Violent China

28 10 2012

Last night I assisted at an inline hockey match between China and Taipei for the 15th Asia Roller Skating Championship.

The Chinese team played with muscle, extremely little technique (except maybe 1-2 players), trying all the time to move the match to a fight to get the opponent team nervous. Chinese players got several 2 minutes punishment, Taiwanese none.

The match was very balanced, 5-5 for a long time until the equilibrium was broken by the several 2-minutes man-less situation Chinese put themselves in letting then the Taipei team to get quite easily to 9-5 with 2 minutes to go.

Go Taiwan!!!!

Then in a common side contrast one of the worst players for China, 7-77-99-96, numers of player that just fought, hit, kick and used the stick illegally, one of those idiots attacked a Taiwanese and then it started a typical hockey fight, that probably becuase of several not-sport reasons, degenerate in a bad fight. I assisted to 2 Chinese crazy “players” kicking a Taiwnese on the floor, hitting him on the face and trying to strangle him with the stick until several other people noticed (even Chiense police) and then intervened to stop them, while of course the violent fight was going on in other places..

Not the first time I see fights in hockey, but as usual when I see Chinese fights I am shocked by how violent these people (the Chinese, not the Taiwanese) are! They have so much anger in themselves, and I think I know why, but this is not a political blog ( 😉 ).

Then being in a hall full only of Chinese young students there for cheering any Chinese team and support the Chinese flag no matter what, since I was the only one buuu-ing the Chinese team, I got a few remarks, many bad eye, but I don’t think I was ever in danger (even if if I was sitting close to the field I would have probably tried to kick some Chinese asses). I also do not think the majority of Chinese student really realized anythiong about the sport (I’d say the same as the Chinese “players”, there only for fight apparently!), with the exception of one guy that then shared his thougths with me and they were surprisingly the same!

After that match, gloriously won by Taiwan, with the Chinese that lost face in many ways, we assisted to a completely different match between Iran and India. Iran scored 8-0 in the first 10 minutes, playing very softly and not pushing for humiliate the opponent. India, clearly inferior, tried to play, never putting the match on a fight level, even being so much inferior. Maybe because of the previous violent fight, but these two teams showed a very nice page of sport, with also a group picture at the end. Maybe given the huge level difference there was no reason to fight, but I am pretty sure that of ot was China under 8-0, some of the previous mentioned idiots would have found a way to turn the match into a fight. This time though, I would have loved to see the Chinese trying to fight Iranian or Indian big strong guys… Yeah, it would have been lovely!!!

Iran destroyed India

The sad thing is this is no exception: on the Chinese youtube pages (one is called Youku) it is possible to see several sport events turning in extremely violent fights.

At least in Aikido, the Chinese I met come with a more peaceful mind.. There is a hope!!! 😉

Culture shock in Taiwan

23 05 2011

relaxing gardensLast week after ages, I gave a look to a blog of an old contact: the person that introduced me to Flickr, then visited me in Norway and then I visited in Taiwan..

Many important things that unfortunately got mixed with 2 messed up personalities (hers and mine) and led us to be.. nothing anymore..

But even if I think she canceled me completely, I cannot do that, because thanks to her too, I had a wonderful time in Taiwan and I hope to go back there again soon. No risk we meet since she moved 😉

Jhu-Si templeAnd it is about Taiwan the reason I write this post. Among her posts I found a link to an article written by a Canadian girl that stayed in Taiwan a few months as English teacher, and she really hated everything there.

I read the article and some of the comments. The topic is about the cultural crash, so in the article one could expect a lot of “bad” things, seen from a person that mostly took the differences as negative. No judgement, just an observation this one.

A few comments got the same feeling I have: the girl made the mistake, for me terrible, to write almost only about the bad things, but, at the end, the post is about the crash she suffered! So it was understandable she did not want to write too many positive aspects. Also I am not saying that she was wrong or making things up. I share actually a similar point of view now with my Chinese experience.

