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                      TYPICAL TRAVEL IN CHINA 

 

   Brief excerpts of a trip to Shenyang last week 

               (By Ed Hughes, via Modem)

 

   Two days before I wanted to travel I went to the train

   station to get information and perhaps buy some tickets.  Through

   a friend who was translating, I talked to three different people. 

 

   The first group, who looked a little like police men or train

   station security, said that there was an express train every

   morning but I had to buy tickets at another train station in the

   city. 

 

   To make sure of things we went and talked the lady in the

   information booth.  She said that there was an express train

   every morning, how tickets for a soft seat should be bought at

   this train station and they cost 43 yuan. 

 

   Then I went to the booth that sells the tickets.  That women

   said that this was the correct booth, but tickets are only sold a

   day in advance.  When we inquired about the price she said that

   they cost 28 yuan. 

 

   Three different people each with a slightly different story. 

 

   {The next day buying tickets was fun.  I started by getting

   at the end of a loosely formed line of about 15 people.  After

   standing there about a half an hour there still seemed to be

   fifteen people in it even though people where coming and going. 

 

   As I got closer to the booth I got the idea that tickets

   were selling out because the pushing and shoving started and got

   more rough as time went on. 

 

   As I was getting to the window this one old man was very

   sure he wasn't going to wait in line and wanted his ticket next.

   I found myself sandwiched between several people.  I was grasping

   firmly to the teller cage to ensure that I didn't shoved away. 

 

   I had the idea that I didn't want the old man to snuff in

   front of me.  But he was to quick and he had his hat full of

   money through the window when the guy in front of me squeezed his

   way out.  In fact the guy behind me was even quicker and he had

   his hand in there, too. 

 

   I was at my limit for patience (which isn't much anyway) and

   I firmly grabbed the arm of the man behind me and yanked it out

   of the window.  Because I was a foreigner, I looked angry,

   grasped him firmly, or whatever, he quickly pulled his hand away

   and said, "Ming bei! Ming bei."  Which means, "I understand."

   (The literal translation is "see white", just like in English "I

   see clearly") 

 

   I was next and my friend asked for my ticket.  With ticket

   in hand I then fought my way out of the small crowd. 

 

   The train ride was pretty smooth and I had a typical, but a

   little bit interesting experience.  I was talking to a Chinese

   business man when two others came over.  The pair only wanted to

   practice their English.  Actually, one could speak basic

   sentences Ok. Nothing complcated, but he got his point across.

   The other one was just beginning to learn gramma and

   pronunciation. 

 

   Not after long that the last man grabbed his English book

   and I was giving an English lesson on the train.  

 

   Often people want to practice their English, but after the

   intial basic questions the conversation dies.  Unless I keep

   talking and asking questionsthen everything gets quiet.  So

   teaching a isn't all that bad to do something on the train. 

 

   When I arrived in Shenyang I was accompanied by a Chinese that

   I had met the day earlier at the Shenyang Medical Univeristy.

   Apparently this is a key University in China, but you wouldn't

   know by the way they pay foreign teachers. 

 

   Exasperated Ed

   - - - - -

                    XIAO ED IN CHENGDU, CHINA 

                         (From me, father to Ed)

   Whew! Finally heard from son Ed again, who was last heard from

   almost a month ago trying to marry a Chinese girl in Dalian, get

   an extension to his visa to insure she can leave the country,

   pulling the plug on his modem phone - the slender link to the

   outside that became his information life-line to the US - and

   then disappearing into the interior of China for yet another

   venture in the Middle Kingdom. 

 

   (Chengdu is in west central China, the last large city

   of the central plains, on the road to Lhasa, Tibet.) 

 

   His communication had to come by mail this time (done on his

   laptop and printed on his ancient Microline) because he does

   not have a phone in his room. (But it looks like we will be

   connected again in due course). So it was a nice 6 page

   letter, some extracts of which are below:

   -------------------------------------

                                            April 7th, 1990 

 

   "So I am working in Chengdu. The work seems like it will be

   interesting and varied. I work in their computer center 4

   days a week, and teach a 2 hour class once a week on any

   computer subject I want to." 

 

   "The first thing they want me to work on is a speech recognition

   and speech synthesis program. They have one program which

   can understand  simple English sentences and translate them

   into Chinese. But they are working on Chinese recognition and

   synthesis now. They want me to assist in converting FORTRAN

   to C and related engineering tasks. 

 

   The SUN workstation they have is a 3/50." 

