Brian in China

Brian Fennig, a senior lecturer in the Wellness Department of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, is traveling to Yangshuo, China, for spring break 2013. While his ultimate destination is a Tai Chi school in Yangshuo, his trip will take him through Hong Kong and Guilin as well.

Leaving behind life in Yangshuo

Yangshuo Park It’s Friday morning, and I am beginning this final entry as I sit comfortably in bed. Despite the rooster’s best effort, I slept until just about 5 o’clock this morning. As I suspected, I’ve almost adapted to my new sleep schedule, and to this town as well, but it’s time to leave. In a few hours I’ll head back to the Guilin Airport and then to Hong Kong, San Francisco, and finally Dallas on Saturday morning. I’ll gain back 13 hours with my flight home. The last few days have been packed with more Tai Chi and plenty of cycling again. By Thursday morning, our little group of students (we added one person from Germany) had [...]

2013-03-15T22:54:11+00:00 March 15th, 2013|Brian in China|

Journey to Moon Hill

On the road to Moon Hill I tackled two items today: biked to Moon Hill and then explored the town a little bit. Because it’s Sunday, we didn’t have class, and I was able to set out early on my ride. Moon Hill, as one source indicated, is about 9 kilometers from the town of Yangshuo. The ride was pleasant and mostly flat, so peddling was easy and enjoyable. I am still not used to the traffic on the roads here. Bikes, scooters, buses and cars all share the same space. It was not unusual for my little bike to ride next to a tour bus and motorcycle at the same time, although generally, the cyclists stay on [...]

2013-03-11T21:15:56+00:00 March 10th, 2013|Brian in China|

First day of class

Brian with rooster Today is the first day of Tai Chi classes. I managed to get back to sleep after the rooster welcomed me to the new day, and now I am rested and looking forward to practicing the form. One thing that made this program so inviting when I saw it online was that in addition to the hotel and classes, all meals were provided. I don’t think, however, that I was prepared for the nature of meal services here. Breakfast was available starting about 8 a.m., but the meal wasn’t at the hotel. One of my instructors, Da Zhu, told me to walk over to a little brick and tin building across the street, let them [...]

2013-03-11T21:03:19+00:00 March 10th, 2013|Brian in China|

3:30 a.m. in Yangshuo

It’s 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, March 9, and I’m wide awake in my hotel room in Yangshuo. It is somewhat of a miracle that I actually made it here, as my earlier jaunt from the Guilin Airport had me wandering lost and pulling my large suitcase around the city streets for some time. I’m sure that my early stirring has much to do with my body still being set to a Dallas clock and, like many travel situations dictate, I anticipate adapting just in time for my departure back to the States. I’m convinced, however, that the rooster, which crowed outside my window about 3:28 this morning, might have contributed to my being awake. I might not have expected [...]

2013-03-11T15:25:51+00:00 March 9th, 2013|Brian in China|

“The point of ignition”

“Something mysteriously formed, Born before heaven and earth. In the silence and the void, Standing alone and unchanging, Ever present and in motion. Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things. I do not know its name. Call it Tao. For lack of a better word, I call it great.” Lao Tsu / Tao Te Ching From the pictures that I have seen of Yangshuo, the massive limestone karsts, the Li River, the caves and the expansive landscape, it is clear that this small city is a place of “ten thousand things.” My intention in traveling, however, is to focus on one thing: Tai Chi. I first studied this graceful martial art over two years go and have since [...]

2013-03-07T15:37:17+00:00 March 6th, 2013|Brian in China|