A few years ago, I embarked on a unique adventure and spent 6 months doing the nomad thing from Saipan, several cities throughout China, as well as in Laos and Singapore! I had a great time, met a lot of great people, and chronicled it through email updates to my mailing list of followers! With travel restrictions now in effect, I’ve created a weekly email to give YOU a chance to re-live the adventure just as if you were there! Simply sign up to the Jamaican in China “Reloaded” email, then sit back and enjoy the ride in your email inbox every three or so days!
My buddy, Winston Wu, founder of www.happierabroad.com, suggested I post my archived radio and skype interviews for the Youtube audience. Great idea, Winston!
Several years ago, as part of my 6-month adventure through China and beyond (Beijing, Kunming, Hainan, Laos, Singapore), I found myself in a small hotel room in China, Xishuangbanna, being interviewed via Skype by KY of the KYShow Podcast. We talked about turning passion into profit, the nomadpreneuring lifestyle and much more! It’s one of my favorite interviews from that time! Check it out here as part of the Passion Prophet channel’s “Turn Your Pandemic into Profits” series!
Everyone has a passion.
Every passion has value.
You CAN make money doing what you love!
Take the Personality Test: https://www.passionprofit.com/itest
WHO IS WALT?
Who is Walt: https://www.waltgoodridge.com
Media Kit & CV: https://www.passionprofit.com/cgi-bin/new/redirect.pl?LL=mediakit
Amazon Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/waltgoodridge
1. PandemicProfits-1: https://youtube.com/watch?v=EpsNndvFU-0
2. PandemicProfits-2: https://youtube.com/watch v=yP3WGmKTdsA
3. PandemicProfits-3: https://youtube.com/watch?v=QQSDf8F8Kgg
4. PandemicProfits-4: Radio Interview-When I was in China https://youtube.com/watch?v=sSYfGIl7YvU
If this is your first time visiting my blog, then listen up! You’ve missed some of the most exciting, insightful, inspiration and fun adventures of me in China! But don’t worry, in the same way that I “reloaded” the Life Rhymes so that you can enjoy them once a week like they were originally meant to be enjoyed, I’ve now reloaded my Jamaican in China adventure! Yes, every real-time, as-it-happened email that I sent to my friends and followers can now be experienced in a surprise email straight to your in-box! That’s right, my entire 6-month adventure beginning with the loss of my passport and ultimate departure from Saipan straight through my time in Beijing, Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Hainan, Laos, Singapore and back to Saipan!
No need to scroll through the archives in one sitting! Just sign up, and sit back! And let me do all the work! It’ll be just like watching old Seinfeld re-runs, except it’s me, um without the entourage and the quirky theme music!
JUST SIGN UP HERE! The re-runs will keep you entertained while I work on a new book and whine about being “stuck” here in New York!
If you’re reading this by email, then most likely you’ve been on my list for a while and already experienced the magic of my last China adventure! If you’ve signed up in the last day, then you’re already set to receive China Reloaded.
Now, if you’ve already experienced it all, but for some strange reason, you DO want to receive the re-runs, FIRST UN-subscribe using the link at the bottom of this email, and then RE-subscribe and your re-runs will begin right away (that is, IF this darned automated system works the way it’s supposed to!)
Ready, set, re-load!
Sounds like the name of a song, doesn’t it? Here’s how I spent many a sunny, summer afternoon while I was in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China. I would visit one of the jade shops on the main thoroughfare and hang out with my friend, Rohanna. Rohanna is from Myanmar, and he introduced me to some great music including the track playing in the background. It’s entitled “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna,” which means Never Say Goodbye, from a famous Bollywood film. I love that song! Now, every time I hear it, it sends me back in time to those sweet Xishuangbanna Summer days! It’s just a video of me and Rohanna and friend sitting around the shop…pretty laid back…
P.S. My external hard drive crashed shortly after returning from China, so I never got around to editing and compiling the videos I shot while there. I got an intuitive urge to plug one of them in and see if I could fix it, and lo and behold, after working a little magic, I was able to access one of the drives and locate a few videos. There are still more videos on the other hard drive, but I have been unable to fix this one. I have been asking friends for local companies, similar to DriveSavers, who offer external hard drive data recovery so if you know one please feel free to let me know in the comments. Regardless, please enjoy this video trip down memory lane!
