Archive for the ‘ournews’ Category

Lao Chai and Ta Van Village, Sa Pa, Vietnam

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Trek-outside of Sa Pa Day 2 Sunday, December 30, 2012

We said we wanted an easier walk today from yesterday’s trek up and down the local hills (mountains to my legs) through the rice paddies of Lao Chai and Ta Van Village. We hiked with the Henderson, from Liverpool, who we met and trekked with yesterday, at breakfast and we all decided to have another go and village hopping. They are on the way to stay with their daughter who has started a language school in Siem Reap, Cambodia, using her own money.

So we went firstly to Ta Phin village about an hour’s drive and two hour walk from Sapa, the little hillside village located in midst of the Hoang Lien Mountains. Several tribes live peacefully here: the Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong people. After getting past the overnight ‘sleeper’ (we didn’t sleep due to a hard mat and a loud rattling old train) and the hour winding climb to the town the journey of exploration is fantastic.

our-guideOur guide was an 18 year from the Black H’mong people (they wear black clothing). We said to her at the start that we did not want to buy stuff because the day before we were followed and hassled so much – and we did buy a lot of stuff yesterday – we just wanted to trek and be left alone. She said whatever to everyone that came at us and we had a great day of walking, talking and of course climbing up and down so much.

I took a lot of photos of children, something I rarely do as in some places people get really upset. When we were in Guatemala we were warned not to take photos of children because they get kidnapped and sold to Americans; we could have gotten beaten, killed or worse – they would have taken our camera. But here no one seemed to mind. I have posted some in an album in Facebook and Google+ and in my Flickr account in this set http://www.flickr.com/photos/neuage/sets/72157632393552028/ and I will have more in my webpage for this trip when I get home to Dalian China next week @ http://neuage.us/2012/Vietnam

_DSC4232

Our guide, perhaps Vivvie – that is what we called her, which was close to what we think she said her name was, and she was OK with that was really good at answering our so many questions. Her English was quite good and she humoured our lame humour.

On Saturday nights in Sa Pa they have the ‘love market’. We kidded her about going tonight to it and she said ‘but no one wants me’. We of course said that was not true and when we passed some young male who looked at her we would say ‘maybe you should meet him at the love market’ and she would laugh and say no. Actually a lot of people in her tribe get married through arranged marriages and she is planned on going to Hanoi to university next year to start a teaching degree (gosh darn who in their right mind would want to do such a thing?) and come back and teach in her local village.

Here is a little about the Sa Pa love market that I borrowed and stole and amended from the world wide web; “Sa pa is famed for its “Love Market” – sort of a cross between a peacock mating ritual, a Middle Eastern arms bazaar, an Amish square dance, a bad Pavarotti concert and Bangkok’s Patpong (except here the people wear clothes). On Saturday nights, Red Dao hill tribe youths of both sexes congregate in a weekly courting rite, singing tribal versions of Loretta Lynn love songs to woo the opposite sex. The songs are highly personalized and boast of the composer’s physical attributes, domestic abilities and strong work ethic. While Dao women are indeed highly industrious, the men, it seems, prefer to spend most of their time drinking, smoking opium or sleeping, only occasionally slapping the rump of a lethargic bovine moving more slowly than they are. Few of their songs, though, are about drinking, smoking opium, sleeping or slapping rumps.” Lifted from http://www.sapatrain.com/local_market_sapa_laocai_vietnam.html

_DSC4421

We did go through the market and saw much carrying-on Saturday night – with a group of males playing instruments and dancing in the church square, see photo above.