Water robots?But strictly about Taiwan, she experienced Taichung, 臺中, while I went to Tainan, 臺南. She was in the center, I was in the South, and during my 10 days there I went North, all the way to Taipei,  臺北 (for 2 rainy days, but interesting stuff!) and then all the way South to Kenting, a paradise. I have only one huge disappointment from Taiwan: I lost many pictures!!! I cannot find anymore the pictures from Kenting and some of the pictures from the other places. My new good friend there, Iris, always tell me that it is fate that I will have to go back.. Probably it is, but for me losing pictures is almost worse than losing.. a finger!! 😦

pink houseFor me Taiwan experience has been 10 days of fun, discovery, lots of those done alone, new experiences, especially food ones, and a great chance to meet several nice people.

One thing surprised me of the girl point of view: complaining about people not speaking English. OK, in normal food street shops or other small shops it’s like China, but when I went out in the evenings or to larger shops even in Tainan it was quite easy to find people that could speak some English. Also I am sure the Canadian couple went almost only to ex-pat places, and there 90% of the locals can speak English.

In Taiwan I never really suffered big frustrations. But during my life in China I do certainly have shared some of her feelings though: I also hate to feel helpless, thing very common for me here, since I almost have no communication means. And the frustration kicks in, from time to time. She writes:

“Grappling with it all was exhausting. My days were marked by frustration, shock and disbelief”

But it is a little too extreme for me! 😀

harbour - anpingThings I don’t share at all are the complaints about bugs, pollution, confusion, food, etc etc.. I have been in Beijing during the Olympic games (when they had closed several factories just to decrease the pollution level) and only there and then I can say I experienced pollution. And I used to live in Norway (Canada is clean, but cleaner than Norway?? So clean that this girl can strongly complain?). In Taiwan I can’t say I felt oppressed by pollution. 🙂

The only bad memories I have from Taiwan is.. all the pictures I lost!! The complaints I would never be able to share are those about the food.

That is probably together with photography one of the best way I have to experience a new place, a new culture, a new country (another way of course is a local girlfriend.. and I have been lucky in this as well..).

I do hope to get back to Taiwan, maybe also for living there, as another step between my present life and my Japanese dream.. Taiwan is really there, along the way! 🙂

Japan vs. China

7 12 2009

[Written on paper 17/07-2009 – edited now]

Two countries that in the last 10 years at least have represented so much for me!

Let’s start with some highlights, from the top of my head:

JAPAN – Aikido (martial art that I practice since ’95, first point of contact with Asia, Japan); Iaido (practiced for a shorter time but reason for the firstunlucky trip to Tokyo); Mami (Japanese ex-gf and good friend); sushi and Japanese food; manga; anime; shodo; Tokyo-Tanabe-Osaka 2008 (great Aikido experience and meeting with Kaori and Michiko, many years pen friends); nihongo; many Japanese people met here and there; the mixing of tradition and modernity..

CHINA – Wang Ting Ting (first Chinese pen friend, reason for my first trip to China, Wenzhou – Feb.07); Han Xu (first girl I loved to the point to get close to propose); Beijing – Aug.08 (Olympics, a wonderful city and a great family experience, even if the family is more happy for her present younger cooler husband); Shanghai (many fiends, one special, Arielynn); Ningbo (a wonderful friend called Psydee); Hangzhou; zhongwen; many new close friends; kao ya and amazing Chinese food; traditions and modernity as well..

Parallel to these 2 main poles, I got other Asian interests:

Vietnam – that is actually my first contact and reason of Asian interest, because of course of a girl. Next I met and appreciated several Vietnamese girls, maybe the most beautiful Asian type for me, even if I haven’t had a chance yet to share more than chat with any of them.. not even a kiss.. But I don’t give up!