For months, I’ve been hinting and promoting and promising a “Black Privilege in China” post on this blog. Well, it’s finally time! It will be a chapter in the book Jamaican in China: Guess Who’s Coming to Dim Sum which includes blog posts as well as behind the scenes stuff, commentary and observations a bit too, let’s say, “potent” for the blog. This preview chapter will give you a sample. If you like it, you can order the full book (pdf, kindle, black & white paperback or color paperback) on my site or on Amazon using the links below: (To view all my books, see my author page on Amazon!)
Coming Black to Asia!
Tales of Black Privilege in China (and Beyond) plus
Walt’s primer on “Traveling While Black”
Coming Black to Asia? Brother, You Have NO idea! A curious and observant nomad dispels some myths, allays some fears and corrects some misperceptions of what “traveling while Black” in Asia really means. (An “Adults Only” teaser chapter from the book, Harlem to Hainan: Observations of a Jamaican in China by Walt F.J. Goodridge)
It’s time someone spoke out.
This is a secret that has been kept for much too long.
I’m going to speak in a frank and open way about a subject that many are afraid to discuss; a topic about which many are misguided, and of which many are simply unaware for many reasons including bias, ignorance or misinformation.
Yes, this chapter will share what I know about traveling while Black in Asia.
This chapter is for the enlightenment of all who are curious, but is specifically for the benefit of my Black brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and friends—particularly those living in the US—who have thought about traveling to other lands for fun, freedom, finances, fantasy or to chase a personal dream of one sort or another.
By sharing a few things I’ve experienced firsthand, seen happen to others, or been told about by women and men overseas, I hope to open a new vista, encourage new understanding and mold a new self-perception, and at the very least, offer what I find is a fascinating topic of conversation. Feel free to share this with everyone you know.
CLICK HERE to Download COMING BLACK TO ASIA (AKA) Traveling While Black! A PREVIEW CHAPTER!
FULL BOOK IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON AMAZON:
Kindle edition ($4.95): https://amzn.to/2HrIRyz
Black & white ($16.95): https://amzn.to/3i4TJzf
Full color edition ($42.95): https://amzn.to/2S1R3aL
Here is the intro to that chapter:
After you read it, please return to this post and share your comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I just had to share this with you.
I have tracker software on my blog. Tracker software is a wonderful feature of the internet that provides specific information that’s especially valuable for marketing products and services online. For example, a tracker can reveal who visits your site (no names or emails, just cities and countries), how long they stayed on your site, and even what they typed into a search engine like google in order to find your site.
So, this morning, as I was checking the tracker statistics for this blog, I noticed this:
See last line, Click to see larger image.
Someone in Jinzhou, China went to a computer, got online, opened up google.com, and typed in “I want to date a Jamaican in China.” My site popped up in the search engine results, and voila!
This, of course, leads to some interesting speculation, and some very important questions.
First of all, if she (hopefully a she) is searching for a Jamaican in China and found my site, then that might indicate that she didn’t know about my site before she searched. That’s very interesting. How on earth did that subject (and that desire) come up on its own???? Did she have a friend who dated a Jamaican (or perhaps even THIS Jamaican), and now she wants one of her very own?
Second, according to the tracker, she’s in China already. Is she a Chinese woman who has heard the rumors? Is she a non-Chinese woman, who now finds herself in China, and who wants to recreate a past experience? It’s all quite fascinating, don’t you think? I do.
But, I think you’ll agree with me that the most important question, all kidding aside, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, is, well…
HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE?
With that in mind, I present to you my new service:
“I Want to Date a Jamaican in China!”
This could be you!
Yes, ladies, this could be you (and your friends, too! Don’t be selfish now!) For just a nominal hourly, weekly or monthly fee, you could be the envy of your friends and strangers throughout China when you stroll by with your very own foreign Jamaican “date!”
That’s right. They’ll ask (and you’ll NOW KNOW the answer to all the questions everyone is curious about). What questions? Use your imagination, ladies, and don’t play coy with us. We know you know.
Some restrictions, but big benefits apply. Inquire now for details.
And because I have entirely too much time on my hands, here’s the ad I envision. (I’ll have to create one in Chinese, too!)
click to view poster-sized, screensaver suitable ad
Um, don’t they have laws to describe this sort of thing?
I’m no longer in China, at the moment, but because I like to chat with entrepreneurs wherever I meet them, here is a “Sanyapreneur” interview I conducted while I was in Hainan!–Walt
I happened to be in the city of Sanya, Hainan, People’s Republic of China shortly before, and then after Chinese new year.