I saw this woman in the local stream washing her clothes and I am not sure what she thinks of being single by the words on the back of tee shirt

_DSC4335

I asked Vivvie lots of questions – I don’t remember many at the moment but some were:

“Are there police/law-enforcement people in your village?” She said there wasn’t and the village didn’t need them. Having lived in the States for 40-plus years and Australia some 22 years and now China it is difficult thinking that a society could exist without law enforcement. What is wrong with a village where people do the right thing? Surely they should have automatic rapid-firing machine guns like they do in the States available to everyone. Surely there are people who murder, rape, steal and generally misbehave. I think all the villagers should go live in New York City or any city in the States for a year to learn how to live with other humans. She said she was a Buddhist, of course that explains it – one of those hippy-like religions where people respect each other and don’t kill animals for food or each other for sport. Those tripped out belief systems where people care for one another and work together. No wonder the Yanks bombed Hanoi and Vivvie said they bombed Sa Pa too – we cannot have people running around like this who respect one another and who look after their environment and who are not materialistic wanting more and more. Can you imagine being happy living in a house like this?

_DSC4293

Really, look how stressed out these kids look who are not playing on their iPhones or laptops

_DSC4274

_DSC4280_DSC4302_DSC4327Vivvie said there people have been in this area for about 1500 years doing pretty much the same stuff. What has changed in the villages, or most of them, is that they have electricity and television but most people do not watch and they are too busy living life to stay inside and spend time on the Internet and watching TV. Tourism is changing life in that people have money but she did not say much about what they do extra in the past few years with the influx of Westerners. She said she thought she would get paid ten-dollars for today’s tour – which was about five hours with us. The Hendersons and we each gave her five bucks which equals her day’s salary. She refused the money but we insisted.

She said that when a woman got married she had to live with the husband in his village. There is intermarriage between villages but it is the husband’s village that is home. She said she would not get married until after her uni but at 18 years old and not having lived in a city I wonder how much of that will remain. She said when people do leave the village they almost all come back.  Even though she seemed quite liberated she said most definitely she would live with her husband’s tribe if she married someone from another village.

There are a lot of languages but I think about six main ones in this area and they do not understand other languages but they all learn Vietnamese and now English. So they communicate with each other.

One thing that is so different from our glorious Western ways is that people barter and help each other out in emergency no wonder America was out bombing them and the communists hated them. There seems to be a lot of tension between the communists and the H’mong people though I think it is the ones in Laos that have had the most trouble according to the Internet.

Last year there was snow for the first time in memory or some-such-time-period and a lot of water buffalo died. They are expensive and a primary part of the life in the villages. The people have gotten together to help each other out giving rice and etc._DSC4300

Of course we were interested in how does one buy land and live in such a great environment. Apparently one can buy land and live here – something worth exploring.

We bought a lot over the three days here and got a large embroidered  bag from the Flower Hmong

As usual everyone seems so short…_DSC4255

Well off to Hanoi and another overnight train.

I am sure I will write more about our visit to Sa Pa but this is all for today.

morning walks

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Morning walks before school are what creates our day in many ways. We have been doing morning walks before school for years; ever since living and working in New York City. We tried to walk every morning from the World Trade Centre subway stop to Narda’s school in the west Village, St. Luke’s. I was a bit unemployed for a couple of years though it was more of a study period so I could get my teaching degree to supplement my PhD to work overseas. In NYC I could teach in private schools but it was time to be more international and what’s another degree when one is already in their 60’s? The NYC walk would take about half an hour and I would go on to the gym and workout for an hour and a half to keep the rust off the bones and keep the old body going for another couple of years. The walk along the Hudson was one of my favourite walks in the world, and we would walk whether it was hot or snowing and cold – always the best times.

We continued with our morning walks before school here in Jinshitan as soon as we got to Dalian American International School. Only a few times, when the weather was dreadfully cold, we didn’t walk. Our walks were always to the beach, Golden Pebble Beach, a 20 minute walk each way.  This year since we have been back, a month now, we have been riding bikes in the morning. We still spend about 45 minutes, but we get to see more, going further and exploring areas we normally did not get to when we walked.

Yesterday we decided not to bike but walk and instead of going on the road we went bush – well that is what they would say in Australia, away from the rapidly built up area across from us and the school. A couple of years ago this whole area was country but now it is being built up at a rapid rate. Our school is about five years old and teachers who have been here for a while said there were pigs roaming around and living here seemed quite out in the middle of nowhere.

