I don’t just Sing in the Shower…I perform

Despite the intense cold, lack of indoor toilet, and any heating device. One of the most heart-warming (get it?) amenities I have here is the fact that we have hot shower all day every day because of the solar-powered heaters we have on our roofs.

Because of this I have shifted from “a man of few showers” to “a man who sings in the shower” everyday. But when I sing, I don’t just sing, I perform. It’s like a full out concert, I do like at least 3-5 songs before a small water break to brush my teeth and wash my hair, then I continue with another 3 songs or so.

Sad thing is, the people living around me aren’t so appreciative of my talents, so I have been adjusting and singing more Chinese songs and in a quieter tone than before as a compromise. Hopefully I can actually get a bit better at singing, cause if you know me at all, I suck at singing, even worse than I am at womanizing.

Winter Is Coming….

My sincere apologies for not writing anything for the past week, I have been busy preparing for winter. I have never done this before, so it took awhile.

Because we don’t have heating or anything that magically makes you feel warmer in the winter like an AC, we have to prepare ahead of time when the temperature is still above zero degrees Celsius. We got mats to cover the cracks in the front gate and got out all the heavy coats for indoor usage, sometimes I think it’s colder indoors than outdoors because at least there is the Sun out there to bathe you with his warmth. We also collected all the wheat and corn we grew, and prepared the garden for the harsh winter.

There are also some advantages to the cold weather though, because of it we actually have our own fridge now. All you have to do is leave whatever you want to keep cold outside at night, and BAM the next morning it’s magically cold. And if you want to freeze it, just put it in a tub of water and leave it outside. Right now, it is still late Fall, and temperature are ok, ranging from 40s to 60s degrees Fahrenheit, but starting in November there are going to be some fluffy white visitors from the sky and warm-ups are going to get more important.

I heard from my mother that Walnut still has 90s Fahrenheit weather?! so predictable.

Someone Tried to Steal my Wallet

Someone tried to steal my wallet, and succeed.

People’s Republic of China just had it’s birthday on 10/1, so there is an eight day holiday from 10/1-10/8, and as a result there are literally hundreds of thousands of tourists at my “new home”. Because we haven’t seen any people other than ourselves in awhile, I took my fellow trainees down to the temple to people watch. We saw man, woman, children, elders, and I was like “people, wow! haven’t seen you guys in awhile”.

But with people comes trouble, and when I was squeezing through the masses, I felt someone grab my upper thigh (where I kept my wallet) and quickly ran away. I don’t know if it’s cause I watched too many parkour videos, but I was like “you are not getting away with it” and quickly sprinted away in pursuit into a cluster of people with my homies behind. Sadly, I could only keep up with the thief but never over take him. But honestly, I was thinking “if you are so fast, why not go run track, why steal from me.”

I didn’t have any money in my wallet except a “2 Dollar bill” I kept cause it was cool. But I did have a post-it note that my buddy gave to me in 7th grade, a piece of paper on which someone wrote a list of my “faults and personality problems”, and a copy of my driver’s license and green card, so I had to get my wallet back. Knowing I couldn’t catch this guy, I started screaming to him “hey, I don’t have any money in it”, “give me back my wallet, you ____”. Apparently he heard me and check my wallet, and after seeing that it had no cash resorted to throwing my wallet in a ditch. Thank god the ditch wasn’t wet, but the dude got away. If I ever see that guy around here, or his blue jacket, I am going to ask him some questions.

I need to train even harder now, if I can’t even catch up to a petty thief, how I can call myself a “disciple of the Shaolin Temple”.

Taiwanese Drug-Dealer Wisdom:

For those of y’all who do not know, there is a new Taiwanese dude currently training with us. He is a young journeyman who travels the world, distributing “grass” and other “pills” to people in grass-less concrete jungles, in other words he is a world traveling drug dealer from Seattle. Despite being a high school drop-out, he is not only extremely knowledgeable but also very articulate with his ideas. So I have decide to help preserve his ideas by documenting his “wisdom”.

1.) “Getting woman is like fishing, you don’t just go throwing your bait at one fish. You will never catch any like that.”

2.) “If you want to sell drugs, don’t go big, cause then you have to deal with Mexicans. No one wants to deal with Mexicans.”

3.) “You think you are in good shape? I once had sex for 6 hours, non-stop.”

