A random day….
So I woke up to a beautiful yet thick snow coming down on Daxing Beijing China. First thought wow that is beautiful, second thought crap.. how am I going to get to work. You see… I do not think there are any snow plows at all.. in Daxing. I’m not sure the “believe in them”. So I look out my living room window on to the main street and see a city worker doing what they always do when it snows… sweeping it up. I don’t quite understand that concept still, but I’m trying to grasp it. They literally use brooms and sweep the snow. One time I saw a whole bunch of women outside the mall with colorful brooms sweeping at the snow. It was a time I wish I had my camera.
So I get onto my bike (its way faster) and head off towards work, in the snow. Ok, so everything is alright, yes I’m slipping around but I can survive. And quite honestly everyday walking/biking/traveling through China it’s a miracle more people aren’t hit or hurt. So I’m biking to work, and notice yet again for the second time my handlebars are coming loose. They start slipping from the main area until the brakes are located on top of my fingers and my wrists are curled upwards in a very uncomfortable and hurt bent position. Not good. Note to self have to go to bike guy and get that tightened up.
Finally we get to work, same stuff different day, honestly not that much to say about it.
After work I head to the gym luckily short shorts guy wasn’t there. I mean as much as I appreciate his amazingly… hairy legs the butt cheeks I can do without. Just so happens Short Shorts aka Mong can speak a little English. We’ve had one ChinEnglish conversation thus far it has been interesting. I race to the gym and upstairs to try to make it for at least 25 minutes of the yoga class. I need to destress, unwind, stretch after a long week. I know this sounds crazy.. “Maggie” you are probably thinking, “how will you know what to do?” I guess that’s the best part about being in China. I never really know what’s going on anyways, so I just wing it! Luckily with the yoga classes or the spin classes I can just watch and repeat (and I know enough about both to know if I’m doing things right or wrong). I sprint to the yoga class — crap they locked the door– what?! Head back to receptionist, “Nǐ hǎo” then I do a whole lot of motions, point towards the class schedule and beckon her to come towards me also making some sort of locked motion… IT WORKED! She follows me and unlocks the door, God only knows why they lock the door in the first place.
So I head into the yoga class, the instructor was super sweet! I spend the class glancing over to my left constantly and attempting to do the moves they are doing.. also learning a few new ones which I’m REALLY excited about! Most yoga places do the same things, so I’m pumped to learn new and challenging positions. I also noticed the yoga teacher knew the words, inhale, exhale, up, and down. How exciting! Maybe she actually knows some English. As class is going on I fantasize about the possibility that she does, and we could be new best friends learning yoga and chatting together on my off days… as you can see.. there really aren’t a lot of English-speaking people in Daxing (as in NONE) so the thought of a new friend is very exciting.
After class I run up to her “do you speak English” immediately she beckons “no no no.. no English”. Okay that dream bubble was popped instantly.
I head onto the treadmill, which by the way I have noticed each treadmill in the gym their speed is different. **Remember, it’s kilometers/hour not miles/hour** So after class I have to convert what the heck I just did.
I head into the showers… which are quite an interesting story in itself.
NOTE: if you are not ready to hear weird details, do not read on.
So the showers outside are entitled, shower and bathroom I was like, Oh great there is a bathroom inside too! WRONG. Never assume anything here.. ever (I once thought something was chocolate and come to find out it was red bean they love that stuff its in and on everything.. and they use it like it’s a sweet, it most definitely is not though). So I head into the showers briefly search around, no bathroom. I proceed to take a shower after working out, also keep in mind in China the women here are very open about their bodies. Women are marching around completely and utterly naked. Coming from the USA where you feel that you have to wear a towel and most people are self conscious, I was not ready for this masquerade! Anyways I head into the shower (slightly uncomfortable, but honestly not really, when in China do as the Chinese do it’s my motto). Then I realize there is a drainage system running down the shower area, its metal. Then I see that this is considered the bathroom reason I know, I accidentally turned around to see a woman squatting over the drain thing. Let’s say the fist time I went to this gym I didn’t have shower sandles, REGRET, after that though EVERYDAY SHOWER SANDLES …
So after the gym I went back home on my bent handle bar bike, listening to Jason Mraz and literally singing my brains out on my bike. “If it’s for sale what is your offer, I’ll sell it for no less than what I bought it for. Pay no more than absolutely zero,” I think this keeps me sane… enjoy Daxing, enjoy.
Anyways when I head back there are a lot of buses that run by. Normally I ride on the sidewalk/biker area, but sometimes there isn’t one so I was riding on the road. It’s amazing how much I have disregarded stop lights, green lights, yellow lights (really what are those), pedestrian signs, cars trucks bikes pedestrians. I just go. Go means go. If you can go, go. If you can’t go, find a way to keep going. I feel like my Grandmother or Mother would have a heartattack so I apologize in advance.. don’t worry I am safe, to a point! 🙂 So I’m biking along past a bus stop.. and WOOSH, the bus literally almost side swipes me. I let out a “eek!” and pull to the side quickly, then back behind the bus and pass it to have it pass me shortly after… yup, just another day riding your bike in China 😉
Speaking of bike riding— this week, I have had two people literally run into me on my bike. I’m not sure how they don’t see the white girl with the big lion mane jacket riding past them, but the other day a lady literally ran dead on into my bike! I screamed at her! How could she not see me?! Again, just another day riding a bike in China.
After awhile you just have to laugh. Everyday I see some of the same things, but they always surprise me. And everyday I also see new things, that again surprise me.
I always look forward to seeing the older people dancing in the park for exercise (by park I mean like three trees but still). Or the million cute puppies I pass everyday (one day I will steal one). Or the crazy hair salons with the anime looking hair dressers, which by the way are almost all men. Or the crazy styles which never cease to amaze me, how many different patterns can one person have on them? Zebra, with snake, with polka dot with neon and add a splash of tiger.. BAM! China!
Everyday can be something new and exciting and I have to keep working at finding those things that set apart where I am from, and where I am now and why it makes this adventure special.