Wow, so it’s almost a year since I left my masters house after becoming his disciple (story in separate blog post below), and went back to Norway. I have now returned to Wudang Mountain for two more years of study, and practice.
First, I just want to share a small story of what it’s like being a blond foreigner with a beard, I experienced on the train on my way down here from Beijing. As those of you who have been reading my blog for a while already know, I had a less than elegant departure from Beijing the last time I set off for Wudang. Well, apparently I will never learn since this was pretty much a rerun of last time, except this time I was lugging a guitar and two staffs in addition to everything else whilst tottering towards the departure hall and a boarding time deadline. Bucket loads of fun as I’m sure you all can imagine. Anyway, when I got settled on the train, and we were well on our way, I decided to go get some grub in the restaurant carriage. As I enter the carriage, the noise dies down and heads turn to look at me like some scene out of a horror movie, and the police man who saw me get on the train with my staffs whispers discretely (in China, that means hollering loudly while gesticulating with great enthusiasm), “This is the one practicing the staff.” Briefly acknowledging him, I swiftly move on to the chef sitting smoking a cigarette close to entrance of the carriage. He looks at me and makes a “shuffling noodles into your mouth” gesture, while looking at me with a mix of curiosity and confusion. I ask him "Could I look at the menu?”. He looks mildly surprised, and says “oh, he speaks Chinese”. This is then repeated by the waitress sitting next to him and subsequently by most of the other people in the carriage who are still staring at me quite flagrantly and completely unabashed. I order my food, and the chef who has had a ponderous look on his face for some time while I was looking at the menu exclaims “He looks like Liening! Am I right? With the beard and everything!”. “Who is Liening”, I ask. “You know, Makesi, Sidalin and Liening”(it sounds closer to the original names with Chinese pronunciation), he replies, hardly able to contain his amusement. “Oh, you mean Lenin”, I say ”Yes, exactly, Liening!”. “Ok” I say, and sit down to enjoy my meal while simultaneously being the subject of a discussion at a table close to me of which I couldn’t quite make out the topic of.
So what do you think? I’ve been compared to many people since I grew long hair and a beard, Viking, Techno Viking, a Chinese posing as a Norwegian, a lion,Thor, Saint Stephen, the Kungfu King, and a few others I can’t quite recall, but never Lenin. Maybe it’s just the fact that many Chinese think all of us westerners look alike anyway, and that having a beard disguising some of my facial features just exacerbates this conundrum. Hmm, but the lion doesn't really fit into that conclusion though. Who knows, judge for yourself!
|Spot the difference|
Ok, so this wasn't a Wudang blog, but I'll try to write one tomorrow describing all the exciting stuff that has happened to me since I began my life as a Wudang 16th generation disciple (which is a lot!) But right now my legs are hurting, and I want to sleep!
Lots of love!
Bjarte Hiley 凌远