China trip – 24. Staying healthy in China

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China has quite a few traditional medicines, and the people are known to be quite superstitious so certain types of health treatments are quite different from what people are used to the western world.   These shops have cabinets and small drawers full of unusual medicinal things.

These days everyone in my country wants to trust a new and esoteric type of medicine or treatment they have read on the internet.   We can see this in the growth of the modern vegetarian and vegan movements.   But also outrightly false types of advice are being pushed around on the web;  “Vaccines cause autism” said, someone, I have never met.  With no formal qualifications.  On the internet.   With a beard.   Someone I know who got into some of this stuff took this one step further, refuses to visit any hospital or doctor and gets advice from complete strangers.   I find this really strange.

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So its quite funny that Chinese have a message to those who might take complementary medicine a bit too far.

I was working in different parts of Europe (Barcelona, Vienna, Stockholm, and Lisbon) for a few months in 2017.   One thing I noticed was all of Europe has agreed to make cigarette packets focused on the deadly health consequences of smoking.

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This isn’t yet true of China, cigarettes show flowers and other pretty items on their cigarettes.

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I like this automated orange juicer.   Being a geek I appreciate being able to see inside.  Each orange is slice in half, each piece falls into a rounded cup which is rotated 180 degrees and then squashed simultaneously.   We could do with more of these in Britain.  I’d imagine this would need a lot of maintenance as there must be spillage inside.

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The tea shop! everything to do with tea, pots, cups, is in this place.   Note the ornamental pot with water fountain.

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See the brick things in the tea shop?   They are not bricks as in part of the building, they are bricks of tea demonstrating how tea has been packed for export.

23. Urban fishing Shanghai style

25. Chinese Dragons and the bible

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China trip – 23. Urban fishing Shanghai style

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This young man’s determined to go fishing in a banned place got everyone’s attention….

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Soon dozens of people are watching….

This is some kind of water filtration plant.   Signs and spikes don’t put him off.  Nor that the water isn’t a very nice colour.

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We are in the financial heart of Shanghai, with different shaped high blocks of offices around everywhere.

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….Success!   the young man got his fish using a strange looking small harpoon gun with a length of nylon wire.

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Meanwhile, ordinary fishing takes place, with wide nets across the canals just around the corner of Shanghai.

22. Brand new church Shanghai

24. Staying healthy in China

China trip – 22. Brand new church Shanghai

My hostel is on this map here. (don’t forget nothing Google works inside China)

Directly opposite the hostel is a church.   Not just any church, this was brand new.   Not a tiny place run on a shoestring, but a building three floors with a underground car park and a security guard in a booth!  It appears it was built after Google made this map and no longer provides recent changes.

IMG_20170423_094729308 1024The church I went to in Beijing (in June 2017) was an international church and to comply with the government would only let in foreigners and Chinese who hold non-Chinese passports.  This place here was a indigeonous type of congregation, without obvious support from other nations and was new and seemed welcoming but no one spoke English.  I’ve no idea what was preached.    I did see this bookshop though.

I actually feel uneasy about talking about some of this on my blog as I don’t want them to face harrasment.  There are stories from Christian (in 2018) news sites about churches being demolished or blown up by the Chinese government and sales of bibles stopped.  There is definite persecution of Chinese Christians, which is why many churches operate from people’s homes.

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Meanwhile, back in London, UK.   In late 2017, I bought this bible mail order through a really good small online Christian retailer called 10ofthose.com    I only bought it as my regular bible was looking more battered, and at £12 this bible is great value and has a sturdy maroon hardcover.   Lo and behold, it is made in China!

Please remember to pray for the body of Christ in China and for the church and the gospel to continue to grow.

21. Shanghai’s Science museum

23. Urban fishing Shanghai style

 

China trip – 21. Shanghai’s Science museum

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Shanghai’s science museum is pretty good.   A modern steel and glass which is big like every other establishment in this city.

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The stuffed animals and cave-like rooms you can walk into to see a zoo of static non-live animals in a jungle atmosphere is really well done.

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There’s a good selection of robots here.  This one is playing Go (which is a Japanese board game)

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It’s funny how scientists and great thinkers can vocally follow God or reject him completely.  In the academic world, it’s either one or the other.

China is a country particularly hostile to religion but had this quote on this item in the foyer of the museum.

“I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” (Isaac Newton)

20. The computer repair hall 

22. Brand new church Shanghai

China trip – 20. The computer repair hall

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China is the manufacturing capital of the world by a very big margin I think.   By this dual carriageway which heads through a busy Shanghai metropolis is 3 floors of technological workshops.

People in the west might grumble how difficult it is to repair or get parts for something broken.

Not in Shanghai.  The Chinese do know how to repair things as well.

This was one of the three floors of a building with dozens of computer stores selling new, used equipment and doing repairs, with amazed westerners being able to witness workshops right in front of you.

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For those who know me, I’ve done repairs on laptops and one Mac, and know how difficult how some are to get apart, and you really need to study diagrams or a Youtube video from someone else who has done it.   To take apart a Mac requires a suction cup to remove the glass before getting the TORX screws the hold the LCD out.   Getting apart phones and tablets normally involve a hairdryer on hot mode to melt the glue in the glass and prise out the glass with guitar plectrums in all four sides which requires a lot of patience.