We have drivers here that take us to the light rail, into town or wherever we need to go. Jack, our main driver – we call all the drivers Jack, because they all are his mates; when we need to go somewhere, whether to the airport or shopping, we call Jack and someone shows up within ten-minutes. When we get the real Jack we joke with him that he is the real Jack, though I doubt he understands anything we say. None of them speak English but they know where we want to go because we go to so few places; airport, light rail, Kaifaqu ,Dalian…  What I was going to say and got into a bit of an off spin was that Jack grew up here – really here. He lived where the school’s football/soccer oval now is.

Before I upload some photos from our walk I want to see if I get blocked for writing something. I have noticed that in Facebook, which we have to use a VPN for which should make us out to be in another country, that if I say some things not only does Facebook stop but I get knocked off line for a period of time and what I wrote does not show up. For example, I wrote about a certain group which is banned for their meditative ways and bang I was knocked off as soon as I put the name of the group in. I was telling how our local ex-mayor’s wife was being charged with the murder of a Brit and it was linked with how bodies were obtained for the shows that are so popular in the States showing bodies. They are prepared and done here in our local city of Kaifaqu, a burb of Dalian. The bodies are those of the practitioners of so and so group which I am not saying as I want to post this and not have it blocked. The other thing I said recently in Facebook was just mentioning how our school was closed due to an approaching typhoon – that the government suggested all schools in our province be closed because the storm was the largest in fifty-years, and I wrote; “who am I to go against the Chinese Government?” and those must have been some keywords that blocked me. The storm changed course enough to go over to the right and hit the Koreas and I had put that the  North one got primarily hit but when I put the words Korea and North together I was blocked again. So we are seemingly allowed to use a VPN though locals I have heard can get into strife using one because it is supposed to be tunneling through the Great Firewall of China which is illegal but we really are watched all the time. And of course there was the fight between Google and our host and I can only get onto my gmail when I am on my VPN – as service we pay for. A few people have had their VPN shut down – the provider, but so far ours, which I am not saying which one, is going well. I think the strife between Google and here is that they refused to not say stuff about the square in Beijing and what happened there.

It is the same with all the guards we have around the place where we live. Are they guarding us from some outside threat or are we being watched and kept track of? We go outside of our compound all the time and there are no threats but our housing and school is surrounded by a large fence with guards at the gates and even guards inside the gate in the lobby of our apartment building and at the entrance to our school.

Back to our morning walk and some photos:

the Dutch-Australian wife in her element - holding freshly picked Sunflowers

the Dutch-Australian wife in her element – holding freshly picked Sunflowers

the strange looking ship in the background on the left is in the middle of the highway leading to the Golden Pebble Beach resort area. Directly in the back is the new million dollar houses that are suppose to look French – we don’t like them, and to the right is our home and school.

fog
outside our window

It is often this foggy outside our balcony; and is now as I write this and it has been like this all day – we hope it is not smog, but on a clear day we can see the sea and the mountains and the guard station at the entrance…

Our maids are so good, very friendly, a couple of them are trying to teach us some Chinese words, Narda is doing much better than me, but we are hopeless. Every morning they have a bit of a talking to. There is a person standing in front of them and they all say a few things back and forth in unison. We have no idea what they say. They line up by size , I got this photo on the way to the lift before our morning walk – this would be about 6 AM on the third floor. On the second floor the guards line up, by size too.

sweeping
sweeping

What I like most about this photo is the guy peeing in the background. A common site in China. Why go looking for a toilet when there is the whole out doors? They use these sort of hand made brooms to sweep the roads in all weather. In the winter they sweep the snow off the roads with them – not that we get much snow. Last winter we had two days each with about an inch of snow.

local dude

The locals are so friendly. This man was along our walk in the countryside.

It really is country where we live but in a few years it will all be built up so we enjoy bush walking whilst we can.

