Business Travel

Baseball Field Sanming College, Sanming City, Fujian PRC

I don’t really travel for business  though sometimes I wish I did.  That way someone else would pay for it.  Most of my travel is for pleasure and to see the world.  Though I did travel to China to teach and coach baseball for 2 and 1/2 years/

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Help I Have Gotten

When I lived in China the people there were very helpful-with some exceptions.  Many of my students showed me around, translated, took me shopping, taught me about there culture and brought me to their homes.

Mike Aufil.  When the restaurant I worked at in Stillwater, OK Bobo’s closed and I didn’t have a job, Mike gave me one.  He brought me to his home and had his wife cook for me.  He tried to mentor me.  I never thanked him

Mike's Last Ride

Mike Barnes.  He and his wife Lin invited me to their house at least once a month when I lived in Sanming City.  Lin cooked a wonderful Western-style dinner with mashed potatoes and potato salad.  And at least twice a week Mike and I went to the brothel outside the gates of the school, for ice cold beer-a rarity in sub-tropical China and fried peanuts.  And the young ladies company of course.  We would bullshit and watch the cathouse’s mascot Tommy the rat run scurry around for peanuts.  The beer bottles would cover the table while the girls covered our laps.  I tried to thank him and Lin but I don’t think I could do it in anyway that came close to showing the appreciation I felt for all they did.  If not for them I would have gone insane in China.  In the end all I could do is transport his remains back to the States, so that he could be interned at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mike's grave site at Arlingtion

I miss my friend.

Mike also helped to bring down the Clyde Lee Conrad Spy Ring in West Germany in the 80’s.  You can read about this case in the book Traitors Among Us:Inside the Spy Catcher’s World, by Stuart Harrington.

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When Has Someone Stolen From Me

I try not to get rooked but on occasion I get taken.  I had someone steal all the currency I brought back from my trip to Europe.  It wasn’t much maybe $30 but it was all pre-Euro money.

I also had someone steal $5 from my server book at the cafe I co-owned.  I think it was my partners sister, as she had asked to borrow money the day before and then suddenly didn’t need it.

Over all I have been lucky-I haven’t had my material items stolen.  I did catch a pickpocket in Rome and a pickpocket in Sanming City in China.  Both times I scolded them and let them go.  The police in Rome didn’t want anything to do with the guy and in China there was no copper around.

While I have been lucky in regards to material items I find my heart is continuously being stolen by the likes of Katie B, Megan S., Fanbin, Julie, Kate B., Michelle B., and Cheri H.  I don’t usually mind.

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Random Acts of Kindness, I Am All For Them

I like to perform random acts of kindness when ever presented with the opportunity.  I do the regular acts of holding doors open for ladies, older people and people with their hands full.  I pick up dropped items for people.

This is what it looked like, but filled with trash

Once in China I came across an elderly gentleman emptying his three wheeled motorcycle of trash-into the creek which flowed around and through the campus where I taught.  It had a small attached bed.  Often these beds would hold cages of geese or ducks, going to market.  Sometimes they would be overflowing with fresh veggies, straight from the fields.  Or as in this case trash.

He had backed his moto up to the edge of the creek”s lip.  We were on a small dusty gravel road just outside the walls of the school.  As he was emptying the trash, the motorcycle began sliding into the creek bed.  Now the water was a good five lower than the road.  When I cam upon the scene the front wheel was in the air and he was hanging from it.  His efforts had achieved a stalemate of sorts where by the three wheeled vehicle was no longer sliding off the road.  However, he was unable to bring the front tire down or to pull the moto back from the brink.  So after taking two or three photos-which I can’t find at the moment- I ran over to help him pull the bike back from the precipice.

Together we got the front tire on the ground and then we yanked the bike back onto firmer ground.  He thanked me.  I told him he was welcomed and then I continued walking back to the university.

Hat tip to Yinxiang Motor Company for the photo.

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