4.) “You live in fucking America and you don’t know what “herpes” is? Don’t talk to me anymore.”

5.) “It’s not about the size, it’s how you use it.” (i think you know what he is referring to)

6.) “Don’t be fooled by my appearance, just cause I have tattoos doesn’t mean I am a bad-ass.”

Out of all the places in the world to learn about drug-dealing, womanizing, and weed growing, it had my to be my time here training as a monk in the most peaceful and tranquil place I know. Oh the irony, but I never refuse an opportunity to learn. So I will continue to absorb and preserve his “wisdom”

No!! I have Soccer-girl Booty

If it wasn’t for the new jade mirror that a wealthy banker donated to our temple this year, I would not have notice. But wow, walking back to my cottage from practice in my sweatpants, I noticed something protruding from my back in my reflection. Turns out it was my new “soccer-girl booty”.

Now I don’t know if it is the thousands of squats we do everyday or the fact that every time I sprint up Dharma Cave I would sit on this huge rock thus causing my gluteus maximus to grow sideways? The good news is that it’s bigger, but not THAT big. It’s like a “mid-fielder” soccer-girl booty, not a “defender” booty yet, that would be indelible.

What am I going to do with my newly acquired soccer-girl booty? I don’t know. Does this present new “job opportunities” back in the States? maybe. Would I consider following in the footsteps of Magic Mike? No.

There Are Lots to Do Here….

Been talking to my friends back in the States, and they all mentioned this common theme that “there is lots to do in college” as a Freshman. Well guess what? There are lots to do here at the temple too. Allow me to explain.

On any given day, we can sit down and look at a tree from the East, West, North, and the South. We can look at the sky, then look at the ground. We can go climb a mountain, then look at the sky above, and the ground below. We can use ourselves as live baits to capture insects in the bushes, we can even go take a dip in the waterfall that currently has no water. We can kick a bag, punch a bag, knee a bag, hug a bag, kiss a bag, for an hour or ten hours. We can practice the same kick a thousand times, or practice a thousands kicks once. We can walk for 5 hours without seeing anyone, I bet you can’t do that in college?

Living here might be extremely “boring”, if you are  judging from society’s current opinions on what’s “boring” and what’s “fun”. But personally for me, I see it as more of a peaceful and quiet respite, something that is rare and hard to come by in this busy and fast-pace life of today. I see it as an experience within my personality that will be a blessing over my life and help me cope with stress later on.

Shaolin Penguin Fist

Instead of actually practicing our routines today, we spent the whole day sprinting up and down our mountain. Sometimes with one leg, some times with no legs,  a couple of times with tornado twists, and the rest were just all out runs for nothing but pride. Seeing that we were fatigued out of our minds, after only 3 hrs, coach decided to give us a break, so he said “go run 10km, then you are down”.

We were all so thrilled to hear that, so we smiled and skipped all the way down the mountain towards the trails, and on our way there we drove by the training house of the martial monks. At the time they were doing some weird form that none of us has ever seen before, so being the curious and brave (cause we would be beaten if we were caught there) individual that I am, I decided to stay awhile and try to learn it.

But when we back and I started demonstrating the what I saw, it ended up looking like “Happy Feet” meets “Karate Kid”. It was pretty weird, but had elements of practically such as the shifting from side to side with hands by your side, that could actually be used in a real right to distracted your opponents…if you were fighting 5 yr olds. We ended up naming it the “Shaolin Penguin Fist. I am pretty sure I am the first to create a penguin style, but I could be wrong

Today I rescued some wine, it was trapped in a bottle.

I just found out that we DO NOT have heating here in the winter. And it’s only October and the morning and evening temperature are already around the low 40s. Considering that we live nestled between two mountains, the wind isn’t our best friend either.So as the not-so-creative and selectively-eco friendly person that I am, I devised a plan to keep warm without burning anything and creating too much green house emissions.

Drink extremely high alcohol percentage Chinese Rice wine before I go out and do my morning runs and climbs at 5:00am. I am talking about like 65% alcohol or higher, but just half a cup before and after, not too much. Just enough to generate heat all the way from head to toe. I have asked my grandma to open up her 30 yrs old wine cellar and and send me some vintage “spirits” that she saved before the government started managing spirits productions in the 80s. Cause as we approach November and December it’s going to be a whole new experience for me, because I have never trained in below zero degrees Fahrenheit weather.

Let’s see if this works.