I chanced upon UFO hotel while searching all morning (without success) for another hotel in the vicinity. Intrigued by the name in big blue letters above the door, I walked in, discovered the young lady at the front desk spoke English and asked for her help. She was so gracious and helpful–helping me locate the hotel, making calls for me, suggesting other options, given my desire to find a kitchen, and never once suggesting her own hotel as a place to stay–that as I passed back on my way to the bus stop, I decide to thank her again. We talked for a while, one thing led to another, and I ended up staying at the UFO hotel. UFO hotel has four floors, 15 rooms and is located in the heart of Dadonghai.
After staying for a few days, and getting to see the operation, I took the opportunity to speak with Wang Jia Ni (“Niko”), the young proprietress of UFO born and raised in Hainan, who with her boyfriend Li Bing and sole employee, Xiao Mei, run the UFO hotel.
Niko and Bi-Ling
Walt:When did you open your business?
Niko: 2010 Winter
Walt:Wow! So, it hasn’t even been four months! Congratulations
Walt:Many people, especially at such a young age, are thinking about finding a job and working for someone else. How did you come to think so differently than most people?
Niko: Well, it was just to try another life! Before, I also worked for somebody and did not like it. We think about the fact that now when we are young, we can do something different. If we fail, we have more time to recover and try again.
Walt: This your first business?
Walt:Did anyone in your family have their own business?
Niko: Yes, my father had his own business. He was successful initially, but he was a very kindhearted person. And people took advantage of him.
Walt: What about your boyfriend, Li Bing, did his parents?
Niko: Yes, his parents had a business for many years. hotel busines and restaurant in Heilong Jiang a city in north China…. north of Beijing.
Walt: So, why the hotel business?
Niko: To try another life! I used to work at a hotel here in Sanya. First in reception and later I went into the sales department.
Walt:Why did you name the hotel “UFO?”
Niko: Li Bing thought of the name. UFO hotel. It’s an easy name that everyone can remember. English people know it, and even Chinese who may not speak English know enough simple English to remember. It’s also unique and can be easily remembered.
Walt:What is the most difficult thing about running a hotel?
Niko: When we started the hotel, because we are so young, we did not have the money to rent, to paint, to buy all the things we needed for the hotel.
Walt: Did you borrow from the bank?
Niko: No, we both had our savings, but it was not enough. So we borrowed from friends and family.
Walt:Why did you choose to open your hotel in Sanya?
Niko: In Sanya the air is cleaner. it is the best city Hainan. Second, we both worked here before. I worked for 3 years. My boyfriend worked here for 5 years. So we have knowledge of many things about the city that are important to know.
Walt: This is a question I ask all current and aspiring entrepreneurs. WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE UFO? There are so many other hotels and accommodations everywhere. In fact, right across the walkway, there is an 18-story building, and each floor is a different “hotel” rented by someone and offering accommodations to visitors. What makes you different?
Niko: There are a few reasons. First, we have a lobby!
Niko: Yes, that is very important, especially in this area. A lobby can allow a friend to find you quickly. You can meet, talk, plan your day with your friends and family. Having a lobby means it is safer than other hotels in this area. In the buildings where every floor is a hotel, anybody can walk in from the streets, and go to any floor. It is not safe. Here at UFO, because we have a lobby, and there is always someone at the front desk, we only allow guests into the hotel. If you stay here, your room and your things are much safer.
Niko: Second, we offer many conveniences the one-floor hotels do not. We have hair dryer, refrigerator, washing machine, bicycle, surfboards, all free. we offer many things to the guests to make their lives convenient. At other hotels, you would have to buy some things for only a short time, and then leave them behind. Our conveniences are free to use.
Niko: Third is, on the fourth floor, we have a terrace. You can go to relax or even have a small party with your friends. At the one-floor hotels, there are only rooms.
Niko: We are here many years. There are things that we know about Sanya. For example, the other one-floor hotels charge different prices in morning, and lower prices at night. As the evening gets later, these hotels begin to worry, because the room will be wasted and lost, so they will rent a room for as low as 60RMB just to make the income. So many bad people wait until late, and rent a room and then they make a copy of the room key. Then they have the room key, and if you stay in that hotel the next day, someone may have the key to your room!
Walt:Was this building a hotel before? Why did the previous owners leave?
Niko: I think the owners before were not so young. They did not have good ideas. The rooms were not clean, the color was bad. They did not think about the little things that are important. There were no conveniences.
Walt:What intrigued me about your hotel, is that you speak English very well, and Li Bing speaks Russian. I think that makes your hotel very unique.