Thailand – after the break up, got interested in this country maybe just for a different Asian vision, more toward the South East. Met and closely known for some time a girl from there.. interested in visiting the country. It must be amazing. And knowing more of the pretty girls around there, being aware of th famous “lady boys”, “girls” with extra surprise 😉

Indonesia – a new friend here in Stavanger made me interested in this country. Mostly through her words. A pity she got too fast a bf and a serious relationship. But we share the same dream with opposite “directions”: I dream East, she dreams West..

Singapore – a few pen friends from there, one an amazing photography artist, Chen Xi.. another place I know through friends and that I hope to visit..

Hong Kong – same as above, I also know this place only through very pretty friends and a short transfer on my way to Taiwan.. I want to see more.. especially of the gorgeous people!

Philippines – I know only a little through photography contacts on Flickr: too sexy to be true! Until now, not too interested..

South Korea – that is place I have heard very much worth visitng, especially given that in Asia, both China and Japan are nowadays taking a lot from there, from South Korean culture, television, etc. One of the most beautiful girls I have ever met in my life, a girl that was perfection, is from there..

TAIWAN – last but not least. I left it here on purpose, especially after I was there in Oct.09. Very very very nice people. Nice country, great life, especially night life, beautiful places, gorgeous women. A person I knew introduced me to Flickr, she visited me, I visited her. I had a good time. A new/old contact will meet me in Christmas and new year, Italy and Norway. Lots of Taiwan in my year! I wish there were more openings there, but all the foreigners I met were English teacher.. and of course English mother tongue.. boring! (and almost all male 😉 )

In conclusion Asia is mainly represented for me by Japan and China, with an increasing interest in Taiwan. Japan had the “pole position” for many years, but even if my love story ended badly (as expected), lately China has taken a dominant position in my thoughts. Thoughts, dreams, goals, that in practice converge to a serious search of a new working career.

That is not because my present job does not satisfy me. Quite the opposite. Unfortunately, right now (since Nov.08) I would love to be anywhere else in the world than in Stavanger! But the challenging and interesting job I have here it is the only reason why I have not moved, yet! But the sudden death of a close friend of mine, close in age as well, pushed me to stop thinking about Asia as a dream but consider it a goal! And try to make it reality, because you never know what can happen tomorrow. I cannot and do not want to keep on postponing.

The good thing of my work is that it is project based. With a realistic deadline. Deadline that I can make it my own as well for moving to Asia, job or not! Feeling that I properly close my life here, the project in my work and start a new chapter.

So, Asia.. but what does it mean? Move where? I started asking myself the past weeks taking then a realistic decision: I am focusing on.. CHINA!!!

Am I betraying Japan? Why? The answer to the first question is partly yes, But the reason is very practical: Japan is badly suffering the world economic breakdown. Almost no job vacancies. Except for software or experienced managers. So, not for me. The choice of China as focus for my future efforts has not been easy. And not only for the betrayal feelings. Chinese language is far more difficult than Japanese and I think in China there are much less English speaking people than in Japan. In China, Shanghai is my main interest, also because the great Aikido club they got there! Beijing would be of course also a good place, not for Aikido though (the leader of the club where I practiced in Aug.08 was hitting on my ex gf before she became ex.. He got her email when she came there with me for introducing me to them.. and we were clearly together.. yeah, I know, she actually did give him her the email!! 😉 ). Any other place in China would be without Aikido, more special then (to start my own club!). But any other place would be a first step to Asia. And once there, focus on Shanghai, Japan or Taiwan..

Searching for a job in China, from Europe, and with only basics of Chinese language, is not easy, even with a strong CV as mine, and even stronger motivations. But this is just a little part of the main challenge of living in China after getting there. I regret I did not learn more Chinese from my ex when I had a chance. But on the other hand, I learned quite a bit about the Chinese way of thinking. That will help me for sure!!!

Wish me luck!

Flying to Shanghai….

18 10 2009

A few hours and I will be heading there.. my luggage is still so heavy!!!

This time I will have to pay some I am afraid.. worth, totally!! 😀

Tainan by foot!

