Who Put The Chin in China

3 Aug

The Chin Village

* * *

I’ve officially started my next multimedia book, Who Put The Chin in China? Parts of my China Mission entailed: retrieving my grandma’s makeup table, searching for lost family treasure, and cooking on my grandpa’s stove. A bike was my primary mode of transportation and my understanding of Cantonese sucked.

Here’s an excerpt from my first night sleeping in my Ye’s Ye’s (Grandpa) house.

First night at the homestead…

My parents gave me brains, gave me high cheekbones and a great smile, but neither gave me much of an ass. I lay on an ancient straw mat, one that possibly has sweat and storied flakes of epidermis from my ancestors. I wonder,”How did my Bok Bok (great grandma) sleep like this? She didn’t have much of an ass either.”  I believed sleeping this way would be ingrained–a Chinese thing–like my ability to scarf a bowl of rice in seconds. Minutes perspire away until I concede, this skill has bypassed my generation. My tailbone feels as though it’s piercing skin. Lying on my side only duplicates the same feeling in my hips. I sit up, a defeated man thinking about cushions. The gray brick walls and barred windows of Ye Ye’s old house haven’t seen this much entertainment in decades. Out the open door of the bedroom, I hear scurrying—rats! I burst out laughing, spot my computer case and laugh some more. The quarter inch of foam feels like a Posturepedic mattress under my butt; luxury is relative. Time for sleep.Tomorrow is another busy day. I have other villages to find, rice paddies to walk, and family treasure to hunt….

This video show my first bike being fixed up. I had three bikes during my five week stay in Southern China. The first bike had a chain that kept falling off. The second bike had no brakes. The third bike was sweet-as. A new bike cost about twenty bucks. I spent roughly fifty buck buying old junkers.

Ye Ye was the coolest Chin of them all.

Parts of these videos were cut on the fly in China and parts were cut shortly after I returned. It’s nice to wipe the dust off the footage and get started on a new project. Without Rain took me five years to complete.  Hopefully I’ll bust this one out a little quicker. 🙂
Without Rain Recently mentioned on Wired.com!

Time Passing


Ryan Chin is the author of Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows, a multimedia memoir about his teaching experience in New Zealand. He likes to call it a pet and teacher memoir sandwiched into an overseas  adventure. The book is available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and locally at Powell’s Books. He tries to keep a stack on his dashboard for random giveaways so if you see a Chinese guy driving a big white van, throw a piece of fruit (preferably something soft like a banana) at his windshield; he might stop and give you a book. In between standing at the kitchen sink, changing diapers and napping with ear plugs, he can be found playing with sticks and stones in his yard and writing in his garage. In between all that stuff, he swings a hammer as a licensed remodel contractor (Gin Fu’s Home Improvement LLC). Give him a shout if you need some windows. And in between all the above, he helps Lori operate a preschool out of their newly remodeled basement (Little Green School House).

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