Entering via ipad over unstable connection. So brief, and typos.

Assumed China still censored / prevented access to Nexus. But it does not prevent access here.

The flight is long for me. I fatigue easily. But enjoying this trip.

Staying with in-laws. What sweet welcoming people.

Beijing air is acrid smoky thick. At least, wS yesterday.

Changchun is old big industrial city in Northeast. As different from, say, Hongkong as Detroit or Cleveland woul be from Miami.

People here have strong Manchurian or Mongolian roots. Tall robust ruddy complexion. Plain spoken, earthy sense of humor. No attitude.

Staying with in laws who live here. Thats why we are here. What sweet down to earth people. So welcoming.

Food here is comfort food. Nothing like Chinese food in US. Wheat based filled dumplings, pot stickers, heavy noodles, sauerkraut. Filling and full of flavor.

Changchung is smoky dusty smoggy. I think here its dust blown in from the Gobi desert. All of the street flowers and trees are covered with desert dust.

Folks get a kick out of my efforts at Mandarin via phrase generator app on iphone. The do understand my attempts, whic is funny. Because knowvIm bad at it.

All for now. More later. Going with the flow, real break from normal life. Not a vacation paradise. But I think Im liking it far mor than I would, say, Acapulco. I know I am.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 17, 2013 at 2:10am
Love your commentary. Rest well. Thinking of you.
Comment by Daniel W on October 17, 2013 at 1:21am
Thanks for reading and the comments!

Joan there is a lot of meat but i do fine as a vegetarian. there are a lot of eggs. I wish I could identify the predominant flavoring. Maybe 5 spice. Seems like star anise is part of it.

The clivias are tropical, so raised as a houseplant. in that role they are pretty rugged. We grow them at home too.

Dennis the pollution is bad in this area. There seems to be a move to improve air quality but that has a long way to go. the other thing is cigarette smoking,n China has 1/3 of all smokers. The smoke us everywhere. If you have asthma this would not be a comfortable place to be.

Yesterday we went to a hot springs spa. i thing they are trying to heal me. :) it was nice. the road was very very bumpy. Some was just rubble.

watching out of the cR there were quite a few vegetable garsens. No flowers. Quite drab. it would have to be a tough plant to survive this area. The tree leaves are covered with dust. the vegetable patches seem to have mostly big cabbages, big onions, potatoes. Its a hard life in ghe countryside.

We went to cemetery in Jalin to pay homage to my partners' parents. The cemetery was colorful. When i return home I plan to upload some pics.

now to nap. Even riding in the car can tire me out.
Comment by Joan Denoo on October 16, 2013 at 1:58pm

I found this by Googling Clivias. Seems they need frost protection. 

Comment by Michael Penn on October 16, 2013 at 12:53pm

Interesting. I think the biggest problems you will have over there is the air and smog generated from nobody doing anything about air quality.

Comment by Idaho Spud on October 16, 2013 at 12:20pm

Interesting posts Sentient.

Comment by kathy: ky on October 15, 2013 at 11:39pm

enjoy yourself and get some rest.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 15, 2013 at 10:19pm
Thank you so much for your fine reporting. Happy to learn your partner's family welcome you warmly. Interesting foods; I enjoyed those type dishes while in China and the people were so gracious to me. I ate lots of peanuts and deep fried eggs while there, in all parts of China from south to north. Do they eat much meat? or eggs? Do they garden (vegetable)? From looking at Google Earth, Changchung looks heavily populated, and I see the dust source to the west. Love your description of communication. Healthy travels!
Comment by Daniel W on October 15, 2013 at 8:47pm
It would be better if I knew Mandarin. Ive made a few brief attempts. Life is too involved to learn such a different language at this point. Its fun to use the phrasebook apps on i phone or i pad. They vocalize the phrase and I parrot it. Then people laugh and say how well I speak Mandarin.

We went to the last Imperial complex, of the last emperor Pu Yi. Lots of education about how Pu Yi betrayed and abused the people, and was a puppet of the Japanese conquerors. history is filled with stories like this. Its a cycle, or recycle. I like learning this stuff. Its also a lesson about how privilege and oppression are ways that humans sort hemselves and one another out, and use and abuse each other - eithin the same ethnicity, not just among different groups. Thought provoking.

We went to a mens spa. sort of line a Turkish bath house. Super clean. mostly a lot of middlaged med sitting around naked in the hot water and sauna. A few commented on how white my skin is. Im not the most relaxed in my own body and thought, seeing my brother in law naked isnt exactly on my bucket list, or having them see me naked. But im much more relaxed about these things since my surgery this spring.

Lots of good food and smells. Love that. The trip is worth it for the food alone.
Comment by Daniel W on October 14, 2013 at 6:15am
Part 2.

As a gardener and tree lover its interesting to see how the plant street trees. The are planted as a wrist thick trunk, chopped off at about 15 feet tall. not much root. The treec grow a new crown from the pollarded top, some are chopped again and some not? Most look like something from Dr. Suess but with the ever present costing of dust. zthe are only the toughest of species? Willows, poplars.

The town has a fascination for clivias. There are neon clivias on the road from the airport. Sorry I didnt have my camera out.

The new economic revolution has passed Changchun by. That is in the Southeast, tjousands of miles away. There is new development. Msinly tearing town the one story delapidated walled tenements and putting up high rises. This area was hard hit by the cultursl revolution, snd befor that by the civil war, and befor that by the Japanese occupation. But people are very nice everwhere I go here.

Its cold. I had to buy a winter coat.

I dont mind everyone having conversations I dont understand. Its like being in a flock if birds. I dont mean that in an insulting or bad way just there is communicayion everywhere but Im not part of it. Strangely peaceful.

I dont think people in Changchun are into Buddhism or other religions. Almost no churches or religios imagery anywhere. Ive been to Hongkong and Beijing in the past. More religious imagery there but not as much as the US.

All for now. Signing off. This is a healing break from my normal routine, amd gives me chance to reflect, learn, experience, and think about.... stuff.


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