Saturday, May 15, 2010

A good day for a run

I told you those skies were getting bluer, and I am taking full advantage, which today meant a long run up the coast to the popular beach area a few miles north of us. I was inspired by my friend, who recently accomplished the same distance and lived to tell me about it. I'm not sure exactly how far it was, and my husband did lecture me about taking water along (which I'm sorry, I just can't wear those weird hip pouches with little bottles bouncing along at my side. It feels fanatical or something), but I figured it wasn't a far enough distance to render that necessary so I declined and survived without being admitted for dehydration. 

I often wish while I pitter patter along, that I could take my camera with me. But if the hip pouch is too much, surely my size-of-a-small-child camera would be as well. It's so beautiful out there though. I know I complain a lot about living in a city, I know. I know. But I am here today to confess to you that as far as China cities go, this one is actually quite beautiful. There are people who actually envy me for living here. I need to talk to those people more. Someday I may also have to take a walk where I usually run and just snap photos, so I can share some glimpses of beautiful coastal city life, China-style, with you. Today I am just using some old shots from different ventures in the city 

The air was filled with the smoky scent of chuars roasting and sizzling on the little charcoal grills. Everywhere I went along the winding coast, there were groups of people gathered, ,munching on the tender sticks of grilled meat, flying kites, lounging on the sandy shoreline. A dark and leathered face bent slowly over her twine wrapped, straw broom and swiped at paper scraps and cigarette butts, the handkerchief shrouding her head to keep the sun out. 

Two women linked arms, clicking along the boardwalk in their high heels and giggling some shared news. I love how the women all wear heels here. It will never be something I join them in but it makes me smile how they can pull of a hike up a mountain or a five mile walk down the shoreline in an outfit I would think fit only for a business interview or thrift store dress up party. 

Even with all that I can lament about living here in this jungle of high rises, I know that all these unique and interesting parts of its landscape are now home to me as well. I find some measure of comfort in them and some sweet kind of delight that comes from the collection of their particularities. Passing the tattered bikes, the old man pacing the street announcing his ability to fix anything from computers to air conditioners, the roasted sweet potatoes staying warm over a 50 gallon drum or the pile of peanuts sitting for sale by the scoop, the children being hustled along by two parents and four hundred grandmas, the delight of a simple kite being flown high, it all sinks in to form some sort of place carved out in my heart. A place for China. Running without enough water will do that to you I guess.

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