at home in... w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

Look Closer, Learn More, #GetAtHome In This World

Category: China Page 1 of 16

Japanese Zen Buddhism’s Hidden Roots in China: Hunan’s Baoning Chan Temple

In #microexploration manner, seeking to look closer and learn more, I returned to  the Baoning Si Chan Buddhist temple this summer.

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Learning to Live in China

I’m back in China. This being the third time I’ve come to live and work here, it feels like a homecoming – and living in China still comes with its own challenges.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but I think I can point to some usual issues. And provide my perspective, of course.

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The Long March to a China Work Visa

China has recently tightened the rules for China work visa, indeed.

What used to be a little uncomfortable more because it meant dealing with “scary” Chinese bureaucracy (but wasn’t), has become a lengthy and strange process…

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#GetAtHome in China 8: A Profitable Gamble, Hiking Lion Rock Trail, Hong Kong

My plan in going to Hong Kong had been to seek out the route, more or less along Maclehose Trail, that the Fjällräven Classic’s expansion to Hong Kong will take.

I couldn’t even find out the exact route, though. So, I had already planned to only go on a part of Maclehose Trail, and to detour onto the Lion Rock trail.

Now, there was just one more day left until our flight back to Austria. Forecast for that day: Clearing skies.

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Hong Kong's Temple Road in the Rain

#GetAtHome in China 7 – Hong Kong 1: 3 Days of Rain

Hong Kong is a pleasure, but also a pain.

The urban mass of humanity, the heat and humidity make it not exactly comfortable.
The mixture of East and West, the extremely urbanized city in proximity to nature make it fascinating to see.

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Haikou Sunrise

#GetAtHome in China 6 – Haikou, Hainan, Seeking China Understanding Living Like a Local

Tourism is a booming industry, but in terms of the #GetAtHome intention of making oneself really at home in this world, it is a very odd one:

Tourist trips, rushing to see everything, can only ever scratch the surface.
Staying at home tends to breed only boredom and not deeper engagement, though.

In between, there lies the idea of going somewhere to live there like, or at least see it like, a local.

What is China like for a Chinese, nowadays, on vacation but not entirely?

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#GetAtHome in China 5 -Travels through Hunan: A Tectonic Shift, a Creek… a Scenic Spot

It’s not as if Austria, Europe… everywhere… didn’t have their peculiar parts of nature that sometimes, suddenly, end up spots to see.

Hidden valleys, small waterfalls, forest outlooks, that sort of thing.

And yet, what makes something special enough to not just be there, but be something?

China makes that question particularly noteworthy.

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#GetAtHome in China 4 -Travels through Hunan: Temples of Note that No One Knows

The last thing to expect in Hunan countryside is a Japan connection, yet there it was…

In the eastern part of the Jiuxian Lake Scenic Area in You County, Hunan, just about as deep into the Chinese countryside as you can get without traveling back in time, there are two Buddhist temples.

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#GetAtHome in China 3 -Travels through Hunan: The Highest Mountain… Of You County

Climbing Everest would still get you points, ridiculous though it has become (with guides and porters who basically carry not just the gear but even some “climbers” up that veritable Disneyland of a mountain).

But climbing the highest mountain, which isn’t very high, of a rural Chinese county, which is neither big nor home to anything that would give it any claim to fame?

It doesn’t seem very much worth it, in the big picture.

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