So we stood there Monday morning discussing when to go out for dinner to say goodbye to Matias, my roommate. We lined up and the biggest bombshell fell on us. Master Du announced that Master Wei were to leave the school to pursuit other interest. Everybody was stunned and I must I was very sad about this.
I have had the privilege of having Master Wei train me alone every Tuesday. He was teaching me something called gungfa, which is a mixture of qi gong, tai chi and kung fu. It was developed by a Chinese doctor who made this form for health exercise reasons.
The thing that made Master Wei so cool to have around was that he was always so happy, always walked around with the biggest smile on his face and he was very excited in your behave, every time you did something right or improved.
I think a lot of people in our family feels very sad about him leaving, especially the students who taught their first kung fu forms from him. He will be missed around here.
So Monday night we went to the BBQ place to say goodbye to Matias and master Wei and whilst we were there to welcome our new master to the school, master Wang, last but not least it was also Monas birthday, so a mixture of celebration and goodbyes.
A great night it was, which included another Chinese cream cake, my god we have had a lot of those lately.
Goodbye Matias, yea he gets a small section for himself, because he was my roommate and he is a Dane like me hehe. He is already missed by all the students here.
It wasn´t hard to say goodbye for me, because we will seeeach other a lot when I come back home. This gives me the opportunity to talk about friendship, because Matias and I knew each other before he came here, but we were not friends. These six months has given me a new friend, a close friend which I am very happy about.
This is also what this kung fu adventure is about and why we are here at the maling mountain academy, to meet new people and gain a lot of friendships, even if it is from your own country. When you live, train and have fun together like we do, you simply become a family, a family you wouldn´t live without. This is also why we train kung fu at maling academy.
Another thing that has changed in our family is that our big family now is divided into two groups. One group trained by master Wang and another group by master Du. Team Wang and team Du, I am in team Du, which I like to call the du´ers. I must admit I am not feeling this change, of course training wise you have more time with the master, but socially I think you lose a lot, when you are divided. Some may say: but Morten aren’t you there to train for the most part? Yes I am, but in my point of view I like to be social while training, as a former coach in different sports, I know how much the social life and the fun can make training better. So us divided in two groups doesn´t go well in my mind, because I feel I am missing out one some of the fun happening during training. Mostly because Brage (the master of injuring himself or do stupid, but hilarious stuff during training) is in the other group hehe.
When that is being said, there is no doubt in my mind that being divided in two groups is better in the long run, because of the continuously growing number of students in our school.
During the night we had a new student coming from Australia, I haven´t had the chance to introduce myself yet so more that later on.
My personal training is going well. Friday I ran a marathon as my preparation for the great wall marathon. This was my last test before the wall, and now I only have to maintain my form until the marathon, which means I won’t run more than a half marathon on our stamina-training on Fridays.
Other than that I just finished my snake form and will soon begin another animal. My plan is to learn Crane, tiger and eagle, but since master Wei left I have been in doubt about the eagle, because he showed us a competition eagle I really wanted to learn, but we will see what happens. Nonetheless that is my plan for now, and if I have time maybe the five animal form in the end or a small fist form.
Next week will be a short training week for me, given I won´t train Monday and Tuesday due to my marathon run Friday. Usually when you run a marathon you should take at least a one-week period with no training, but since I don´t want to lose too much, valuable time in my kung fu training I only take two ekstra days. Wednesday I will be back in training and also I will be back at tai chi training again in which I have had a long break from.
I am sorry, it has been a while since my last update, and I am sorry to disappoint again with not putting up interviews of the students who lives here. The thing that must not happen to a computer happened to mine.
More about that later.
I will take you back in time to what we as students would like to call hell week. We called it that because the training got a bit more intense. After our holiday we suddenly faced Master bao at the line-up, because master Wei still wasn´t back from his holiday. Everybody knows that master Bao´s way of training is different from the other masters. He says himself that his training is a little bit stricter. A BIT STRICTER? That is the same as calling a sumo-wrestler chubby. My god his training nearly killed us. Okay okay for starters we might let the Monday cleaning slide a bit, so when Master Bao came down from room check he was a bit agitated. He called out, -“everybody horse stance” and mean while he let us have about our rooms wasn´t clean enough. Mona of course took her time translating because it wasn´t her standing in horse stance. Maybe she was fast, but it didn´t feel like it. So we got another chance to make up for our poor room cleaning. Apparantly it wasn´t good enough, so we were all taken to each room so everybody could see what was wrong. We started in Matias and my room. Our beds were not good enough, which I didin´t agree upon at all, cause they were fine. But according to master Bao the beds should look like we were in the military.