Some of these people are in the middle of soldering, removing screws, taking complex circuit boards from the lower half of laptops.   This is a lot different from your average UK high street shop that unlocks phones and does normal PC repair.   These people seem to have a lot more dexterity and skill to do some really good workmanship.

One man is chatting with a soldering iron and the bottom half of a laptop, there are piles of chassis and circuit boards of gadgets to be repaired in untidy piles in small and cramped areas where each vendor is doing his own repairs.

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19. Shanghai’s big open food market

21. Shanghai’s Science museum

China trip – 19. Shanghai’s big open food market

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This market looks quite similar to the ones I have seen in the middle east, particularly in Jerusalem.   Maybe a little bit cleaner without a leaky roof, and has all the produce you can think of, and is all fresh of course.   There are a few Chinese specialties like those pale coloured pears you can buy in the UK.

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There’s a lot of vendors here, with all kinds of cuts of meat.

 

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Going towards the back of the market, things get a bit weird and exotic.

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….until you see a bag of live frogs and toads.   My phone gives you an idea how big they were.  No dogs or cats thankfully, a local told me this happens in more rural towns but not in Shanghai, I did see a bucket of live turtles, but it is too sad to say what happened to them….. 😦

18. Shanghai motor show 2017

20. The computer repair hall

China trip – 18. Shanghai motor show 2017

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What makes you think is the best place to showcase cars?   normally car shows are in Geneva, Milan, Paris or even Monaco?  These are almost certainly dwarfed by this event.   The Shanghai automotive show is THE biggest car show in the world.

You will see European, Jap & Korean and American brands, but also Chinese makers that are unfamiliar to the rest of the world.   Every brand I could of think of is represented here.   Actually, the most popular brand of car in China I noticed was VW.

Imagine, a large sports stadium, multiply that by 6, there are so many vehicles to see, it was actually closed by the time I got round to see everything.

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Qoros is little known in the west, they are Chinese car maker which worked with Israeli hi-tech partners to do some of the R&D.

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The Chinese saved the MG brand from Rover’s demise in 2006, they are still going strong in Asia, but I’m sure how well they convinced British and Europeans to buy MG again.

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World famous brands like Ford and Toyota will have family cars and sports cars alike, as well as a small museum with some vintage models as well.

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Marketing cars in China, is from before when car shows in the UK were nervous of political correctness, as armies of beautiful girls in identical outfits are paraded around and supply visitors with marketing literature.   I took home a Chinese language Jaguar F type brochure.

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Not just conventional, exotic cars and SUVs, but commercials, trucks, buses and military vehicles too.    Above: makers of car components are there to sell to makers also.

Much of the western motor manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes, build their cars in China to sell to the Asian market.    This event showed a staggering scale of the demand for nice cars amongst middle to high earning Chinese families.

17. Chinese street food breakfast

19. Shanghai’s big open food market

Israel’s emerging new friends

Israel is condemned by the Islamic and Arab world, its condemned by the United Nations, its condemned by the mainstream media, and it is condemned by some weak forms of religion with make it up as you go along morals rather than the framework of the bible.

Jewish people around the world and Evangelical Christians have an affinity with Israel and often prepared to put finances and prayer and support and hard work into defending this land, when hostility or apathy abounds.

This may seem depressing, but in order for those who have faith in the Jewish Messiah I think its necessary for us to be less to put less trust in governments and rulers and more in how our Father in heaven would weaken all rational forms of governance and strengthen our faith in the plans for Christ’s return.

But it is on social media I’ve made a few friends with some people groups who want to offer a hand to the Jewish state.

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Maybe its because they get Israel is a democratical nation?  maybe its the history or the never give up attitude of the Jewish people?  or, even memories of Jewish people who once numbered thousands in North Africa and other parts of the Middle East?

These folks I spoke to on Facebook are Kurds from Iraq, Turkey or Syria who feel they are a separate ethnic group to Arab people.    The others are Amazighs, or we might commonly call Berbers, native people of North Africa in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.  These people tend to be non-practising Muslims or secular.   They have grown up in the stranglehold of Islam and long for something different.  They feel that their culture predates invasion by Arab Islam, just like Israel.

I visited Morocco in 2005, and noticed straight away there are two different ethnic groups in North Africa.    I like the food, clothing and textiles, artwork and other aspects of Morocco which is similar to the middle east but different.

Every politician in the UK wants to have a selfie by a mosque on their Twitter profile so they can show they are multicultural and ‘progressive’ they are.  Sigh…

I’ve chatted quite a bit online to a couple of Amazigh young men.   They are smart, but live in poor isolated villages.  They have a love of animals (animal cruelty is a big problem in the Islamic world) They have questions of faith, how Christianity and Judaism and Islam differ, some of them want to know the Bible and the Messiah of Israel.   Some already know a different path in faith could cost them.   One has already found Christ.

I’m now needing to find other Christians who can help disciple some of these people who ask me questions.   One is female and would be best done by another female.

This kind of thing excites me a lot.

Matthew 9 : 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”