I wake up at 5:00am to meditate and then I go for a jog. My jog takes me down market street, across a 4 lane highway, over a bridge and to a park. I love my morning jog because it’s a time when most of Beilun is asleep, or if they are up they haven’t gotten in their cars and on their motorbikes yet. This means there’s no worries about crossing streets or the sounds of horns honking continuously.
The other joy is getting a quick glimpse of the fruit, vegetable and fish vendors set up their wares on market street. I take this path because I like to check out what’s fresh. So far I buy all of my fruit and veggies on market street. I haven’t graduated to meat yet because, well to be honest, meat sitting out in 29 degree (celsisus) heat doesn’t make me think yum burgers for dinner. It’s already a stretch to squat down and pick out my onions, bok choy, long beans and eggplant next to someone who just spat on the ground or the guy who’s puffing on a cigarette directly over the greens. Hey, I was everything so I’m good, sort of, well honestly I buy from the lady with the stall and the goods that don’t sit on the ground but you get my drift.
That’s the last part of my jog, as I walk home from the park. The park is where you get to see everyday China. Like any other park there are young people and old people there but here’s the major difference. EVERYONE is exercising. In groups, pairs, and solo, women and men are practicing Tai Chi, playing badminton, jogging, speed walking, and dancing. Yep, dancing. Today I saw a couple practicing a waltz or tango or something. I don’t know, ballroom type is all I know. Right there in the midst of couples playing badminton and two older women doing Tai Chi. I haven’t worked up the nerve to ask or to jump right in to a Tai Chi lesson but I’m working on it.
Morning jogs, always a pleasure and a way to see a new city differently.