything about. The trip to the bus stop however was quite interesting for it took us through a new development area of housing and shops - all far too pricey for any of us hungry guys to even consider stopping for food, but at least the scenery was great.
The photographs below were all taken during different visits to Jinjihu.
The bottom frame of the photograph above and the next two below were definitely taken on the day we took this journey.
Eventually we came to a more public section of Jin Ji Lake where hundreds of tourists were walking around, playing games in the park and generally removing themselves from their own perhaps less than modern home environments. When we finally did exit the park at Jin Ji Lake, there were only two buses servicing that road and as Murphy's Law would have it, we not only caught the wrong bus but went in the wrong direction. Eventually I spied at a bus stop, the sign advertising the Number 6 bus, and that bus I did know. So we scooted off, found out which direction to travel, and finally arrived up at Ren Min Road. Although we could have continued on to the school, we were all so hungry that we figured we had a better chance of finding a nice meal up town than by the school. After having something to eat and buying a few videos we all headed home to the comfort of our warm apartments.
Photographs taken on the day we made this trip.
Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture
This year the school celebrated its centennial and we teachers have been treated to some special events and treats. When I arrived a year ago the school was undergoing a complete makeover. New Buildings, new grounds, and new facilities. Between Christmas and New Year we foreign teachers were treated to a special dinner, thanked for all our help during the recent government inspections, and given the low-down on all the coming changes.
The School celebrated its Centenary in 2007. Below on the right is a pond and bridge beside the admin building. Other perspectives of the same location are found in the next photo further down.
Bottom Frames above are of exactly the same place. These photographs were taken years apart. In 2007 they were completely redesigning the landscape.
Apparently the English department will be enlarged and the foreign language department will be extended to include German. That should be fun. (By 2011 not only was German not being taught, but both the number of Japanese and English foreign teachers had been halved.) Last year we were privileged to have here, Chiara Braccagni from Udine in Northern Italy, who spent one semester teaching introductory Italian to 7 boys who now are studying in Italy. Despite everyone's dire predictions (including my own), the boys have had to buckle down and learn the language on the fly. They are doing quite well.
Not wanting to overdo my welcome with all those who have read about my experiences in Suzhou so far, I do not intend go on and on. If this is your first visit to Magic City Morning Star News or to my column, then you can read my articles about Suzhou, some of which are listed at the end. For now, I will just leave you with some photos of the Agricultural College Suzhou, and a few of the Xi Yuan Temple next door.
Top Frames Below: These are really important photographs for two reasons. They show the same location in Summer and Winter - and - This place no longer exists. In 2015 the area has been filled in. There is some form of construction going on there. There has been a lot of construction since 2007 when this story about Jinjihu took place.
The two frames above are of the same location in the school. Right behind the Admin building there is a pond and bridge and at one end of the pond some seats.
Xi Yuan Temple
Xi Yuan Temple has its entrance on the canal on Fengqiao Road. Fengqiao Road is at the back of the Agricultural College. Xi Yuan road is in front of the college But Xi Yuan Temple only has a back gate on Xi Yuan road. Go Figure!
Below: This photograph was taken in 2014 and it provides a unique perspective. It is taken from the 5th floor of Teaching Building No. 3 There used to be a factory between the two buildings but it was torn down. Today, something else is being erected, so this perspective of the Temple no longer exists. To the left of the photograph is Xi Yuan Road. The Entrance is to the right of the photo and is out of view.
Below: These photographs were taken from Fengqiao Road and provide a general idea of the entrance area. There are in fact two footbridges at this location, the second is to the right of the one in the photograph on the left.
The interesting thing about Xi Yuan Temple, is that while it is right next door to where I work, I have never been inside to take a look.