Dalian American International School
Dalian American International School

This was the first photo we saw of Dalian American International School on the Internet and we love walking past it in the morning and thinking back to not much more than a year ago when we were jumping up and down in our hotel room in Shanghai, after our interview, because we were offered a contract to teach at this school. We were so excited. That was January First 2011, we were returning to the States after Christmas break in Australia. We were living in NYC and Narda was at St Luke’s and I was wondering if anyone would hire someone approach 65 years old. By June 2011 all our belongings were on a ship headed to Dalian and by August 2011 we were teaching here – just a bit over a year ago. Now we feel like locals. And yes it is possible to have a good job and be 65.

What happened to capitalism and what happened to communism?

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

At first we thought it would be a luxury hotel. Then someone said it was going to be a winery still others said a display home. Whatever was going up at such a rapid rate was looking quite interesting. It was going to be kind of French as there is a large development going on across the street called ‘Chateau de Bourdeux’. By the large scale developer Haichang Land Limited. They were over in Paris at a wine festival recently pushing our neck of the wood’s wines.

It was all a mystery until today when after two months of watching this thing being built it looked rather complete and we decided to have a look-see. The person at the front door of the mini-castle, built in a few months, was very friendly and invited us in. The fact he could not speak much English and our Chinese has yet to kick in did not matter. It also did not matter that we looked pretty scruffy. I had not shaved for a few days as it is Sunday and I slum it on the weekend and Narda was not dressed for a party either. We live in Campus Village across the street and have been watching the building from our window.

We really did not expect what we saw. It was like one of those USA Michaels arts and crafts retail chain store had dumped all their most tacky plastic stuff into one place for a showcase; Michaels on steroids. In the main area of the showplace thingy there was a pretend bar where we were served coffee. Wine bottles were everywhere as well as wine barrels. They do not sell or serve wine, it is just for looks. We asked to go on a tour of a display home and Peter (his Western name) Chinese people take on Western names because us simple people cannot pronounce their Chinese names. I know this is good at school, especially in my class where there are four people with Kim for a surname and Korean names I am unable to pronounce for their given names. The Chinese names are even more difficult to say, at least for me. In our office at school, Snow is the one that keeps us surviving in this environment and Sunshine works in the front office too.

So Peter shows us around the ten-million RMB house (about 1.2 million US). It is four-story and looks as if someone read a child’s picture book of France and threw in a bunch of made-in-China things, oh wait! This is China.

They are building 700 of these homes across the street from us. These are summer homes for the wealthy, mainly from Dalian. So far, according to Peter, no one has bought one because they are too expensive. But the idea is they will be lived in for four weeks a year as holiday homes. The rest of the time our neighbourhood will be empty except for us teachers.

We wanted at least a new restaurant or pub or some shops put in but Peter does not think that will happen.

What happened to capitalism and what happened to communism?

There is a video on youtube at http://youtu.be/dTioCA7Ct44

And that is where we live – in the back to the left of Narda on the third floor facing the castle for the rich Chinese and us school teachers get to live at Campus Village but we are happy and that is what matters.

Funny that I happened to be wearing my Tour De Francetee shirt today from when we were there last year in the real south of France. Those cranes to the right of me in the back are where they are building the 700 new homes as part of Chateau de Bourdeux. Go figure!! The blue roof in back of Narda is the school’s new swimming pool. In the hills to the left is Blueberry Farm and a great restaurant we all go to on Friday after school.

Timeline of ournews

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Timeline of ournews.mobi = 74 hits as of November 28th when added to video clips on ten sites

11/28/06

  • Google = 10,600 for neuage (second) 1,260 for terrell neuage.
  • Lycos 1,450 neuage (first)  653 for terrell neuage.
  • Altavista 4,140 neuage (first)  1230 for terrell neuage.
  • Yahoo 2,200 for neuage (first)  1220 for terrell neuage.
  • MSN  806 for neuage (first)  274 for terrell neuage.
  • Netscape 299 for neuage (second) 137 for terrell neuage.
  • searchmash.com (google’s “secret site”)= 10,400 for neuage (second) 908 for terrell neuage.