 

   "...housing. They gave me a large, almost huge, place. I am

   on the fourth of four floors that overlooks a halfway decent

   compound which I can see from two balconies. I have a large

   living/dining room, a kitchen, a bathroom with hot water almost

   always! And a good sized bedroom. It is fully carpeted, and

   wallpapered and has comfortable furniture. The place has a

   homey feel to it. Somewhat like living in an older hotel in

   the US." 

 

   "The weather is ten degrees (C) warmer than Dalian. Which

   suits me fine and the city is really green compared to that

   of northeast China at this time." 

 

   "The next nice feature about this place is that it looks like

   the China I expected to come to see a year ago. Dalian had

   a lot of Russian influence. It didn't seem much like a Chinese

   city I expected. Chengdu has a two-thousand year history and

   I have been told that it has been relatively untouched by the

   West and modern things as other cities in China have." 

 

   "...once Ha Ning gets her paper work completed she will be

   coming to Chengdu...I plan to be returning to the US with

   Ha Ning between October and December..." 

 

   --------

   Then he discusses connecting up by modem. Looks like that

   will be possible in due course, from Xu Tingwei's office. 

 

   And says "This letter may have a 007 problem." To make our

   mail letters clean and straightforward. 

 

   And he has met a few Americans, some English, Germans,

   Danish, and Australian and an Italian in just the first

   few days he was there. 

 

   --------

   And for his doting parents he gives much more details about

   his bride, Ha Ning. 

 

   Ha Ning, 'a foot shorter' than he (6' 4") Ed, was the

   youngest of 4 daughters, called by her family "Si'er" or

   'number four daughter.' Her name came from the ice houses

   of Harbin (Ha) and Liaoning province where she was born

   (Ning). 

 

   With tongue in cheek Ed says that if we named him that

   way he would be called "Fort-Kansas." "Glad you didn't"

   says he. 

 

   She graduated from Dalian University and has two years of

   toward an advanced degree. That she doesn't talk about

   herself much, but she always came in first place at

   language competition. [Great! Smart grandchildren to come!] 

 

   Both of whose parents, it turns out

   are retired Red Army (PLA) doctors. Dr. Zhou having been a

   bone surgeon and hospital director, respected enough that

   he did not get put down during the Cultural Revolution. 

 

   That he met her two days after he arrived in China. She

   is 'very shy'. But during the Tiammanen Square turmoil, she

   would always come through with a practical suggestion, while

   many other well meaning Chinese friends would try, but he

   ended up with many "Not Chinese - Not American" situations. 

 

   And though she knew nothing about electronics, when he

   went to the hardware stores of Dalian to solve his 110

   volt transformer and electrical parts problems, she

   quickly helped, and suggested alternatives. 

 

   And later they often went to the beach and ate oranges,

   crackers and 'baozi' a traditional Chinese food she prepared. 

 

   And, to Ed mother, he said about Ha Ning "She has begun to

   play the piano, and every once in a while I get a firm but

   pleasant demand to stand-up straight. Which Mom will like" 

 

   ------- 

 

   So a new Chapter of 'Xiao Ed and Ha Ning in China' is about

   to open.

   - - - - -

   79:26) Lisa Carlson                         18-APR-90  21:58 

 

   This is such a treat to get to be part of your family like this ... I

   can't wait til someday we can show Ha Ning (and Ed of course) the

   sights of Washington, D.C!

   - - - - -

   79:27) Frank Burns                          19-APR-90  2:01 

 

       ( SO good to read this.  Thanks, Dave. ) 

 

   - - - - -

   79:28) Bill Robinson                        19-APR-90  18:53 

 

   Oh, I really like the "007" problem.  So subtle!  Probably snuck right by

   those Chinese snoops.  Unless they saw "The Living Daylights". 

 

   So what does "almost married" mean?  Did I miss something scrolling by at

   2400?  Are they engaged or is she joining him later? 

 

   - - - - -

   79:29) Dave Hughes                          19-APR-90  21:12

   No, they are indeed married. She just has to stay in Dalian until

   her travelling papers are approved, and before she can imigrate

   to the US. He expects her to join him in his Chinese

   'honeymoon suite' within a month.

   - - - - -

   79:30) Gordon Cook                          19-APR-90  21:13

   Within a month?   Where?

   - - - - -

   79:31) Dave Hughes                          19-APR-90  21:17

   Hey, folks RTP. 