Toward the end of dinner, some children spotted the foreigner and began coming to the door to say 'hello' 'hello' 'hello,' as they do, and then one little girl entered the room and handed out candy to us all. That was a first, as too was the cappuccino that I drank at a coffee house after dinner. I could swear it was an espresso. Ah! What would a foreigner know! Next morning we headed off to our next destination, the major places of interest of which (according to the 100 rmb entry ticket) are, Little Lotus Villa, Home of Zhang Shiming, Jiaye Library, Qiushuli Place, Home of Liu Tiqing and Ancient Stone Bridges. Additional Photographs
Well to cut a long story short, I walked all the bloody way to Tiger Hill. With Sweat pouring off me I finally met up with Chen Rongmei who had telephoned 'Meimei' to come and help look for me. The two of them had apparently been driving all over the place looking for me. Hot and exhausted, the three of us sat down in a little cafe, under an air conditioner, and cooled off while we ate a very nice 'overpriced' lunch. After lunch the three of us did the tour of HuQiu, and while I really loved the place, the heat of the day combined with all that walking (before and during sightseeing) gave me an awful headache. All I wanted to do was rest. I even considered booking back into my hotel! See Also:Cycling Around Tiger Hill Area SuZhouandTiger Hill Additional Photographs
Hanshan Temple Suzhou by R.P. BenDedek Various Dates
This Stele is made of Shandong Jiaxiang Blue Stone, and composed of stele cap, stele body and stele pedestal. Its facade is engraved with Zhang Ji's (Tang Dynasty) poem To Moor at Night at the Maple Bridge inscribed by Yu Yue (Qing Dynasty); while the back is engraved with The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra in Sanskrit) handwritted by Emperor Qianlong (Qing Dynasty).
Dr. Ben-Shahar made a statement to the effect that people need to understand that it is from the journey itself that we derive pleasure, not the destination. In order to find balance in life, people must stop and take time out to look at the day's events, and see the joy that was in it. Far too often we only reflect on flaws and failures, rather than on joys and successes. True happiness is found in the many small moments in our lives, and we have to remind ourselves daily of all the things we are grateful for and appreciate.
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.'
The Garden of Couple's Retreat. Located on the northeastern edge of the ancient city of SuZhou, the garden was first created in the early Qing period as a pleasure garden of Baoning Prefect Lu Jingzhi. In the 13th year of Tong ZhiReign (1874 AD), Shen Bingcheng, governor of Susongtai Region, acquired it and expanded it into the present scale.The park is located by one of the major canals on the North / East side of SuZhou. It is not far from the Old Water Gate, and right behind it is the SuZhou Zoo. I have been in YanCheng now for 6 months and no longer have a map of SuZhou from which to give precise directions. The entrance looks great from the overpass, but otherwise you wouldn't know it is there. I did take some photos of it at night when I was on the canal tour. That tour leaves from 'ShiLu' which is the 'small' walking street - not Guanqian Jie which is the big walking street.
Now I am not going to repeat the title here, but it showed a room in which plant roots are used to grow new plants. Unfortunately, whilst the caption may have been strictly correct in an Agricultural context, the words also constituted a very vulgar idiomatic expression in English. As the particular slide lit up on the big screen, there was an audible gasp from numerous people (including Chiara and I), followed by muted laughing and serious attempts by individuals not to break into hysterics.
Moving to Suzhou by R.P. BenDedek February 21, 2015 (2007 Magic City Article transferred to Kingscalendar)
I had been told many times that if I could be a successful teacher in Hubei, then I would find it so easy to teach elsewhere in China. I never understood what that meant, until I came here. These kids are a joy to teach, even though their English level is no better than the kids in Hubei. It really feels like I have been transported to a different country.
Traduzione di Chiara Braccagni: Nel 2005 mi sono trasferito a Wuhan da Hong Hu, in modo da poter insegnare inglese e allo stesso tempo imparare il cinese. Tuttavia, dopo due anni a Wuhan, avevo seguito solo un semestre di studio del cinese. Avevo accettato il lavoro di insegnante a Wuhan ad uno stipendio minore rispetto a quanto mi era stato offerto da altri istituti, in modo da mettere in pratica il cinese che impraravo in un dialetto che mi fosse familiare. Quando ho richiesto all'agenzia di trovarmi un nuovo lavoro per il 2007 ho messo in chiaro che lo stipendio era la mia priorita.' Sebbene il governo cinese avesse decretato che gli insegnanti stranieri potevano ritornare a casa in anticipo lo scorso semestre, cosi' da trascorrere il Natale con le loro famiglie (decisione resa possible dalle anticipate festivita' del capodanno cinese) la mia scuola non mi ha lasciato partire. Infatti, una clausola mi obbligava a rimanere a scuola fino all'ultimo giorno del mio contratto. E cosi' ho fatto (e sto ancora aspettando lo stipendio che mi devono).