Our rooms were not the worst. I am gonna sum up, what was lying in the beds. Cellphones, computers, clothes and oranges, was lying in the beds under the blankets. Yeah I know, you are still thinking about the oranges. We were also very interested in that explaination. Brage the one I like to call the fake Norwegian, answered when asked what this was. It is oranges, but I eat them continuesly. Everybody wanted to burst out in laughter, but no one really did, because we weren’t exactly on master Bao´s good side.
So apparently in Norway whilst eating dry fish and ice bathing they warm up their oranges under the blanket, to eat em continuesly. We still joke about that, because that was hilarious.
We came outside to start basics, and my god did we get basics. After the first lesson I started to wonder if this was it, was this the time to die? Other thoughts came to mind.. . it is Friday right? My legs feel like it is Friday. But no, it was Monday and the first lesson was just finished. Welcome back from holiday…
Monday to Wednesday were extremely painful training-wise, – my god the week after I still felt the training. This week was not a good time to be training for a marathon. But I got out for a 10k anyway. Pretty proud of myself, mostly of the fact I didn´t die on along the way, hehe.
Wednesday afternoon everybody was gathered outside for a little talk about life at the academy. Everybody thought this was the aftermath of our poor cleaning skills and poor training performance, but it wasn´t. it was just Master Bao who wanted to hear how we were doing, and how our life was here at the academy.
It was very nice to tell people around you how we felt about the school and the people around. When it came to my turn, I told it as I see it.
I am here in china, where I have a home. I feel home here at the school and I see everybody around me as a family. Master Bao being the Dad, Lisa the mom, the crazy but caring uncles master Wei and master Du, and not to forget our grandparent’s mama and papa Bao. Yeah in this metaphor us students are the kids. This is actually how I feel. I love living here, even thought my culture sometimes crash with the Chinese culture.
It is the people around you that creates the home, the culture and life.
Master Bao ended the day by telling us, that he just wanted to show us how it was to e trained like they do in the temple, and the simplest thing is the motto that gets you through the day.
If it doesn´t hurt it is incorrect.
In other news, well this blog is called 30, inspired by Adele´s first two albums named by age. It is because I had a birthday the 23th of February. Turning 30 is a big deal for a lot of people, but for me, it isn´t bigger than turning 27. Mostly because I don´t feel 30. Okay okay Master Bao made me feel 60 the week before but still.
I had a good day with what we now call terror Tuesday, because Tuesday is one of those days where there is a lot of injuries or those days where people wake up the day after feeling busted in their entire body. I celebrated my birthday by getting punched in the face and kicked over my legs, but I kicked someone in the face too, so it was okay…
when can you ever say you celebrated your birthday like that?
Thursday was a critical day for me, because the thing that must not happen, happened. My tea pot fell down and hit my laptop and of course it hit the exact spot where the harddrive was. GOODBYE to all my stuff on the computer. So here you are, in China where you don´t know where to get it fixed or anything, and I had all kinds of thoughts. –“what if it couldn´t be fixed? Are all my things gone now? Do I have to live without a computer for 5 months?
I went downstairs to Mona and told her, -“Mona you and I are going to Xinyi to fix my computer”. We went with the bus and got to a place where the guy after two seconds said my harddrive was gone. Hmm when you lose your hard drive you can only think about which things that are lost.
So I was told that he could put in a new hard drive and windows 7 for 330 kuai. I must say this is one of those times you just love China. 330 kuai and 50 minutes to fix my computer. That is cheap, but my main concern was to change the language to English, because I can’t read Chinese. The next adrenaline rush was when my computer was running out of power. I didn´t bring my power adapter because in Denmark they would have one lying around for the purpose. So the computer guy stood there with a cigarette in his mouth looking at me while my computer said 7% power left. Meanwhile the computer was updating the system. With 3% of power left, the computer finished and I was happy.
Even though I lost a lot of things from my computer, I don´t see it as a big problem. I see it as a new beginning, because at some point I had to clean up my computer anyway. The reason why I didn´t have a backup is because I thought I had one on my eksternal harddrive, but when I looked at it, it was a backup of a Samsung computer, just not my Samsung computer.