 

   1. Ed in in Chendu 

 

   2. Ha Ning is in Dalian 

 

   3. She will join him 

 

   4. His description of his living quarters makes it fit - in China -

   to be a honeymoon hidaway. (based on his previous correspondence

   the apartment he has would normally accomodate a family of

   from 5 to 7)

   - - - - -

   79:32) Gordon Cook                          19-APR-90  21:25

   Laugh!  Yeah I finally did scroll back and read ALL the text.   Was about

   to delete, response 30.

   - - - - -

   79:33) Bill Robinson                        20-APR-90  21:25 

 

   - - - - -

   79:34) Dave Hughes                          05-MAY-90  5:04

     We (my wandering son) and I are getting so good at this Oriental

     Modem Express one could get pretty cocky. 

 

     We just sucessfully completed a pair of transfers from here to

     Chengdu, China which WORKED THE VERY FIRST TIME with no lost

     motion, to a strange telephone number way out there on the

     road to Lhasa in the interior of China. 46k of text exchanged,

     a brief voice discussion (his brother even got a chance to say

     hello) arranging the next time, a kermit run with about 20

     retries and another one with about 4, a check for arc file

     integrity and all in 18 minutes flat from the time I started

     dialing. All in one call. 

 

     And Xiao Ed was standing in a downtown Chendu technology

     business, with a bunch of Chinese engineers watching him

     (the way they justified using the voice phone for such

     'questionable' activities), hooked up to a strange phone

     by alligator clips, and trying to explain to them what

     he was doing while he did it. The voice quality seemed

     scratchy when we talked briefly, so we didn't think it

     would work well. 

 

     But it did. And, after reading what he sent, it really helped

     his credibility for it to work that smoothly. I mean telecom

     as a demo NEVER works right the first time. Right? 

 

     We are getting good at it though. 

 

     Next Sunday we will try it through a Chinese operator and

     switchboard. That promises to be fun. 

 

     I will share some of his journal entries tomorrow after I

     get some sleep. He is in a very techie place... 

 

   - - - - -

   79:35) Frank Burns                          05-MAY-90  8:39 

 

   Extraordinary. 

 

   You really have to write a book, Dave. 

 

   - - - - -

   79:36) Dave Hughes                          05-MAY-90  15:19

   No Frank. I am just a singer of Ascii Songs. And here they are.

   If someone wants to collect them fine. Not me. I sometimes

   think I must be like a Kentucky folk-guitar plucker. Just playing

   the songs that come to mind. And let the university professors

   collect the stuff if they want. 

 

   Besides, it is a real betrayal of my online art, to put it on

   paper. 

 

   "Oh you never are alone, when you hear that modem tone"

   "Keep loggin on"

   "Keep loggin on" 

 

   (somebody else write the music)

   - - - - -

   79:37) Dave Hughes                          06-MAY-90  0:44 

 

   We just received a beautiful letter from Ha Ning - in equisite

   handwriting and in excellent English, as she pays her first

   'respects' to her new in-laws. She told us something we did not

   know - that Chengdu was the ancient capital of China. 

 

   In the 38k file he sent, he made it clear that he is connected

   to a phone in a computer company 'unit' in Chengdu, run by

   the director of the university computer center. They are all

   uncertain about using the phone for telecommunications, so

   to 'justify' it the director set it up as a technical

   demonstration for Chinese engineer/programmers, all of whom

   were looking over his shoulder as we linked up via his tiny

   laptop Toshiba, an external Touchbase modem, supplied with

   two alligator clips to attach to the line. 

 

   Because of this and the necessity for him, at this early stage

   in Chengdu to determine the 'Chinese office politics' before

   risking too much, he has limited his reports to more or less

   'safe' subjects. 

 

   Below are some extracts of last night's

   session

   - - - - -

   79:38) Dave Hughes                          06-MAY-90  0:45 

 

                    REPORTS FROM CHENGDU, CHINA 

 

    ...telecommunications.  I think he [director] is interested

   in doing this, but  he isn't going to stick his neck out too

   far and he's gonna go through proper channels to get permission. 

 

   Otherwise, he said, his office could get fined.  But he did say

   that I could use his phone for now and if his company gets fined,

   then it get's fined. 

 

   He is going to make this telecom into a demonstartion for

   some of the engineers and workers at his company.  Perhaps as

   many as ten to twenty... 

 

   ...  I think he wants to do this and listens when I talk about

   and wants my to teach the telecom concepts... 

 

   ...  [his]  company is interesting.  It is sponsored by three

   "Work Units".  Before describing his company, let me give you

   some background on what a "Unit" is in China. 

