The bitter and the sweet. The seven coffins come to an end

I was in dread as Nigel Sutton took us round to the garden area where there is a punch bag and a metal training dummy. I envisaged a grueling set of fights or standing in the sun all day long.

“Cut the grass”. Nigel told us and he walked away. Vin, Lian and I exchanged looks and quickly set about the grass with scissors from the kitchen. After an easy grass cutting Nigel informed us that our last test lay outside the training center.

This also made me scared. Could we be going to fight? It was the morning now and being out of the Zhong ding training center for the first time in days was quiet refreshing. We walked towards the café and instantly I knew what we were going to do ‘’we are going to drink aren’t we?’’ I said possibly quiet hysterical. Nigel didn’t say anything. Instead of fighting we went to the bar and Nigel ordered us each a pint of strong black sugarless coffee and a big can of 12% beer.
Before we drank Nigel explained the coffee represents the bitterness and hardship of training and the beer represented the sweetness of reward from hard work. So we had to drink the coffee first before the beer. With these two powerful drugs inside me I felt sick with the caffeine but soothed by the beer.
After this we went back to the Zhong Ding training center and Nigel told us that the 7 coffins was over and that we had a few days rest until our ordeal with Guru Zainal Abidin and his students which would then be followed by on all night Khatami grading. The ordeal was not specified but it would involve Thai boxing and Silat fighting as well. Guru Zainal teaches Silat Tua and Krabi Krabong as well as white tiger Thai boxing. We have never met Guru Zainal before but from what Nigel says he is a very serious martial artist. His students also like fighting a lot. In training and on the street.

The next couple of days Vin and I rested as Nigel and Lian had gone back to the condo. We had to prepare something’s for the Khatami grading. Nigel Sutton gave us a list of things for the ceremony. We needed:
A holy book. Vin and I went to a nearbye town and bought two Qurans.

One knife. I bought a machete.

5, 4 inch nails which I thought was strange, Vin and I went to a hardware shop and got the nails.

7 limes and honey, we got them from the supermarket.

Shoes, a sarong, T shirt and hat. We got them all from a cloths shop nearby.

7 different kinds of flower petals. We were quiet resourceful on this one and went out onto the road side and picked some flower and then went to a town to buy a few more kinds. We took all the petals off and stored them in the fridge.

Lastly we had to give 7:50 ringet in coin form. Nigel Sutton informed us that he had to give 750 ringet when he did his Khatami so I was glad our amount was much less.

We didn’t know why we needed all these things and it was a little like being in a computer game trying to get everything. I was very relieved when we had done so and I could relax a little although the Khatami and ordeal was playing on my mind.

The anticipation was brutal, I had diarrhea for 3 days before and on the day Guru Zainal arrived for the ordeal I could barely eat.


PART13. A little red car (dont hitch hike in Malaysia part 2)

Unfortunately due to money shortage I must cut my trip short. I am planning to go back to China on the 2nd of September. At first I was very sad that I had to go. I have been planning to train here for years and now it has to be cut short. On the other hand I hate having to worry about money and also having to borrow money and it was really playing on my mind all the time so it tainted my trip slightly. I had hoped that Sarah could stay here as well but that didn’t work out so she had to go back to China. I miss her a lot. I always think about the next time I can see her and I wait every night for her phone call.

I am glad that I will see her soon and I will be going back to Shanxi to practice wrestling again.

Later on that week I planned to go to Balik Pulau to shop. As soon as I stepped out of the Zhong Ding training center a man purred up on a motor bike and asked if I wanted a lift, he drove me to the bus stop where promptly a car pulled up and a man popped his head out and asked where I was going. ‘’ Balik Pulau how much is it?’’ I asked ‘’no money no money’’ he replied.

 I got in and as he took me to Balik Pulau he told me that he was a school teacher we talked about religion and faith.  


The next day again I  wanted to go to Balic Pulau and I set off walking in high hopes that I would have the same luck as yesterday. My faith in the universe was strong.


Shortly after setting out a red car came up and stopped in front of me. “Where you going?” said the driver. “Balik Pulau how much?”. “Ah it’s ok, for free”. Just as planned. As we drove along I found out that the skinny older man was a factory worker. His car was blissfully air conditioned. Cold enough so that for the first 5 minutes it was very pleasant then after that it started to get uncomfortable, it was also pleasantly fragrant. We came up to the last turn to Balik pulau but he turned right.

“Hay it’s the other way”, I said

“oh I thought I show you around Balik Pulau a bit is ok?”. He replied casualy


 “Ok” I said,


 I didn’t have anything else to do. We passed a nice looking estate with large beautiful houses with balcony’s and large gates, “oh nice houses very big” I said. “You like?” he asked. He then slithered his left hand across my shorts and grabbed my groin.


” WOW! No, don’t do that” I said,


“you like?”, he said with a little giggle looking deep into my eyes as he drove.


 “No I don’t like I have a wife”, I replied as I batted his hand away

 “Oh some English have wife but they like it also”. He said still looking me dead in the eye. I noticed how thin and spidery his fingers were.