I was happy but couldn´t live with half Chinese, half English windows, so I started to ask around to get a newer Windows. Luckily I have this friend who is not only providing me with VPN service for free, but also has the newest programs lying around. So now I sit here with windows 10 and office 16 writing my blog. I just finished moving my music from my ipod to my computer. So all wasn´t lost. There are some old school assignments I lost, and there are a few pictures and videos I can´t get back, but that is it. All it cost me was 330 kuai and about 15 work hours to get my computer back to where I want it.
but all my interviews for this blog are gone. I don´t now if I willconduct new ones, we will see.
So this week we just finished has been a lot of fun, and I have been in Wangchuang several
times. It started Wednesday. My back has been very tense lately and blaysian Gregs knees well they are about 80 years old. So we wanted to go to the acupuncture. Greg was amazed afterwards because of his so called “new knees” and my back was pretty good to. Friday we went again, this time Kasia went with us.
Side-note. We have gotten three new students since my last blog, Steven from France, Kasia from England and Shane from America. Kasia is now the only girl at the school and it is really nice to have a girl around. The dynamic changed for a couple of days before we went back to being boys who goes a bit dark in the conversations. We have these ethical conversations where we get a question, what we would do, which really makes us getting to know each other, but some of the questions are really really out there, and it is very boyish humor.
So we went for acupunctur and I hated my life in there. I don´t know if he just wanted to hurt me, but every needle he put in me was like a samurai sword, he hit all the right spots, and for some reason he put two needles in my neck so I couldn´t move at all. It was an hour of torture for me, but afterwards it felt good.
One our way home we took a tuck tuck, which became a very funny story.
First of all, we have gotten so use to using transport, so We sometimes forget to ask for the price, but in this case we really should have done that. We came home with the tuck tuck driver, and first we gave him 20 kuai which it normaly costs, and he started to scream out loud, and of principle I didn´t want to give him more, because that is the price. Okay so we gave him 5 kuai more, but he continued to scream and shout, and I said to Greg, come on we are going now, because I hoped he would go away. They usually do. But this driver followed us into the school area and kept on screaming. Master Du came out and told us to go inside, but the driver followed us, so I had to think fast, and I am a 30-year-old man, so I took the adult choice and yelled, run and hide. So there we were, hiding in the toilet. Greg 29, Kasia 27 and me 30 years old. The reason why I wanted to hide, was I didn´t want the driver coming up to our rooms and see all out stuff.
Master wei and Mama Bao joined the conversation with the man. Apparantly he just wanted to cheat us, so when we gave him 5 kuai more, he just wanted more. He didn´t take the 5 kuai, he pushed them away and wanted more. Master Du told us, if we have given him 10 kuai more, he would still be yelling for more.
I still think this was a hilarious story, especially because we hid in the toilet. So you think I am done now? Noooo
One more story to tell. So we were in Xinyi yesterday and when we wanted to go home, I suggested to go to the train station to grab a van. On the way there, there is this big park, and apparently there was something going on, so we went to look. NOT THE BEST IDEA hehe. They were teaching kids how to do CPR. When we came there everybody stared at us and the whole purpose was totally gone. None of the kids were looking at the demonstration.
A cocky as I am, I tried to tell the kids not to look at me but at the man showing them how to save life, and I thought to myself, if I demonstrate it then everybody would look because I am a laowei. YES the teacher inside my immediately stepped in. But before I could take over I was asked if I could show the kids how to do it.
Suddenly all eyes on my showing the kids how it was done. It was very fun. When we tried to walk away the others got held back because everybody wanted to take pictures. So we started to pose in Tai chi poses, and right in the middle of it, this old woman came and did tai chi with us, just slower than us and her steps were a lot lower than ours. It was amazing.
To finish of a great day, we got a van back to the school for only 60 kuai. Normally they take 80, so that was cool.
I stil love to be here, and since last time, I have finished the broadsword form and begun the snake. The plan for me is to learn snake, tiger, crane and eagle form. The weather is getting a lot better too, as you can see in the picture, so it is nice to snake it up outside.
There are more and more students coming and going all the time, so we get a lot of new members of the family.
In this month we will have another girl and in April it is time for some danes to arrive.
Remember you have to hide your power behind your softness.
The more you learn, the more you forget, so practice.