 

         In China a Unit is anything that a person works for or lives

   under.  In other words, in the city everyone has one unit.  Most

   people have a work unit where they work.  Such as a Company, a

   government store, a factory, the Computer center at Sichuan U. is

   a unit.  The Unit basically has everything to do with your life. 

 

   When ever you want to do anything you have to go through your

   unit to get permission or a letter or whatever.  If you don't

   work then you have a non-work unit in your comunity or

   a community unit.  If you'er retired then you have a unit that

   controls the retirement community... 

 

         So in the US you have a government department or a

   company or business.  In China you have Units which are part of

   the whole governemnt structure. Then you have a small part of

   the city population that that does business for themselves. 

 

         If a man and woman are married, then the man's unit usually

   supplies the housing for the couple, but not always.  Things

   being really politically divided, units don't really cooperate

   with each other unless there is some kind of mutual benefit or

   personal connection at a high level of some kind.  In other words

   it can get pretty complicated and really difficult to get things

   done between units. 

 

         Now I work for the Sichaun U Computer Center.  The center

   itself I don't believe is a unit, I think it falls under the

   University.  But, because the school is so large the Center (like

   other parts of the Univ) can take on a status of unit when doing

   work outside of the school community. 

 

         Hence Mr [X] is a vice-leader of the Computer Center, but he

   is the leader of the Chengdu Computer Technolgy Institute (CCTI). 

 

   The Institute is a joint effort from the Sichuan U Computer Center

   (SUCC), the Railway Unit of Chengdu (I can't remember it's proper

   name), and another Unit.  The purpose of the institute is to give

   technical support for SUCC, to the Railway Unit, develop

   marketable technology and to actual market those things as well

   as computers themselves. 

 

   They have a bunch of IBM 386 clones from all over the place:

   AST's from the US, Dragon's from Taiwan, others from Japan,

   and Hong Kong.  They sell disk drives and disks and

   boards.  Part of the function of the Institute is also to

   generate income for some of these other units.  This seems to be

   common for some State Units. To have a side business to generate

   some additional income.

   - - - - -

   79:39) Dave Hughes                          06-MAY-90  0:47 

 

   (cont)

         These "sub-units" or "joint-units" may come under the

   auspicies of a state controlled unit, but the sub-units seem to

   operate almost as if they were private, although they're not. 

 

         The project I'm working on is also a joint effort of

   different departments at SUCC and with other units. 

 

         When I asked a guy in my office to make me an organizational

   Chart of SUCC and the project I'm working on he got very

   perplexed.  I tried to draw the chart placing a person in one box

   of responsiblity.  This very quickly fell apart. 

 

         This being China, some people are working on more then one

   project and leaders have different levels of responsiblity

   according to what part of the unit, project, or joint-unit you

   are talking about. Essentially a lot of people have multiple jobs. 

 

         Sometimes it even seems that in one situation a Leader A has

   authority of Leader B.  But given another project or unit or

   whatever, Leader B has authority over Leader B.  At least that's

   how it would appear on an Organization chart.  But in actuality,

   internal politics has much more to say then any organization chart. 

 

         One thing that the CCTI developed and is producing is a sort

   of modem/LAN.  These are modem-like units that convert digital to

   analog from a computers comm port and then transmits the data via

   hard wire up to 5 km at 0 to 9600 baud.  I kind of wondered if

   these could be converted to a telephone modem, but I doubt it and

   doubt even more if there's an interest. 

 

         I was also posed an interesting concept the other day.  When

   you do voice recognition that might be used to finger people for

   some government function [agency?].  The guy didn't know

   anything specific he was just being a devils advocate, which I

   actual had considered. It really is plausible.  It comes down

   to determining where the work I'm doing is going, and if it is

   something I morally agree with. 

 

         An additional note to make all this sound a little ironic.

   I will be doing this first transmission at least in front of an

   audience.  I hope you gave me something that I can unpack and

   show everyone.  On following transmissions if you could put at

   the beginning of your letters to me the names of files that are

   safe to demonstrate.  Or put a suffix like "xxx.SF" to let me

   know I can use this. 

 

                                                    Ed in China

   - - - - -

   79:40) Dave Hughes                          06-MAY-90  0:51

   In a whole series of pieces Xiao Ed proceeds to give me detailed

   instructions on how to visit him in Chengdu! 'Fly to Hong Kong,

   stay with Russ Arnesman [who was a technical reporter here in

   the Springs, now an editor of a Far East Technical News],

   train to Guangzhou, plane to Chengdu, car to University, bike

   from there...' 

