Life in china is starting to settle into a pattern. I haven’t reached a point where I feel like everything is normal yet but there is a rhythm to my days
and its nice to have a semblance of routine. Equally enjoyable is that I’m now doing things that are not directly related to living in china but living life in general.
Those things thus far having included running and doing yoga. Apparently my addiction to yoga and running wasn’t just something I did because I was bored at home. Running is sort of a great way to explore the city, seeing the same roads daily in early morning light makes you feel attached to a place. I still love grocery shopping, I’ve always loved picking out food and planning meals, its even more fun to do in china where I don’t know all the ingredients and its been a lot of experimentation. I do really miss certain foods, avocados, greek yoghurt, quinoa, cookies, ice cream… and basically Trader Joes in general.
I’ve also started a little garden. I gathered a small crowd when I went out to pull up weeds and plant some garlic, ginger, green beans, and peppers. Literally I think some people called family members to come out and see the white girl garden. I have no idea why I’m so entertaining and I’ve learned that they just don’t think its rude to stare and they’ll typically get bored after a minute or two. I may try to grow a pineapple plant soon.
Continuing on with my hipster nature, I also had a big project of trying to make my own yoghurt. The yoghurt here tastes super sugary and its really too expensive anyways so I’m making my own yoghurt now. It did come out a bit liquid-ish but I think I can do better. I made my own granola to mix with it and added some chopped up mango. I was a happy camper with that. I try to have one meal a day that’s American/ not-greasy or carb-based, and I go one day a week without eating Chinese food. This seems to keep my stomach happy. I can’t handle eating all the rice/noodles here and the oil in the food will bother my stomach if I have too much.
I actually read somewhere that Chinese people can eat so much low-quality oil because the tea they drink flushes it out of their system. I’m not sure if I think that’s true but I don’t drink nearly as much tea as them so I’m happy limiting my oil intake. Its not a good oil like olive or coconut, its some vegetable oil that makes me feel stodgy and gross sometimes. With that being said, I still cannot get over how delicious the food is and while I eat yoghurt and veggies for lunch, I am quite happy slurping down Chinese food for dinner.
There is a large park near the school and sometimes during out lunch break I go there to read for awhile. I sit by a lake with a lot of giant goldfish, watch the elderly couples walk around, listen to people singing, and typically read. I read everything on my ipad these days (I hate using an e-reader but traveling is not ideal for carrying large books). Anyways I was sitting on bench reading and all the sudden in the reflection of the screen I see this old man lean over and stare down. It scared me SO bad! but he just kept staring at the screen for like a minute or two then calmly walked away, never saying anything. China is really good about continuing to amuse me.
Less amusing is that its apparently rat season here. I walked into work and found a dead rat in the entryway (I have no idea why no one noticed it). There was also a rat in the textbook closet and I’m not sure how they killed it, but there was blood literally splattered on the walls. Seriously. Splattered. So I guess they didn’t want to just kill it but send a message to the rodent world. I also saw a rat in the grocery store. It did not make me happy. I had this moment where I felt like everything in china was contaminated and gross- I just wanted to go home to clean Target aisles, more rodent control and fewer people infected with Hep B. Then I got over myself.
Anyways. things that have been making my life better these days
Scribd. Its $9 a month and a LOT of good books available for downloads. I cannot afford to download all the books I want to read since I read like a junkie but $9 seems reasonable to feed my addiction. The formatting on the books is a bit wonky at times, but still readable.
The Gospel Whiskey Runners-My new favorite band. It would be really terrible if I ran out of folk bands with grungy beards and flannel shirts to listen too but Pandora keeps providing.
Gardening. There is something amazing about sinking your hands into dirt and the sight of small spouts opening their leaves to the sun. Someday when I’m settled in a single place I will grow an amazing garden, but for now I’m happy to plant seeds and even if I’m not around to seem them bear fruit… no act of love is ever wasted?
I have another 3 day weekend coming up and I’m not sure where I’ll go yet. I really want to see the Yangtze River though… and maybe eat a burger.