Niko: Thank you, but my English is no good. I learned English very early, but not well. I took my first class in the third grade. We practice to read and write, but we didn’t get to speak and listen, because we didn’t have other people who speak English. So we know English just for tests. However, in sales and reception at the other hotel, I got to practice.
Walt:And Li Bing?
Niko: He learned Russian before high school–from elementary school to 12th grade. He went to college, and his major is International Economics & Trade.
Walt:Your English is perfect! Do the owners of the other hotels speak English or Russian?
Niko: Not many other hotels here do. They may have friends who can translate for them, but many cannot.
Walt: And the previous owners?
Niko: …spoke only Chinese.
Walt:How long has the hotel been open?
Niko: Four months. First month, we cleaned the rooms, painted the walls, 2nd month, we open to the public.
Walt:Do you remember your first customer?
Niko: Yes, they were from Henan Province. There were two families in three rooms who stayed six days.
Walt:Getting your first customers so quickly after opening must have been great, but I imagine everything might not have been completely ready!
Niko: Yes! It was very funny! They arrived early in the morning. When we went to pick them up, their room wasn’t ready. It was cleaned the day before, but there was now dust from all the painting and sanding we were doing in the hallway.
And the hot water heater for the shower! That wasn’t ready either. We bought it that same morning, and had to install it that afternoon! But, fortunately, the guests were very understanding.
Walt: Speaking of hot water, I notice you have individual wall water heaters for each room. Did you do that to save money? Is that cheaper?
Niko: No, it is actually more expensive! The electricity is high! But the water is always guaranteed to be hot and there will be enough water for many customers.
Niko and two recent guests, Peggy and Fanny!
Also, usually check-in time in Sanya is 3pm and check-out is 12 noon. But, we want to be considerate and different from other hotels. If the room is not ready, then maybe you will have to wait, but if it is ready, you can move in any time.
Walt:I noticed the other morning, when I got up to go running, that the door was locked. It was strange since many hotels keep their doors open 24 hours.
Niko: Yes, but we are a small hotel. Li Bing and I live here.
Walt:And how many employees do you have?
Niko: Only one!
Walt: So, finally what’s the most important thing people should know about UFO in Sanya.
Niko: We can offer a safe, clean and convenient situation for them.
There are two types of visitors who come to Sanya:
1) First type, they do everything by themselves.
2) Other type, they go to the travel company, and the company will arrange everything. We suggest that people come to Sanya by themselves. This way they can be happier than with a group. Maybe you want to sleep late, or wake up early and do different things. We can offer much information to Sanya to you because we know this area. How to get directions, how much to pay, how to enjoy the best of Sanya!
The last few days in Sanya, have been a bit hectic. I met a lot of nice people, finished a second book I’ll be announcing soon, found a great, reasonably-priced apartment (with a kitchen) for anytime I return to Sanya, and two days before I was scheduled to leave, my camera died, which meant I had to do something I hate doing: shopping. (I think I have evidence the camera I got is knock-off…stay tuned.) But before I tell you where I’m off to next, I’ll share some shots from The Last Days in China.
Met up with couchsurfer, Gemma at one of the hostels in the area!
Met a new friend at Wang Hao Supermarket and we hung out a few days later at the amusement park near the UFO hotel. Turns out the ladies are new Mary Kay reps in Sanya! I have a warm spot in my heart for Network Marketing companies, as the one I had joined many years ago helped free me from corporate confinement to live true to my self!
Hang on, ladies!
Afterwards, we had dinner and a great time!
Said a few goodbyes to the ladies at Wang Hao who had gotten in the habit of seeing me come to buy my raw cashews every day at the same time!
I met June at Wang Hao supermarket. She was right behind me on line and helped me out when I was having trouble asking for change for the bus. She ended up being a vital part of my gastric happiness in Sanya (think “sea salt,” but keep it a secret)….
June also helped me purchase the camera I now use to document my travels. Yes, this shot was staged with the camera I had just purchased.
The sales girl who took my money!
Hung out with June and friend at a cafe overlooking Sanya Bay!
Posed for the obligatory Jamaican in China photos
and again…and again….
Norway meets China. Harald, from Norway and Pan Hui, from China! Harald and Pan Hui helped me look for apartments…Harald, a dentist from a former life, is a great thinker and conversationalist..
Solved the world’s challenges with Harald…..(Next time, look at the camera, Harald!)