 

   tempting

   - - - - -

   79:41) Nancy Stefanik                       06-MAY-90  10:19

      thanks Dave - sure is interesting to follow this saga...

   - - - - -

   79:42) Gordon Cook                          06-MAY-90  22:36

   Hot dawg dave...again you brighten my eveneing. Now to introduce you to

   the folk at Bell Atlantic!

   - - - - -

   79:43) Dave Hughes                          07-MAY-90  0:49

   Only $1,200 round trip to Hong Kong...

   - - - - -

   79:44) Gordon Cook                          07-MAY-90  21:51

   hmm .so the challenge....could you log on to the metanetwork from Chengdu?

   - - - - -

   79:45) Dave Hughes                          07-MAY-90  23:15

   Only if Scott programmed his modems so, when I called COLLECT,

   it would answer 'Yes' when the Chinese operator asks will he

   accept the charges. :-) 

 

   Actually I think I could figure out a way, using call forwarding. 

 

   But it ain't cheap. $11.83 for the first 3 mintues, $1.48 a

   minute therafter. Thats $95 an hour phone only. (PC Pursuit is

   only $1 an hour) 

 

   I'll figure out something. Just as there ain't no horse that

   can't be broke, there ain't no modem that can't be called. 

 

   - - - - -

   79:46) Scott Burns                          08-MAY-90  8:00

   Hmm, maybe I could make a macro...

   - - - - -

   79:47) Dave Hughes                          13-MAY-90  13:10

            Well, don't try to do a data transfer to your friends

   in China through their ancient switchboards and capacity for

   snooping. Xiao Ed had me try to call to the Sichuan University

   main number, where a Chinese operator who doesn't speak English

   answers 'Wei?', then I say 'AMERICA - CALL - EDWARD HUGHES' and

   she rings an extension in the living quarters. Twice Ed picked

   up voice, and we talked about 30 seconds when the voice ability

   just stopped. Once we could even hear ringing in the background

   which I interpreted as her trying to connect some secret service

   to the line, but with the equipment so poor, that it lost the

   capacity to carry the signal when the snoop picked up.

            So $12 later we were left alone, but when we tried to

   go online, the carriers just wouldn't grab, though my modem

   tried for 30 seconds in response to his answer tone. Circuits

   just too attenuated through all those connections and what

   sounded like a 1930's style switchboard. We did not try 300

   baud.

            We had agreed in advance to go back to the direct dial

   next week at a downtown computer firm, which worked two weeks

   ago. So no Ascii news from Chengdu this week!

            And in our brief voice conversation before we tried

   to hand off the signals to our modems, he confirmed that

   his bride Ha Ning tried to send us some pictures of them in

   her letter to us, but they were removed by some Chinese postal

   bureaucrat before the letter left China.

            So for the first time in the 15 months since he has

   been there he said with some irritation "I'm getting tired of

   this country." Ever-optimistic and resouceful 'can-do' Ed is

   wearying of the bottomless pit of Chinese bureaucracy and

   social control.

            I am sure he will really appreciate the good old

   U.S. of A when he returns with her in the fall.

            Yesterday while driving his pickup truck across town

   to exercise it (among other things, he asked us to maintain his

   vehicle while he was gone), it occurred to me he will teach

   tiny Ha Ning how to drive. But that truck, in the fashion of

   many young guys sits very high, has large tires, is quite a

   handful, and to a small Chinese lass who has never driven

   anything might be a terrifying experience. Maybe he will have

   to buy a small Japanese import.

            Ah, modern international life! 

 

   - - - - -

   79:48) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-90  12:32

   Contact made again at 2:00 AM my time, 5:00 PM Chengdu time, as

   Xiao Ed answered the phone after only 6 attempts by me to ring through

   the puzzle which is the Chinese Phone system. 

 

   So we were able to exchange 20k archived in only about 6 minutes. The

   minute he picked up the phone - which was in a downtown computer

   office in Chengdu - he said he had to put us on a speaker phone,

   which echoed so badly I thought, once again, it would disrupt the

   transfer. But it didn't. 

 

   The best news was that Ha Ning is there with him, finally having

   gotton through the paperwork jungle of Dalian. 

 

   He was obviously constrained from sending much commentary on

   the general political scene, so his communications was about

   everything but that. 

