Thursday, July 15, 2004

china is a country in motion

i don't mean this metaphorically. i mean this literally. one of the first things i noticed in beijing, at the top of the alleyway that our hotel was located down [a "hutong"] was an adult playground. there were brightly-colored swinging-stepper machines, machines to stand on and twist the hips, and nordic track-type skiing machines. and when i got out of bed at 5am the next morning and took a walk around the awakening city, i noticed there were many people, old people, using the machines. other people were riding their bikes to work, or home from work. since then though, now that we are in wuhan, there is an athletic field near our hotel and i go there every day. i was there last night, and there were no less than 150 people--men women children toddlers grandparents etc--simply doing things. walking around the track. running around the track, in skirts and blouses sometimes, carrying a purse. doing gymnastics on public sets of parallel bars. young couples shooting baskets with each other. she in nice pants and shirt, he shirtless. hitting a badminton birdie back and forth. playing short-field soccer. volleyball. pull-ups on the pull-up bars. everyone was in motion. there was one older man, 62 he told me, simply walking around the grass, who would say one thing to me each time he passed. where from? how old? good sport [in reference to my frisbee-playing, something no one here has ever seen]. the last thing he said was: "outdoor exercise is good for the health." he was right, and it made me think about the *health clubs* i had exercised in while in america. mainly stinky places, rank with years of sweat. fungus growing in the showers, even at the nice clubs. recirculated sweaty breathy air. definitely not outdoor exercise. and the most beautiful thing about the cultural scene of the athletic field last night--other than the majestic beauty of the field and natural surroundings itself--is that it was all free. provided by the country, because it places a value on healthy people. a people on the move, literally, and figuratively.

time for breakfast, and to teach about american baseball again this morning......blob

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?