It happened on July 15th , 2018.
Prominent School League’s Education Forum for Countries along the Belt & Road & Hengshui High School the 6th International Culture, Education & Arts Festival was on the next day!
Councillor Kevin Victor Watkins, from Hastings District Council, Newzealand
was invited in our school for the festival and forum. He was tall and strong, friendly and nice, knowledgeable and observant.
(The name of his city reminds me of my visit to Hastings in the UK. I have a fresh memory of my diary:
Don't hate Hastings!!!
I should repeat the above to anyone who wishes not to visit this very beautiful place in the southern part of the UK.
In the morning I could not wait to start my visit to Hastings but Mr. Taylor seemed not in a rush. Just 15 minutes before the train left Walmer, he and his wife drove me to the station.
Much to my surprise, only Seve was there, standing on the platform. He had said to meet him here, in Walmer, with Lizzie. He told me that when he got to Sandwich Station, a train stopped and he asked if the train was the one to Hastings, the Assistant gave him a definite answer. So he got on the train, hurriedly. But later he knew it was the earlier train and that was why he had been there, waiting for me. I think my Assistant was also wrong because from Sandwich to Hastings the price was 13.50 pounds; from Walmer to Hastings, it should have been cheaper, but she politely asked me to pay 13.70 pounds. Anyway the train came and Lizzie came out to meet us.
1) A girl student in the train had a bag with a small badge, popular among the young, saying “I am fucking mental.”(Was she crazy? I do not know!).
2) The Assistant liked to say: Ta, Cheers, Lovely, Thank you or thanks, after he had checked your ticket.
3) It is winter now but everything, including the train to Hastings, is green. Even the words, ‘my love, evergreen, came to hasting’, carved in the caves in Hastings.
4) So many people liked to name their house using bird or animal names or something else. Like, The Dolphin, The seagull, The Pump, Ferry Road and so on. You could imagine this was a beautiful place on the sea.
5) The streets in Hastings were not as clean as I thought.
6) Some horses were raised as pets! What big pets!!!They were feeding freely in the fields, with blankets on their bodies.
7) The sheep on the farm WERE so fat and “phat.”
8) The windmill along the river in Rye was well protected. (Seve and I got off in Rye and had a short visit when we were on our way back).
9) They used the phrase, “get set” to express “to get ready”, “to move”, or “to act!”
10) It seemed I was interested in everything. What a silly big boy!!!
But the most exciting experience I had, today, was the following:
I was in luck to be inside the Hastings Ruins!!! The Hastings Ruins, although much smaller than the Old Summer Palace, was the first Castle in English history. Standing on the ruins, you could not help thinking of the times, 900 years ago, when people were fighting for power and land! Walking on the remains, you could imagine the days before Iron Age. Looking at the Stonewall, you had to admire the local ancient people!
The Smuggler's Cave left a deep impression on me. I was scared to death when suddenly the smugglers dressing like ghosts came to my eyes. The smugglers must have spent years of digging and carving into the caves. Now the whole mountain was empty inside. The smugglers were clever. They had so many ways to cheat the officials. They were excellent forgers. You could not tell the flags on their ships or boats were fakes. The smuggled goods were hid inside their clothes, the artificial limbs, the torches or even in their stomachs. But these smugglers were incited to smuggle more goods by the local poor people who did not earn much. Another reason why smuggling was popular was that the imported goods came with heavy tax.
Another thing that I did today was walking home after stepping off train from Walmer. I believed I could find the way, so I had told Mr. Tailor not to pick me up. It took me an hour and a half. Why did it so long? Sorry to tell you that I got lost!!! So Mr. and Mrs. Tailor asked me where I had been in the world when I dragged home.
It was like this. Getting off the train, I tried to tell the directions. I was sorry that I could not. I started to ask but it was deep night. There were very few people in the streets. When stopping at a cross I hesitated. After decision I turned left which later proved totally wrong. The village, Walmer, was small and soon there were no lights out of the village. I walked and walked and felt a little strange. Now I was walking along a main road, which I had never been before. I found there was a village in the distance. Was it Kingsdown? I came to a gas station nearby and told the men what my trouble was. Surprisingly they were from Iraq and were new here. I was not afraid at all. I went back to Walmer and knocked a door. An old man came out to see what was up. “Do not worry! Young man.!I was a Manwoodian, teaching science. I could drive you home.” He was old and I would not bother him that much. So I just asked him to tell me the directions. He was humorous. “Young man! Do you know up and down, right and left?” I smiled and said yes to him. He explained where Kingsdown was many times to me with patience.
...Hours later, my English house was before me!!! )
“The Hastings Ruins”
It was evening and he was shown around the school campus. He was introducing his program called " X Hunt". A Chinese in any field who appeals to his or her career can be the X. Just a few clues were given to the school kids and then it was the kids' job to try to find out who it was. A report to describe him or her was presented to the councilor. The winner was given a free return ticket to meet the X in China. He stopped suddenly when he came to the big Globle Stutue. "Where is Newzealand?", he asked me. "Nowhere, is it because of its tininess? " " I wish it was there!" "You miss the missing!!!" I murmured and he smiled.