 “I don’t like it”. I said firmly


 We then had a few minutes of silence where I was trying to comprehend what just happened. I was not scared but I was wary. He was smaller than me and I had a knife on me but maybe he did as well, maybe he had friends nearby and things might go beyond my control. I decided that if he turned off the main road I would jump out of the car immediately.


For some reason I was still in the car acting like nothing happened. How English I thought. Or maybe I was just lazy; I still wanted a free lift to Balik Pulau.

 “Sorry you are angry with me” he said.


 “No I am not angry I am just shocked” I said. And now I was trying to make him feel better!


 Then he tried it again!. This time more forcefully. He grabbed my groin and lent over towards me. I parried his hand away. “Let me see it? I just want to see it”. He pleaded.


 “No! And I am going to get angry in a minuet if you try that again”. I shouted, suddenly angry, I wanted to punch him in the face.


“oh ok” he said and kept driving. I told him to take me to Balik Pulau immediately and he turned the car around and did so.


He started to turn off again just before the roundabout in Balik Pulau so a told him I was getting out. He apologized and I had to stop myself from saying something to console him. It’s just such a knee jerk reaction for me to be polite, most of the time I think it’s a good thing but sometimes I cannot stop myself and afterwards I regret not standing up for myself more. I controlled myself and said in a neutral tone “thanks for the lift” as I got out of the car.


After shopping and returning to the Zhong Ding training center via the bus I thought about my hitch hiking experience. I thought about Malaysia. My experience so far is that it has a noticeable seedy feeling in certain places. A few times when Sarah was here I noticed Malay men staring at her in a very creepy manner. On one bus trip an older man sat beside her and kept looking at her and had his hands by his groin. She got up and we swapped places and I sat beside the man and returned his gaze until he got off the bus.


After a short ponder I decided never to hitch hike in Malaysia again.



Has anyone else ever got in a little red car and regretted it? What would you have done?

PART364 Christopher Hitchens

Sunday, May 08, 2011. I slept until 2 O, clock. I just kept sleeping and sleeping, I would wake and think about getting up and I would just lose my will to live. Not in a depressing way. I just really couldn’t be bothered to leave the warm, comfy bed. Nothing was expected of me in my bed, nothing to be done, no problems to solve, no puzzles to piece together. No ground work to be set down for future goals. Just dreams, light, inspired flights of the imagination without an obstacle in sight.

I finally got up and after procrastinating for a very long time I waltzed down to Te puke and did the shopping. On the way back I sat down in the chilly bright sun light. I was posted on a bench looking over a green rugby pitch. The leaves rustled, a man with a small dog crossed the road. The man yanked the dogs lead authoritivly to make it heal. As they crossed the disserted road the dog ran around the man so that he had to quickly feed the lead around his midriff that he would not be tripped up. An unwilling dance, one trying to control with a rope, the other just doing what dogs do.

After speaking to my family over Skype I heard from my Mum about Christopher Hitchens. Someone who “obliterated Tony Blair in a religious debate” as my Mum said. Now this appealed to me, razor sharp wit is something I admire immensely and so I looked up the man on you tube and found many a video of him shredding his opponents mercilessly with a brilliant dry English wit. I have posted one of my favorite videos of him.

In C.S. Lewis book ‘surprised by joy Lewis says that the atheists most winning argument against the existence of god is that if God did actually exist he wouldn’t have created the world in such horror and pain. Christopher Hitchens makes this point as well but with much more emotion and venom. Describing Elisebeth Fritzl the Austrian woman who was held captive in a basement by her father and was repeatedly raped over the course of 24 years. He said that it is inhuman and immoral to think that there is a God who would knowingly put someone through such horror and then to say he did it for a reason and that it was all going to be alright because in heaven she would be given a bigger reward.

Christopher Hitchen argued that they will always be bad people who do bad things, and also good people who do good things but if you want to make a good person do bad things you need religion. How could you look at a new born baby with love and affection and then take a knife a commit genital mutilation. This is how Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. When good men devoutly believe they are doing the will of God they are capable of anything and this is why the conflict in Israel will never stop because both sides are fanatics who are blind in their beliefs.

I put it badly, if you want to hear one of the most expert arguments against religion look this man up, he is a legend.

I stayed up until 4 in the morning watching videos of Christopher Hitchens and also reading some of his work. I went to bed finally more awake than ever and instilled with this man’s harsh, realistic and passionate view of the world.

PART345 a dream about whaling

Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Another day of inaction, I Dreamt I was the captain of a whaling vessel last night, It was another of my waking dreams were I was awake. I don’t clearly hallucinate but my whole being so utterly believes in whatever drama my subconscious has conjured up that even if I can only see a dark shadow of the chest of draws I know it to be completely natural and in place in whatever realm I am in. In this case the draw was the bow of the ship.

My ship mates who I recognized as my tray lining co workers in real life kept asking me questions, trying to make scurvy deals with me about commissions from draining the whales of their oil. I physically got out of bed and chatted with a few people by the door. They were looking to me for answers; I realized that I had none so I went back to bed. I heard the sea around me and even when I pulled the covers over my face I could feel my crew standing over me watching and waiting for my commands.