The sound of a fishing line snapping

30 07 2013

Subtitle: Fishing? God it’s so boring!!

Second day in Wuhan Aikido seminar for Dominique Rascle 2013 China tour, and for some reasons the locals decided to have a free day.

How to make it interesting? Go fishing!!

Really??? You gotta be kidding!

So here we are (when I’m writing) on the shore of an artificial fishing “paradise” close to East Lake, 东湖, where there is a major water space probably with bigger fishes and several small areas delimited with fish nets where there are several smaller fishes.

Dominique proved to be efficient in these smaller pool and got a few medium size fishes. I thought we were going to free them after capture but they put in a side net: dinner?

Consider that right now there are more than 35 degrees C in Wuhan, the sporadic breeze is really welcome. Otherwise it’s like to sit in a sauna: thank god at least most of fishing area has some roofing to cover from the hot sun.

People that live fishing say that on the peace they got time for thinking or for escaping from reality…

Good for them, but I already do think too much and if you want to escape from reality go and live in bloody Longgang village for 6 months!! I need reality: a nice shopping mall with AC and full of pretty girls shopping and smiling and walking around in typical Chinese summer skimpy clothes!!

But here I am with other 7 Aikido sweaty guys and lots of crickets singing or laughing at us!!

The day turned briefly better when they gave me a can of beer. From my mental image of fishing, I usually save only the beer drinking and bullshitting among guys. Former, checked. Latter, all speak Chinese and Dominique is taken by the fishing, so I bullshit here for future blog posting 😉

The highlight until now has been the fishing line snapping (no, not catching fish in an overpopulated pool): beside us there are three other guys and one had got something really big… Until the line snapped! I was surprised by the sound: it’s really loud!!

Second highlight if course eating the fishes!

You are American!

6 09 2012

Funny conversation with a child on the train to Wuhan for the weekend seminar with Dominque Rascle (I’ll wrap up all the Aikido parts in one post later on, after this long tour in China of Dominique for this year!).

I was sitting and reading and as usual I felt the presence of someone standing at my side and looking at me, at my book or at both. Common feeling, of a common presence, every time I read my book either on buses or trains: Chinese are curious by definition!

This time it was a little kid, not so much taller than my head (and I was sitting): he stared intensively at the book, then at me and then said:

你是美国人!You are American!

It was not a question: a clear statement, as a matter of fact. I was American!

What? Me, American?? I tried to reply at once: 我是美国人!! 不是!I am not American! Not!! But the kid did not want to accept it: he stated once more “You are American” and ran away!

When it came time to get down the train, some stop before mine, the kid appeared again queuing together with his parents. So he pointed me to the father and said: “He is American!”.

I felt I had to try to take a stand and I told him, as clearly as I could: 我不是美国人! 我是意大利人!, I’m not American, I’m Italian!!

Italian is 意大利人 = Yìdàlì rén. The boy seemed to think about that, pondering the words and then a sudden understanding shined on his face:

“ohh… I know (我知道), 你是澳大利亚人!!!!”

澳大利亚人 = Àodàlìyǎ rén = ..Australian!!!!!

OK, he won! I gave up!!!

Aikido & Aiki-Jujitsu

2 12 2011

First of all, I have no idea if there is something practiced for real as Aikido+Jujitsu (I did practice Aiki-Jutsu with the gifted master soke Yamaue and I loved his applications and inputs on the art!). I also know, even if never practiced, the art called Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術), and I met people practicing it, and heard some discussions about this interesting martial art as well.

I am not trying to start a new definition or denomination of something!! “Aikido+Jujitsu” is just a name I gave in my mind to the Aikido form that it is practiced in Wuhan dojo. An Aikido form that for many aspects is closer to what I know (very little I admit) of Jujitsu. I mean, as wikipedia writes, Jujutsu, 柔術, the Japanese form, not the also interesting and more modern Brazilian form.
Read the rest of this entry »

Wuhan food experience

22 11 2011

Like Hangzhou, also in Wuhan, every time I visit, my local friends enjoy to take me to eat some local popular food.

This time I had a chance to taste one of the 2 typical kind of noodles from Wuhan area: 炸酱面, Zhá jiàng miàn, or black bean sauce noodle was my breakfast, while Yang Bin took the one even more typical called 热干面, Rè gān miàn, hot and dry noodles. Both are common breakfast treats, together with a beef soup (maybe next time!!).

I tried once before the hot and dry noodles, but bought as already made in a box here in Hefei. I admit then, once given the choice, I decided for the noodles without the hot part!! Wuhan is famous for both hot weather and hot food, in the meaning of spicy!!