14 10 2009

2 intense day of exploration of the city of Tainan, mainly by foot! Especially yesterday, I think I have been walking more than an average Taiwanese walks during a whole month.. since they all drive their motorbikes all the time!!! 🙂

After a very fast visit in Taipei, of only 1.5 day, I found myself one more time alone in a new place: the bad luck always finds me, and this time brought a quite bad cold to my local friend, Rose, so then she had to spend the whole at home relaxing yesterday before going back to work today!

So first thing yesterday I spent sometime between google map, wikipedia and tourist info on the net sketching on paper a simplified version of the map, and I set out on foot. The “problem” of Tainan is that Tainan claims more Buddhist and Taoist temples than any city in Taiwan.. 🙂 But I really appreciate the people that put many pictures on the google map with very good street references.

5 concubine temple

But I was very lucky to find close to the first temple I visited (the 5 concubine temple 😉 ) a small shop selling a bit of everything and.. maps! So after that, I set out more convinced to use at best my time.. and shoes.. and feet.. and I did!

Tuesday it was a full walking day and I explored downtown Tainan. Today I cheated (because my feet are literally dead) and I use the very cheap taxi to get even more far, going to the harbour area, Anping.

colorful detailsMany many temples I found yesterday, almost every street, more or less hidden, got one. Main difference from China are the extremely colorful details. Dragons and other monsters on the top of the temples have all the possible colors, while in China they are more stone or wood or simpler.. Every temple seems in competition with the next one in order to attract attention and the eye, not only the mind, of the followers.. And the trick worked for sure on me, but I guess that locals are completely used to temples and gates and all!

Walking around alone gave me unfortunately too much time to think also: I realized I do not miss a gf most of the time, except a few times in the night when I feel very lonely but especially when I am traveling. The best thing in my last relationship was that she enjoyed traveling and pictures almost as much as I did.. it was maybe the only things we had in common, even if probably if asked now, she would define me as the wrong traveling companion.. but some people have a real short memory.. or are unable to admit truth.. I wish I were like this!! 😛

harbour - anpingWalking and thinking I mentally wrote and erased and rewrote this and future blog posts.. the erasing part was quite easy, given the temperature and humidity of the these couple of days: it brought me back as well (auch! 😦 ) to my first days in Beijing in 2008..

Anping and the harbour area was also quite nice, even if a lot of road works closed admissiont to temples and other tourist stuff. But I had a long walk along the sea line.. I think the thoughts and the dreams drifted on my side.. the sun, straight down on my head, was boling my brain.. I could have had a mirage as well.. but if I did I do not recall it.. so it was not a pretty lady.. 😀

Late afternoon, back in the center and I have been not that shocked noticing the temperature: 27 degrees at 5:30pm.. my boiled brain confirmed!!!

the sun and the rainbow

First day in Tainan!

10 10 2009

First walk around by myself in Tainan, while Rose went home to prepare her stuff for the trip to Taipei.. later tonight by fast train!

The first night yesterday ended with a great night cap of St. Halvard, norwegian liquor, with Chris.. it was 5 am.. but i was not tired at all after visiting the best pub EVER: ARMORY pub in Tainan.. great place, great people, great fun!!!! Today I bought a cheap camera that I will use for party shots.. and I hope there will be many!!

I hear some fireworks outside.. today it is Taiwan national day, but not really celebrated.. more like Italy than China!

Check the pics, more to come!

Flying to Taiwan

8 10 2009

Today, now.. soon.. I will be on my way to Taiwan and my extra super holidays..

In Taiwan I will spend a lot of time with Rose, who visited me a few years ago in Norway..

smiling Rose

Together we went around in Stavanger, Trondheim, Røros and Oslo.. together this time we will go around Taiwan..

After that I will move to Shanghai for one week.. for practicing Aikido at Shanghai International Aikido club and partecipating to Endo sensei seminar over there!!! As happened in april, I hope to appear again in their pictures!!!!

When in China I will not be able to open this blog, but hopefully I will post from Flickr some pictures and some news about my trip! Keep in touch 😉