I have to say it was a great honor to meet him, an honor that might have had more significance had I only known in which of the photo ops I actually did meet him. I'm guessing it was the guy who had both an English and Japanese translator trailing him.... Turning the camera on, I raised it and began to focus the lens. Just then a wave slapped against the side of the boat and my friends and I got drenched as water spurted up and in through the open window. By the time I recovered, wiped the lens dry, got the camera working, and focused, I had little time left to do a reasonable video, and no time at all to take any more still photographs.
I can say that the new computer cost me half of what I had expected to pay, and the money saved will almost pay for a special trip I'm planning to the other side of the country in October. We had our conversation on a Tuesday at about 11.45am at the end of March, and two days later on the Thursday, I picked up my brand new computer already loaded with all my programs. It also came with a gift of some high definition movies (Mr. Kang is able to provide 1500 HD Movies on an external hard drive.) If you are coming to Suzhou and you really NEED to buy a new computer, go talk to him. Maybe you just need some repairs - he'll fix you up. Maybe you want some High Definition Movies - he's the one to talk to. -and-Computer Repairs in SuZhou City Jiangsu Province Nov 7, 2011
I ran into Jian up at Shi Lu one night, just before the Americans left town. We had a long talk about the fact that he was wasting his life; that his parents really just wanted him to apply himself equally to Chinese and Math studies, as to his English Studies. When I left him, I thought that maybe he was finally going to go home. I spoke to him about the parable of the Prodigal Son and asked him to get the Americans to explain it
You will arrive at Taipa House Museum Area with so much to see. If you want to go into the Museum you must pay. But there is also much to see outside. This is a museum beside the A-Ma Temple on Macao Island. This sits on the waterfront and you can see Zhuhai in China across the harbour.
Mt. Emei - The first day we climbed to 940 metres. The Second Day we took the bus up as far as the Cable car. just 200 metres or so below the summit. At over 3000 metres the clouds just kept coming and going. Rather like the tourists! Bloody tourists! Noisy nuisances! Don't know why they let them spoil the tranquility!
In the temple, there are many places of cultural and historical interest. Tianwang (Heavenly Kings) Hall, Guanyin Hall, Wuyou Hall and the Arhat Hall are solemn in ancient style, Kuangyi Pavilion is charm and elegant. On Erya Terrace you can overlook the river, while in Tingtao Pavilion, you can enjoy the music of the current. If you want to see how the three rivers meet go to Jingyun Pavilion; to enjoy flowers, butterflies and singing birds, go to the Plum Garden. What is mostly worth mentioning is that it is the temple and the hill on which it stands that form the hesd of the Giant Sleeping Buddha.
Many people say that my cursive Chinese writing is just terrible scribble. Now I know that they are just jealous because I have mastered a unique form of calligraphy. Du Fu Selected Poems Translated by Rewi Alley Foreign Languages Press 2001
(Note: Chiara Braccagni's articles are in both English and Italian)
A una di queste chiamate, ci fermiamo a fianco a una coppia di giovani. Non solo i due incauti avevano diversi sacchetti, ma portavano con sé anche una torta. Dopo varie discussioni con la bigliettaia perché la torta nel pulmino proprio non ci stava, provano ad aprire il finestrino e a passarla alla ragazza seduta di fronte a Justine. Visto che non riuscivano a spostare il vetro, sporgendomi, faccio alla bigliettaia: "Lo faccia passare da qui" (okkei, va bene, ho detto solo "da qui," il resto della frase era sottinteso!). Io, anima ingenua, credevo che una volta saliti i due giovani avrebbero trovato il modo di riprendersi la torta. E invece no! Mi sono fatta una decina di chilometri di strada sterrata con una torta gelato sulle ginocchia! E giusto per renderla ancora più precaria, era una torta a due piani con complesse decorazioni, tra cui un drago giallo con occhi e baffi di cioccolata. Avevo il terrore di spetasciarla. A questo punto, però, ridevamo da non riuscire più a respirare.