 

   He related the two weeks when he and Ha Ning had to live at

   her parents house in Dalian - with a 3 year old grandaughter

   whom he said was such a bundle of energy and smart she was

   a pain, and led Ed to ask whether *he* was a monster at 3,

   and gave himpause as to whether he wanted children. So *that*

   discussion has started in their international family. 

 

   And he sent along two short messages from a woman teacher

   there whose relatives are on Bitnet in the US, askign that

   I foward them over the net to addresses she gave - which

   appear to be good addresses. 

 

   Then he reported that his boss, head of the Computer Center

   was interested if we could export some software such as

   wordprocessing, speech recognition, and telecom 'stuff'

   for the SunWorkstation he - Ed - works on all day now.

   So who knows? Maybe Old Colorado City Communications

   can sell *something* to China to defray my period calls

   there over the past year. 

 

   Finally he asked: 

 

         One last thing.  Does anyone know the words to the song The

   Great Waltz?  The first few lines start:

         One day when we were young remember that morning in May

         you told me you love me when we were young one day.

         You told me you love me and held me close to your

         heart.

   This isn't imprtant at all, but a nice guy I met in Dalian a few

   months ago asked me for the words to the song.  If you know it or

   somebody you does fine.  Otherwise, don't sweat it. 

 

   So the China Chit-Chat continues!

   - - - - -

   79:49) Frank Burns, MDG                     19-MAY-90  14:31

   Sure good to know of another successful contact.

   - - - - -

   79:50) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-90  16:49

   He also said that Ha Ning, his bride, is interested in writing about

   China. And beleive you me, from the paper letters she has written

   us in English, she can handle the English language as well, perhaps

   better than he can! 

 

   Now that they are together, and alone in their honeymoon suite

   at Sechuan University in Chengdu, China, he says he thinks she will

   pick up writing on his Toshiba computer pretty quickly. 

 

   So we may get the treat before they leave for the US in the fall,

   of some stories by a Chinese girl, right from China! 

 

   How about "Growing Up in China" for starters? (my suggestion,

   to avoid political sensitivities until they are safely both

   in the US, and yet a topic *none* of us knows much about!

   - - - - -

   79:51) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-90  16:51

   Now that we know where Ha Ning will be for the next 4 months or

   so, the time has come to write her directly, and open up a dialogue

   to a family from a far away culture...[A 

 

   - - - - -

   79:52) Jim Rutt                             19-MAY-90  18:27

   How does Ed deal with living in the belly of a gangster

   state like China?  It must be real weird to have your life

   intrusted to the hands of some of the great mass murderers of

   all time.

   - - - - -

   79:53) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-90  21:02

   He is uncomfortable with it -but sees it as a challenge to function

   in that society, learning from Chinese how to be -- Chinese.

   Its amazing how he has gotton most everything he set out to

   get there, in the face of lots of obstacles put in his way

   by buracratic-fearful minor officials.

   - - - - -

   79:54) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-90  21:03

   Ok, worldly wise. What is the way *we* (my wife and I) should

   deal with the parents of our new daughter-in-law?

   - - - - -

   79:55) Frank Burns, MDG                     19-MAY-90  23:09 

 

   Now _that_, Dave, is a profoundly complex question. 

 

   It would be easy to say platitudinous obviousnesses... like "with

   grace" etc. 

 

   But... you really are facing some tough issues here.  Do they understand

   English enough to grasp subtleties ? 

 

   - - - - -

   79:56) Doug Carmichael                      20-MAY-90  12:34

   "deal with"? what's the issue? They are coming to visit too? I'd start

   with Ha Ning, what does she want to write, and then, what would she like

   for her parents?

   - - - - -

   79:57) Dave Hughes                          20-MAY-90  13:02

   Issue? 2,000 years of Chinese history, and the Middle Kingdom.

   200 of American history. And the center of the Electronic Universe. 

 

   Sooner or later directly, not throuh Ha Ning. 

 

   .

   - - - - -

   79:58) Gordon Cook                          20-MAY-90  23:32

   To change the subject just a little... 

 

   Dave, thanks for the good news about Ed and Ha Ning.  What you say about

   her English intrigues.  Please pass this on to Ed if you have not told him

   much the same before.  Between the three of you there is one helluva book! 