Had the greatest vegetarian meal in Sanya, courtesy of a dinner invitation from my friend from the beach, Norwegian artist (painter) Jan Erik, and author wife Feng Xian Lin. They’ve also co-authored, designed and published various books. You can check out Jan’s paintings at www.willgohs.info
One of the books Fenx Xian Lin authored is a Hunan cooking and culture book. So you know I was treated to some great food….my last night in Sanya…darn….Now, I’ll have to wait until I return to show up un-announced with my chopsticks in hand and nothing in my stomach!
Beijing transplant, Sandy and Romanian expat, Adrian…Can’t wait to hang a bit longer next time!
Eyes on Singapore…..Did he say, Singapore?????
In the previous installment of the Papaya Chronicles, I shared with you that the best price I was able to get for a papaya was about 5RMB, at the supermarket. Whenever I shop at independent vendors, I get the foreigner price. Seems they can always tell I’m not originally from China. I think my accent gives me away. In any event, last week, when I went shopping with Peggy and Fanny, they took me to an outdoor market and introduced me to their favorite papaya vendor. I selected my single papaya, he placed it on the scale, and announced the price 2RMB. I couldn’t help chuckling out loud. He laughed, too, likely because he knew foreigners don’t often get to hear those words, “Two RMB,” attached to anything in Sanya (or China) except perhaps a bus ride.
So, I asked them to tell him to remember my face (hee hee), so that when I returned, he would treat me like a regular ol’ Chinese customer since I planned to return. Then, “happy as a pig in papaya juice,” I took my new acquisition back home and enjoyed it.
Yesterday, I returned, found Mr. Fair Deal Perfect Papaya Man, he remembered me (good eye for faces), and sold me TWO papayas for 4RMB. So, I’m not exactly sure what the unit price is (my ability to palm and weigh in kg needs some work), what I do know is that this….
Costs me 2RMB, not 5, not 8, and not the 15 Mr. Papaya near Lost Hostel wanted me to pay.
So, here’s my traveler’s tip for you: when YOU come to Sanya, Hainan, and want a plump, perfect, plausibly-priced papaya, take the number 8, 16, 10, 2, 7 or 10 bus to the stop closest to original Wang Hao Supermarket #1, not the Wang Hao nearest to the bus station, but the one that’s now the new location of the original Wang Hao after the owner of the building they were renting from didn’t renew their lease, forcing them to move to the new location near the International Hotel, (got it?), and then walk through the mall, out the back, across the street, through an alley, past the covered area with the meat vendors, past the vegetable vendor ladies who may gawk at you if you’re Jamaican, step over the dog lazing in the exit, and into the open area where the fruit vendors are located, make your way through the crowd and find this man….
Mr. Fair Deal Perfect Papaya Man.
Say, Ni Hao in your best Putonghua, and then tell him that Walt, the Jamaican, sent you. Pay for your papaya, and enjoy!
The ebook edition is completed, but my writing energies are still being diverted towards completing the paperback edition of Living True to Your Self. However, I’ve been able to raise my standard of living here in Hainan:
I was able to locate sea salt here in Sanya. Now, that may not seem like earth-shattering news to you, but it is for me. I don’t eat table salt (check the ingredients of your favorite brand of supermarket-bought salt, and note the dextrose (sugar), aluminum (think “Alzheimer’s), and other unnecessary anti-caking and otherwise harmful ingredients. Sanya, being a coastal town should have natural sea salt readily available, right? You would think.
However, the authorities have convinced the people that consuming sea salt is bad and that it is most often contaminated. Whether true or not, it takes a bit of asking and searching to find it, as vendors are forbidden to sell it openly, and one has to ask (with the help of a Chinese person), the right questions, the right people, and, presumably not appear to be a government plant searching for violators.
I won’t reveal my methods, my contacts, or my supplier. I’ll just show you the hand-off.
Psssst. Hey, buddy, wanna buy some sea salt?
So, the other morning, I’m running bare-chested on the beach in Dadonghai, and, for some reason, people are staring at me. I’m really not sure why. Was it my slim, svelt, sexy physique? Was it the fact that no one else does this strange jogging thing in China except a few crazy Americans rarely spotted this far from the mainland? Was it the fact that I’m Jamaican? Was it the fact that I was the only one half-naked at this time of day (There’s a nude section of the beach, but those guys don’t come out until after sunrise). Well, I can’t be sure, but at least a few Chinese tourists thought it warranted taking a photo to document and share the strange things that happen on Hainan.
After my jog, I approached one of the paparazzi, and mimed and signed and pidgin Putonghua’ed a request while handing him my email address. Seems I was successful in my communication, since I just got an email containing this!
The subject line was 沙滩慢跑, which translates to “beach jogging.” Thanks, stranger!