Built in 1406-1420, The Imperial Palace, popularly known as the Forbidden City, was the permanent residence of the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It's buildings are divided into two parts. The front part, or the 'outer court,' consists of Tai He Dian Hall, Zhong He Dian Hall and Bao He Dian Hall, which are taken as it's main body, plus Wen Hua Dian Hall and Wu Ying Dian Hall, which are taken as it's two wings, Where the Emperor held important ceremonies
If you do an internet word search for Badaling, you will find many addresses to choose from in your pursuit to know more about the Great Wall. After leaving the great wall we traveled to the Ming Tombs. Unfortunately we never got to go into any because there was a good deal of restorative work being carried on at that time. One of the lesser appreciated side effects of the 'Cultural Revolution' was the amount of malicious damage done to these tombs and other relics of China's past, and our guide was quite open in informing us of some of these events. Such a pity
After years of living in China, I finally got around to organizing a trip to Tibet. I was due to pay for the trip at the End of June and I was to go in October during the Chinese National Holiday. If you have been wondering why the Chinese Government put a ban on foreigners going to Tibet, then now you know the reason. It was to stop me! Alleyways and Streets are more narrow than the canals in Xitang Town ZheJiang. Once we cleared the bars it quieted down. Now this is where I point out why the title of this article has 'Clown' in it.
Qing Ming, means clear and bright in Chinese. It is both the fifth term in the traditional lunar calendar and a festival to hold memorial ceremony for the dead. Being as how I was the only white face in the crowd, the Chinese attendants jumped on me, baptised me, confirmed me and handed me the brochure with all the church services times listed on it. They wanted to know if I was Catholic or Christian. Usually I just tell people I am a Muslim, and it makes them think twice. This time I said something that I regretted. Ha! I'm not telling you what I said!
I provide here two links from which you may glean information should be coming to Yancheng and decide to stay at the YanFu Hotel. The Hotel is located in the very heart of YanCheng near to Da Tong Ma. "Ben" - Guo Haibin - Advertising Manager at the YanFu Hotel on the left.
Do you know how to Samba? You do? Well you know how you have to bend the knees and at the same time push your bum down so that you do a pelvic thrust - yeah? Well I gave my teacher two options. I could bend my knees or do a pelvic thrust, but not both at the same time. He told me that I would eventually learn it. Surprise Surprise! By the end of my second night I had it figured out, and let me tell you - it is not a pretty sight! I should know - I have to watch my self in that monstrous bloody mirror!
Xiangfan is a historical and cultural city in the southwest of Hubei Province. It has an area of 26.7 thousand square kilometers and a population of 6.75 million. The central part of Xiangfan is a plain. The rest are mountains and hills. Xiangfan has a subtropical monsoon climate with an annual average temperature of 15.8C, and has 240 frost-free days. Annual rainfall averages 878 millimeters.
, 2006My Student friend has already 'cheated' in 4 exams this school year. Well, he doesn't actually 'cheat,' he just 'pretends' to be someone else, and does their exams for them. It's a simple process really. They merely substitute photographs in their identity cards. The first thing I had to tell him was that the reason I seem so happy, is that if I allowed myself to be controlled by all the 'negatives' that surround me, I would have to quit my job and go home. 'The Secret of Being Happy,' I informed him, 'is that happiness comes from within you. It is not the result of happy experiences.'
You may find this hard to believe, but Chinese students can memorise a 20 minute monologue - perfectly. They memorise their lesson texts. They might understand nothing. They certainly cannot commence at paragraph two or three: they must start from the first word and go through to the end. However, they can memorise perfectly. So this is what these two girls did.
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]