Crazy day!

30 06 2010

That’s all about Tuesday June, 29th.. crazy day!!  

Weather – Finally summer caught up with the calendar.. In the morning I was soaking wet just wearing the shoes! I thought it would have been a crazy hot day, so then when I saw some clouds assembling in the sky and I could feel a soft breeze while walking from the office to the clean room, my hopes of not dying before the end of June got high again! The breeze though was just lightly covering the terrible humidity.. Then, I went to work in clean room for a few hours (a space with carefully controlled temperature, humidity and all, a paradise when outside is too hot or too cold!) and when I got out.. it was a rain storm!!!! And still the temperature was probably around 30!!!  

glowing hot

Kitchen – When I got home I suddenly thought to be back to my youth, when camping in South Italy (Vieste) a night rain storm had flooded the camping.. My family and I had to spend the night in the tent of friends, since our was completely flooded (my dad got bitten by a mole while recovering stuff from the rain!!). The day after we had water everywhere, also in closed luggage. Anyway, when I got back home I had a flooded kitchen.. because, in the morning, I had left a window open (with only the mosquito net on the aperture)!    

flooded kitchen

Cooking – It was time to cook (and clean), so with half mind on one task and half on the other, I managed to cut myself with my super good extra sharp knife (present from Kim, for the first Vestlandet Aikido festival in Haugesund).. and almost set afire the kitchen (the part not flooded) because I am not used anymore to gas stove (14 years dealing with Norwegian electric stove).. In fact a wood tool for steering the food was just a little bit too close to the flame, and it took fire!!


T-shirt – In the night, after cleaning and mopping and drying my kitchen, I had arranged to meet friends at Madison for watching together Japan – Paraguay (go Japan!!). So I went to the bus stop.. and realized I could have used the only Japanese – not Aikido t-shirt I have.. After a few thoughts if changing or not, I decide to go back and wear the t-shirt.. On the way back to my place I was stopped by a girl that asked me a couple of things in a quite good English and said she would have liked to meet me for a chat.. and she is actually a neighbour!! Casualty: if I hadn’t decided to go back to change the t-shirt I would have not met her.. 🙂  (the girl in this picture is not the one met by chance…. 😉 this one is met by purpose! 😛 )

at Madison

Supporting Japan – In a bar full of Chinese, I watched the match Japan – Paraguay. My friends there were supporting Japan and I was quite surprised to see that most of the people were actually in line with us! Most of Chinese were for Japan! And Japan deserved to win during the regular time (if they were playing against Italy, they would have won, no doubts!) but they arrived to the penalty lottery too tense. Paraguay players were, or appeared, so much more relaxed, much cooler.. Who were the latins? 🙂 Honor to my great Japan!!


Teaching in Hangzhou

28 06 2010

Practice in HangzhouSecond visit to Hangzhou for Aikido practice, with the only (main) difference that this time I was the instructor, not only the student. A bit of both, as often in Norway!! But main thing for me was the great chance to practice for a full weekend with people very eager in learning and sweating on the mats!! Exactly what I do not have in Hefei!

Two long sessions, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, two great dinners with the local people and a very interesting Sunday morning where in company of one guy of the club, I went to a part of Hangzhou I hadn’t seen before, the old streets.

Some part of the first session one of the higher graded students of Hangzhou club took the instructions, so I could also get an idea about their basics, their level. They are into a Hombu dojo kind of Aikido, reminding in some ways the same kind of Aikido I have learned during my first years in Trondheim. Back then the club had a good mix of young instructors, trying to keep the place going at its best.. and seeing where Trondheim Tekisuikan club is now, I can only say they did a great job! I have big hopes for Hangzhou, given the people on the mats were not many but with a great spirit!

Then I took over, with little respect as usual for the time.. all my classes usually last a bit longer respect to the supposed end.. always had this problem! I focused the main session on ikkyo from different attacks, introducing morotedori jodan and gedan variations. And then to finish in some funny way to apply what learned, I proposed a sort of randori with “free” attack among the ones we practiced (shomenuchi, katatedori ai hanmi, morotedori) and only one technique: ikkyo omote. I was quite happy to see people trying also the techniques just learned!