 

   Yeah I know YOU don't write books!  Well someone I hope has captured your

   acsii transmissions and Ed has hopefully saved his or you have.  don't you

   see, Ed writes most of it.  But some chapters are written by YOU.......or

   for you by Ed and Ha Ning using your words and interviews.  And some

   chapters are ha Ning's.  Growing up in Dalien.  Courtship of Xiao Ed.  Out

   witting the   bureaucracy, computer entrepeneurs in Chengdu, etc after exciting   etc.   Since William Hinton wrote his classic Fanshen...there hasn't been quite as   interesting a tale of Foreigners in the Middle Kingdom...and at what a   critical   time!  Seriously, it should be something that ed is thinking about and

   could be quite a wonderful project for Ha Ning when she gets back to

   Colorado.

   (Gorden) Hell, send them to Jane Heim Dave.   She has written one HELLUVA good  book    proposal and could teach them to do the same.  Getting published is damn   hard but this tory should be publishable. 

 

   And heck yes I eagerly await the first online instalment of Ha Ning's

   memoirs! -------- And on another subject, please tell Alex that I hope

   he's at ENA in San Francisco and I hope to meet him there.  I'll be

   downtown by 5pm May 22nd.

   - - - - -

   79:59) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-90  12:34

   Poor Alex reports that the official delegations to the Summit

   Meetings in Washington from Moscow has tied up all the Aeorflot

   flights during the time he wanted to come, so he isn't going to

   make it. At least that is my understanding at this point.

   - - - - -

   79:60) Sue Anderson                         03-JUN-90  23:35

   An 8th grade social studies teacher on our network seems to agree with

   Gordon in response 79:58.  She writes: 

 

        The thought of Ha Ning writing is great!!  Kids I teach would LOVE

   more of the "day-in-the-life-of" stuff. They are SO culture-bound they have

   a tough time imagining life w/o HBO, sneakers, all freedoms, etc.  There's

   a wide-open market for that sort of personal experience writing.

         It would seem that the social science magazines would be a good

   market for her.

         PLEEZE - encourage Ha Ning to write! Ed's letters have been such a

   treat this past year! I've looked forward to them! One night I tried to

   re-read all of them in one sitting! He's written quite a book!! Good luck

   on future publication!!

   - - - - -

   79:61) Gordon Cook                          06-JUN-90  23:06

   Well dave what DO Ed and Ha Ning say about their....and YOUR book?

   - - - - -

   79:62) Dave Hughes                          07-JUN-90  23:24

   Won't know until the next hook-up, planned for Monday. But it wil

   be a tough technical effort, through Chinese operators at the other

   end.

   - - - - -

   79:63) Gordon Cook                          09-JUN-90  22:39

   My ears <and cursor> are cocked!

   - - - - -

   79:64) Dave Hughes                          09-JUN-90  23:55

   When it rains, it pours. No sooner does my daughter Becky start

   her rounds for her new job in Seattle, but the company approached her

   as to whether *both* Ed and Haning would like a well paying set

   of jobs in China. They like his comptuer expertise, and her English

   Chinese language facility! 

 

   Then a letter arrives here from yet *another* Chinese University asking

   if Ed will take a position teaching English and COmputers for them! 

 

   - - - - -

   79:65) Matt Minahan                         10-JUN-90  0:31 

 

   There's a neat discussion underway this evening on the Mutual Broadcasting

   System between Jim Bohannon and author Bill Holmes, who has just come back

   from teaching English in China for a year.  He's peddling, and pretty darn

   successfully, his new book called "Coming Home Crazy" or something

   similar.  Good stuff, if you still have time to catch the radio program,

   and the author sounds pretty good, if you can catch his book.

   Matt 

 

   - - - - -

   79:66) Gordon Cook                          10-JUN-90  18:06

   WOW!

   - - - - -

   79:67) Dave Hughes                          12-JUN-90  21:36

   No online news from China this week. Ed is having a hard time

   arranging a direct-dial line which I can call and we can connect

   up on. The office of one he was beginning to use was closed, so

   he can't fall back on it. And when we try to connect through

   switchboard lines the signal is too attenuated to work so far

   after trying 3. 

 

   He is getting a little weary of the endless bureaucracy attendant

   to his every request. Now that he is in a big university in a

   city (Chengdu) which had large protests last year, every official

   is even more cautious about doing anything 'unusual' like

   hooking up his computer to a phone. I get the impression that the

   whole country is more uptight about telecommunications in general. 

 

   This morning we tried a connection in the business office of a

   newer hotel in town, with more modern telephone equipment. But it

   still went through an operator and thus we could not get carrier

   connection at 1200 baud after I talked with him by voice. 