Year to November 28 2006 Basis:  171198 Page Views

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 2082
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 871
neuage.org/terrell.html 691
neuage.org/ODAM.htm 644
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/laugh_in_french.htm 599
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/umbrella.htm 579
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/you_took.htm 541
neuage.info/textuality/may2000/romo/may02/romo5-02.html 474
neuage.org/picture_poems/better.html 471
neuage.org/picture_poems/born2.html 463
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/playing_by_the_sea.htm 448
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/your_nails.htm 395
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/memories.htm 389
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/bandit.htm 336
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/glow.html 336
neuage.org/picture_poems/black.html 317
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/predicted.htm 304


July Basis:  17918 Page Views

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 249
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/umbrella.htm 90
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/you_took.htm 79
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 76


August Basis:  19649 Page Views

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 454
neuage.org/ODAM.htm 71
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 71
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/laugh_in_french.htm 61
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/you_took.htm 59


September Basis:  21460 Page Views
 

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 460
neuage.org/picture_poems/zebra.html 112
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 111
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/laugh_in_french.htm 99
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/you_took.htm 95
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/your_nails.htm 85


October Basis:  24984 Page Views

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 334
neuage.org/All.htm 282
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 163
neuage.org/ODAM.htm 84
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/you_took.htm 72
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/laugh_in_french.htm 71
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/memories.htm 65

neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/playing_by_the_sea.htm

November 1-28 Basis:  41091 Page Views

neuage.org/All.htm 182
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/windows_open.htm 145
neuage.org/picture_poems/balloon.html 120
neuage.org/terrell.html 101
neuage.org/picture_poems/romantic/kisses.htm 81


September

5th. Narda’s school wanted PC back

6th.. Narda took PC back

7th. Got PC back

18th. registered our-newsletter.info http://ournews.mobi/about.html

19th. four plus hours on our-newsletter.info added mobile to it

26th. began Illustrator CS3

28th. Illustrator and Fireworks 8

October

12th. registered neuage.mobi

13th. began working on neuage.mobi

13th Registered our-news.mobi

16th. registered ournews.mobi

17th. began using GoLive CS2

18th. told Claude Anderson about idea she suggested registering for SEAP

25th last day of Flash 8 installed flash lite and used emulator for examples of mobile phones

28th. HopeValley Newsletter

29th. registered HVUC.mobi

30th. SEAP thingy at Brooklyn library

November

1st. 250 more RAM – (worked on story most of day)

Started MMS using HVUC.mobi – 29th

2nd. Added E-Mail news@hvuc.mobi 21zakut3

           Added search at $5 per month  $100 costs so far for hvuc = $60 one year search + $39 two –year domain name.

3rd. sitemaps  – all  – spent about six hours http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

5. six newsletters for Hope Valley Church

6.   two newsletters for Hope Valley Church

7. Individual pages linked from http://hvuc.mobi/URLs.htm

8. made ad see neuage.org/ad.html and put on about 20 sites including many old sites – seven hours and added to Google maps and etc

9. Used GoLive most of day

NEXT HVUC BULLETIN 12NOVEMBER

10. text lists of sites for robots sitemaps see below

   made mailbox  information@ournews.mobi

12th Sunday created ‘family album’ in ournews with Narda – about six hours

13th Monday worked on embedding videos all day – making page for each video

14th Tuesday morning added all ournews sites to sitemaps put 37 videos in the album pages into ournews giving 89 urls in ournews so far. To theidealschool afternoon – 3 PM found out about La Salle position

15th. Began learning C++ using tutorials and downloaded Visual C++ 2005 express

Submitted to Google sitemaps (updates) geocities (25 pages previous), neuage.org (306), ournews (4), hvuc (34),