Practice in HangzhouA big surprise at the end of the practice when some of the girls there asked to fold my hakama: wow! I was honoured by the treatment!! And also Sunday I got my hakama folded by another Hangzhou aikidoka.. Thanks a lot!!

Sunday sessions have been first working on less basics techniques from shomenuchi attack: soft form of kotegaeshi (more based on foot movement, hips, kaiten and no real hard grip on the wrist), udekiminage, soto kaiten nage, sumiotoshi. All together, keeping always the entrance from the side of uke (out of the line), these techniques sort of covered different ways to meet the attacking arm. Sort of main arguments for the practice were both keeping/protecting the center line (as uke and tori) and understanding that an effective technique does not need to be hard on joints or else.. but being soft is always an advantage.. OK, for these topics one weekend is not enough.. but to create some curiosity or interest, I think it is a good start..

Second session completely focused on mae ukemi, where I presented to them some of the exercises that I learned in Norway too.. and then easy technique (kokyo nage) in order to work mainly on the falling. Basics can be boring, but all the people that has practiced with me in Stavanger know that I want to work on kihon in order to achieve a good level of basic techniques and especially ukemi in order to not regret it later, when more advanced throws and techniques do not leave any room to mistakes.. for avoiding injures!

Traditional food in HangzhouAs you can notice from my posted pictures, apart from sweating on the mats, we had a great time eating all together in 2 extremely good restaurants. Also Saturday lunch, thanks to Michael and his future wife, I had a chance to taste even more traditional Hangzhou food.

Best way to combine Aikido and after practice experiences! Even better when the company is as good as in this club! I hope I will have a chance soon to go back and practice with them, because at the end that is why I went: teaching and practice, more practice! As I did this weekend, showing every technique on all the people on the mats, and then go around the mats and having all of them applying the technique to me. I need to practice, I need to be thrown!!

i love 杨梅 in 白酒!!!Extra super good memory from this first visit: Michael’s sister gave me a bag of yang mei (杨梅), a great fruit that I just love. With a part of it I will make a special drink, done mixing it with the local grappa 😉 called bai jiu, 白酒 (literally white wine, but it is a 45-60% spirit!!

Super extra great thing of the weekend too is that thanks to the patience of all the people on the mats, I also learned some Chinese!! I probably learned more Chinese this wekeend than in 3 months before.. that reminds me how I learned both Norwegian and my basic Japanese.. Aikido way:

左  zuǒ   – left
右  yòu   – right
前  qián   – before / in front / ago / former / previous / earlier / front
后  hòu    – back / behind / rear

不趵 bù bào  – do not jump
柔  róu   – soft 
放松 fàng sōng – loosen / relax.. used this one quite often!!! 😉

..oh, by the way, Aikido in Chinese is: Hé Qì Dào.. but I knew that already! 🙂

Officially a Chinese worker!

25 06 2010

Today I got the good news that my trial period can be considered ended and I am officially hired in the company!
It happened a couple of weeks before the official deadline and the supervisor evaluation based on my achievements and participation and work gave me 83 points out of 100. Not disappointed being a first time in my life!!!

Tomorrow early morning, 04:34 am (!!), I’ll take a train to HangZhou for participating an internal Aikido seminar with the local club, where I will also teach a couple of sessions, together with their instructor. Very happy and excited! First time teaching in China!!! 🙂

All of this after the humiliating match of poor, little, disgusting Italy, finally going home from the World Cup.. It was not a great evening, yesterday, at least until 30 minutes after the end of the match (that basically I was watching alone at Kim’s bar.. chatting with a Norwegian guy who’s travelling around the world!). Then we moved to Madison, and thanks to the friends there, Melody and John, and then 2 new encounters, Meng Meng and Xiao Jie (respectively 17 with a body of a model and 22 with a body of a model..), I forgot the sadness of Italy.. and enjoyed the night.. 🙂 Still went home alone, don’t worry.. besides the 17 y/o one got already a.. girl-friend (yes, China is quite modern also respect to homosexuality, even in a small place like Hefei!).