In fact I had also a chance to taste another tasty street food: barbecue squid (鱿鱼, Yóuyú) à la Wuhan! My friends know I am not eating very spicy, so they asked for not spicy.. Remember that normally the squid is white: so even the “not” spicy version is somewhat spicy, since it is cooked in some special oil mix. The only difference form the spicy one is the add at the end of some powder “magical” pepper thing.. that would make me cry for several days!!!

Great time in Wuhan

炸酱面, black bean sauce noodle

Great time in Wuhan

鱿鱼, squid (bbc)

Other 2 great food experiences in the weekend have been the meals before and after Aikido practice. The former, to give some base for energies (I could only eat a little, knowing my body!!) has been a hot pot ( 火锅, Huǒguō) from a street vendor straight in front of the dojo area. First I have been amazed by the speed they set up the whole place, and the perfect organization (doing the same day in day out).

After practice we went, together with several Aikido people and the TaeKwonDo club boss to another place to have supper, or the night snack (宵夜, Xiāo yè), that was actually a huge dinner!! Among the tasty (and quite spicy dishes) one special little fish from Yangtze river (that cuts through Wuhan) was quite delicious. It is called 泥鳅, Níqiū, in English loach or mudfish. “Scary” name, but tasty and similar to eel, that I love (even if the fish looks very different!).

Great time in Wuhan

火锅, hot pot

Great time in Wuhan

泥鳅, mud fish

FUNNY THING OF THE DAYIrony and sarcasm: Chinese have no idea of what they are!!!! I experienced that many times.. maybe they have it in Chinese language.. but even with people that have a great English, they seem to not catch the meaning between lines.. even if when I do not do anything to hide it (I am sort of very direct!!). Met this girl in Hefei who was working as English interpreter, she’s been long together with American dude and moved to Shanghai to live with him. The girl is desperate to get marry. After 2 months living together, they broke up.The moment she moved there she cut all communication to me (QQ mainly, even here). Few weeks ago she calls me and tells me that now she is single and always like me and wanted to meet me. Told her I have gf and not looking for a change. But since I go often to Shanghai we could meet in the future for a chat. Then she disappears again until today when out of nowhere she sends me the message on QQ that she got bf and she is very happy and really in love (Chinese girls use the word “love” quite easily.. topic for another post!). I am polite saying I’m happy for her and closing the chat.. but she continues repeating the same, and he is so good, etc. so I just reply: “Saying I could not care less it is an euphemism.. at which she replies… “thank you so much, I am so happy!”……. 😀

So cold.. in Hefei!!!

21 11 2011

As I wrote in my last post, I was a little afraid about the
autumn/winter weather in Wuhan, city famous for the extremely hot summers but where, I have been told, the winters are far from mild..

And I was wrong!

This weekend weather in Wuhan was extremely good: the kind of Trondheim (Center Norway) sunny average summer weather.. Very enjoable to stay out in t-shirt or just a light sweater. Sitting outside a cafe, drinking some iced coffee, eating ice cream.. perfect way to spend Saturday afternoon after a good practice!

Great time in Wuhan Great time in Wuhan

Different story when I arrived in Hefei yesterday night and especially this morning on the way to work……

Winter’s coming, Norwegian experience or not!!

Aikido on my mind!

19 11 2011

Not only on my heart.. and hopefully soon I’ll put both, heart and mind, “on” the mats!

Time to wear my keikogi again!!

These days I have been extra busy, mostly with after work tasks and things to do, mostly for fun or.. “fun”.. (or remunerative part time activities, still taking though lots of time). The result has been too much time with zero physical activity (except a quite productive weekend cleaning home)! And you cannot imagine the effect on my already not optimal condition.. uhm.. of the belly!

A couple of nights ago I met a few young students from the local university that I knew from before and a couple of new ones. They were eager to speak English and one also studied Japanese as second language. So, from the general speaking the conversation moved to Aikido.

Then I showed them 2 videos from the net (available on Chinese pages as well!): Read the rest of this entry »

3 sessions in Wuhan!

27 09 2011

Back after a very nice trip to Wuhan where I practiced for 3 sessions. A bit more of a challenge with respect to Shanghai last weekend, where I had one weapon class and 1 hour short training before the club went through the graduation test.

with 2 sweet girlsLast Monday my body was aching (muscles and Aikido related pains, not particularly RA ones!). And then during the week the swelling had come back, even if for only the time to scare the heck out of me.. Yesterday the body was ok. Meaning some condition is coming back. My knees were again a little painful at touch (especially right knee, the one that got the big inflammation), but nothing too bad. Ankles and foot did not show any swellnig sign, but then I wonder toward the end of this week (as last week – some sort of delayed effect?). We’ll see, even if I really strongly hope for nothing too bad!!

Anyway, the time in Wuhan was again a really happy time. Besides the good Aikido sessions I mean 😉 Read the rest of this entry »