 

   But I *did* get a treat. I got to talk to his new wife Ha Ning

   by voice for the first time! A sweet clear voice with even

   better English pronounciation than I expected. 

 

   Ed continues to work at the Sun Workstation - which as it turns

   out was a grant from the World Bank. But they really are having

   a hard time figuring out what to do with it, and won't send

   for software out of country. They would like to hook it up via

   Ethernet to a bunch of PCs, two of which have something called

   a 'Link Card' and run '3+' software which theoretically can

   be used for thin wire Ethernet. 

 

   Anybody familiar with that? 

 

   He will try again in two weeks. Meanwhile he and Ha Ning have

   been offered positions in China working for a large US company,

   and he has been asked by a college in Nanjing if he would work

   for them. 

 

   So he has some thinking to do. 

 

 

 

 

 

   - - - - -

   79:68) Frank Burns, MDG                     17-JUN-90  3:51 

 

   (( a transcript of this item would be a hell of a resume.)) 

 

   - - - - -

   79:69) Dave Hughes                          07-JUL-90  22:48

   Lot of fun talking to no less than 6 Chinese telphone

   operators - none of whom spoke English - to try and reach

   Ed and Ha Ning voice tonight. Calls we had attempted at

   the appointed times - from 9 to 11PM China time were met

   with no answers inside China. So I picked Sunday morning

   at 8:30 AM China time, got answers, and a whole series

   of exited female Chinese operators who finally punched

   the right buttons when I kept repeating "Edward and

   Ha Ning Hughes...Edward and....." Finally somebody got

   the idea and went to their room and while Ed had to

   get dressed, Ha Ning answered... 

 

   We still can't connect ala modem between the extension phones

   at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China and Colorado. Ed got a

   connect at his end with his Touchbase Modem, but my internal

   Toshiba modem just couldn't grab it. So it was voice only. 

 

   But it was very, very nice to talk, and for my wife Patsy to

   talk, quite a while with Ha Ning, Ed's new wife. She is a

   delight, and absolutely no problem through the distorting

   and hissing overseas voice phone connection, understanding

   her English. She is beginning to learn Wordperfect on his

   Toshiba, so I urged her to write a little piece about growing

   up as a little girl in China, and send it on floppy disk even

   if we can't xmodem it. She giggled at the thought of it. But

   I think she will. 

 

   So Xiao Ed is spending his days on the Sun Workstation trying

   to accomplish some of the ill-defined things they would like

   him to do. They are not only poor 'computer plan administrators'

   even though they have some pretty fancy equipment, they can't

   even make cables, he avers. But he hacked around to the point

   he gets a login prompt on the Sun from his Toshiba 1000, direct

   cabled with jury rig connectors. So would like me to send

   a shell program in ASCII which he could transfer to the Sun,

   compile it as a binary transfer utility which would work with

   Procomm. And he has got the modem on the Sun working. So

   make an unprecedented uucp call out to Colorado from that system

   before his contract period is over on October 8th. 

 

   He and Ha Ning have to fly to Guangzhou to process her immigration

   papers later this month, so she can come with him in late

   October, after they visit her home in Dalian enroute to the

   United States. So there was no 'journal' this time. Voice on

   telephone is great for  some things, like getting to know your

   new daughter-in-law, but absolutely the pits for storytelling

   from China.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                       THE HAPPY ENDING

Well, after all the angst after Ed (and Haning) were fired by the Dalian Foreign Trade School, for ‘cultural pollution’ and a race against time during which Ed could find another position to buy time while Ha Nings Visa to the US comes through, and then somehow be able to leave together:

  1. Ed got a position at Sichuan University, in  Chengdu – to work on their new Sun Workstations. I was able to do a tour de force by sending him the ASCII source code to Xmodem, which he was able to compile on his Toshiba and in the Sun workstation, afterwhich he was able to transfer binary files to/from the Sun. For the Chinese engineers, WAY advanced.
  2. Haning was able to join him – so they honeymooned in Chengdu
  3. Her Visa and all the other permissions came through.
  4. The school gave him the price of the plane ticket from Hong Kong to America, as they were supposed to when they terminated him.
  5. I located in Hong Kong an American from Colorado (Russ Arenman) who was editing a Hong Kong Electronic News, who certified to the China-Hong Kong border guards that indeed, they had tickets out of Hong Kong to the US, so they could both enter Hong Kong for 24 hours. He gave them an overnight crash pad.
  6. Ed and Ha Ning flew to our home in Colorado Springs.

Ed’s adventurous trip to China was over.

 

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