Many things on a 2 days span.. looking forward to the next 2 days!! 🙂

FUNNY THING OF THE DAY – Summer is still merciful!! At least here, in the deep south of Hefei where I live and work: not that hot, a nice refreshing breeze in the morning and evening, today also during the day. Cloudy, a bit but also not always. In other parts of China it has been raining for several days or it is already melting hot.. They told me that in a few weeks it is going to change.. and then it will be hot here as well! Then, I will suffer.. I guess my last 14 years of green winters (Norwegian summer.. more common in Troendelag) probably will make me pay!!

Friends in Hefei!

24 06 2010

I met Young in October 2009, when I came for the first time to Hefei to visit the company where I work now.. and thanks to him, my trip back to Shanghai has been less a nightmare than it could have been!!!

After that, he moved from Hefei, but he still comes back here from time to time.. and we meet, like at this hot pot place for Dragon Boat festival (端午节, duān wǔ jié)!

Good to see you, man!

Bicycle misconception

23 06 2010

I am starting a new category, called Chinese myths, where I will comment on some stuff that for us, Western people, are a typical expected trademark for Asians. Now, this is only from my own limited personal experience!!! Very possible I will change my mind with after more time here, and I will of course appreciate comments from real Chinese or laowais that have lived in China longer than me!!

When I wait for the company bus in the morning, standing in front of the main entrance of the block of buildings where my apartment is located, I watch the street and mentally count the bicycles. They are not that many! I think China is the country with the absolute higher number of bicycles only because its huge population. From my little experience, I think in Japan there are much more bicycles relative to the population (I’m sure there are statistics on Wikipedia, but ignorance is ok.. for this!). On a second thought (and few minutes “cazzeggio” – procrastination) I google it, and the Netherlands have the highest amount of bike per capita in the world.  Not surprised!  

Alternative taxiOf course the story is completely different if we talk about 2 wheeled vehicles in general, not bikes only, but motorbikes and, even better, e-bikes, electrical bikes. The majority of the traffic, except for buses, is composed by bikes. E-bikes, in particular, occupy a leading position among the 2-wheeled vehicles. They could contribute to bring a bit more “green” in China, but of course most of the trucks and other commercial vehicles are so old and polluting that the e-bikes are green only for the owners, who save fuel money 🙂 Quite common also to see 3 people on the same bike (as I experienced myself), sometimes even 4 people (a couple of kids, maybe even a pet). Or three boys together on the way to work, this is also common!

You can still see extremely old models of bicycles though, and no real distinction of male or female models: students especially get the cheapest, no matter it is a pink 12 years old girly bike.. If it got 2 wheels more or less round, and something to steer, then it’s a good deal! Breaks and gears, optionals.. seat, better having it, but you can do without! Very often you see 2 people on the bike, usually the girlfriend sitting in the back, sideways (like a girl, especially if with skirt should sit!), with sleepers or that kind of open shoes hanging from the feet few inches from the ground and never falling down..

Someone told me that China now is very different from 5+ years ago: back then there were almost only bycicles around, together with very very old motorbikes. Not difficult to believe.

Bye bye Rae!!!

22 06 2010

She’s leaving to Shanghai for some time..

yes, I know, I’ll miss her..

a little!


Someone really misses me!!

22 06 2010

(The finger is about the second comment, not the flag of the country I am really loving!!!)

Back in Stavanger, some coward moron thinks I still need updates about my ex and her new life…

Thinking maybe I still care or trying to hurt me, for some reasons..
It must be some of the few other lovers she did not care to satisfy or else, but personally I do not really care!!

I know you miss me, moron, but I moved on.. 😉

Dude, I’m in China, having the time of my life and I am more than happy to not be the father of that kid she’s going to pop out soon!!!

Next time leave your real email so we can have a chat: I published on my blog several comments from this moron.. at first I got hurt, but now I miss the purpose of keep me informed.. unless, the moron wants to make me happy!!!

So to the moron and the ex, welcome to reality..

..and F@CK OFF!!!!