Downloaded visual basic 2005 express

16th  interview at La Salle afternoon

Began sitemaps on 1and1

HVUC issue 19/11

17th visual basic tutorial and some C++

19th sitemap for spymac into google

C++ tutorial online

20th in the morning before going to La Salle for second visit – downloaded java – bean listened to tutorials on java

Afternoon tried to do sitemap for geocities = 194 urls

23rd Wednesday told didn’t have LaSalle job

25th realized had Internet on cell phone whilst in Cape Cod

26th Narda did her myspace  set up a myspace for Leigh

27th Monday started photo album with slide.com

added put Leigh’s photos on his myspace; our travel on ournews – album; and started several other social networks and uploaded our trip photos to them


November 05 2006, terrell neuage. ournewsdotmobi

1)     xanga
2)     hi5
3)     Friendster
4)     WRETCH Korean don’t know if working
5)     MySpace
6)     Yahoo 360 degrees
7)     Facebook
8)     Blogger – sent to neuage

28th Tuesday added cape cod video and subway # 1 train to 7 sites

1)     iFilm both videos

2)     Metacafe cape cod video

3)     Bolt.com cape cod video

4)     youtube both videos Friendster uses youtube
5)     xanga just 01-train
6)     MySpace both videos

7)     hi5 just 01-train
8)     http://neuage.zippyvideos.com/ both videos GOOGLE’S VIDEOS

9)     http://www.travelervideos.com cape cod video
10)  Daily Motion
 
Added picture poem slides to neuage.org = 6202 hits at time

Uploaded about a dozen videos to google

clip by Terrell Neuage for ournews.mobi helping news to become mobile

Worked on story

Added new pages

Add to neuage sitemap

http://neuage.org/graf/graffiti.html

http://neuage.org/graf/europe/03/index.htm

Add to ournews sitemap

http://ournews.mobi/MurrayRiver.htm

http://ournews.mobi/BlueMountains.html

http://ournews.mobi/CapeCod.htm

Add to hvuc sitemap

http://hvuc.mobi/2006/November/19.htm
http://hvuc.mobi/2006/November/12.htm

http://hvuc.mobi/2006/November/26.htm

29th Wednesday  added travelervideos

December

http://jettyday.blogspot.com/index.html – mobile blog

01-02 to Rochester did following clips:

1)     http://ournews.mobi/RoyalShow.html

2)     http://ournews.mobi/acrobats.html

3)     http://ournews.mobi/acrobats.htm

4)     http://ournews.mobi/leighPITCH.htm

5)     http://ournews.mobi/bongo.htm

6)     http://ournews.mobi/101.html

7)     http://ournews.mobi/MurrayRiver.htm

8)     http://ournews.mobi/BlueMountains.html

9)     http://ournews.mobi/100song.html

03 Sunday  google = 111 pages for ournews

added above and below to Google videos and youtube did following clips:

1)     http://ournews.mobi/Bruges.htm

2)     http://ournews.mobi/Hamburg05.htm

3)     http://ournews.mobi/15second.htm

4)     http://ournews.mobi/Prague.htm

5)     http://ournews.mobi/Singapore.htm

6)     http://ournews.mobi/PortRiver.htm

04 Monday

blog.ournews.mobi / blog.neuage.info


 05 Tuesay
Domain neuage.org
Domain neuage.info
Domain
neuage.mobi > /neuage.mobi
Domain
our-newsletter.info > /news
Domain
our-news.mobi > /our-news
      IN OURNEWS FOLDER
Domain
ournews.mobi > /ournews 
Domain
hvuc.mobi > /ournews/HV
Sub
sample.ournews.mobi > /ournews/sample
Sub
sample1.ournews.mobi > /ournews/sample1
Sub
example.ournews.mobi > /ournews/example
Sub
example1.ournews.mobi > /ournews/example1Sub blog.neuage.info
Sub blog.ournews.mobi
Sub
narda.neuage.info
Sub picture-poems.neuage.info > /pp

score – $ BUSINESS