meditated this morning. flatmate woke me up when dragging heavy suitcases this morning. said he was going to Thailand.
for Chinese new year, next february i have been invited to Singapore. i'll cross the bridge of going to Thailand when i get to it.
getting to know China is like going to school. i have to speak Chinese for the next 8 days without interruption.
today is like a friday in that i have tomorrow off. i worked a lot of overtime in the last two weeks and plan to take the day off tomorrow to plan for my trip.
the iPad is convenient to keep my reference materials in, but not convenient for internet access. wifi is not so available here; you need a wired connection for the internet when you stay at a hotel. my laptop is thin, but i'm carrying all on my back, so i don't know if i want to carry it for 9 days.
the building in the pictures is Jiangyong Memorial Hall in Wuyuan. Jiangyong lived in 1681-1762 and was an economist, phonologist and founder of a Confucian writings school in Anhui province. the building is in the hui style of the late Qing dynasty.
my practice of the asymmetric series was a bit distracted this morning. my mind wanted to determine whether to take metro line 10 to work this morning as i usually do. it gets me to the office in 30 minutes.
there was a crash on that line yesterday. you can read about it here. it did not happen during rush hour. i suppose i was stoic to board the same line to return home seven hours later. i exchanged online conversations with Ken, the editor of Shanghaiist. he thought i was brave to board. i don't know if i was brave, just stoic.
my mix of feelings this morning, during the moving meditation that is yoga is that life goes on; problems are like a lottery - sometimes they hit you and sometimes they don't; i hold the leaders of the city and country i live in in my meditation intentions, that they may make good decisions and guide well. now i need to get ready to board a train.
i practiced poses from the asymmetric sequence this morning. next week my postings will be erratic, since i won't take my laptop on my journey and internet access will be sporadic. i need to practice my calorie restriction more carefully, as a kilo has landed on my thighs.
i practiced standing poses from Primary this morning. next week is a national holiday. i plan to travel through southwestern China. my friends Tangliang and his wife XuYe, whose trip to Tibet by bycicle is chronicled here and here, helped me figure out a trip. they shared these photos of things to see.
cliffs where1000 years ago people buried the dead on coffins attached to the side of precipices
unusual rock formations
this trip is a challenge because i am doing it by myself, so i will need to be very sharp in speaking and comprehending mandarin. on my last trip to those areas i joined tour buses and felt exhausted. bus trips make arrangements for you. but they hurry the process and take you to more things than are on the schedule, and to places sponsored by vendors. i wrote a lot about those experiences, but here is one link.
another challenge is that i will need to negotiate for everything. anyone traveling, not just foreigners, are subject to this. i will need to ask for the price of everything before i eat, buy or stay somewhere, and negotiate down. otherwise i could be surprised as i was in Laoshan, near Qingdao two weeks ago. i reached the top of a hill by cable car and was hungry. i did not ask the cost of what i ordered beforehand at a teahouse and there was no menu. i ordered a tofu dish, ate some peanuts and drank fresh green tea. that should have cost about 50rmb, but i was asked to pay 160rmb. that amount can buy a meal in a fancy western restaurant or a sumptuous buffet in my city. it was a lesson for next time asking what is the price of a meal. if it sounds too high, ask how it is being calculated. one could decide not to eat there.
short yoga practice today. a new colleague at work lived 9 years in the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. you can see that island from my family's home in Fajardo. odd to be working in the same firm in China. Kino MacGregor is in Beijing this weekend.
meditated this morning. worked late and went to bed when i arrived home. would have woken up refreshed if i had fallen asleep when i went to bed. but flatmate arrived around 11:00pm. giddy with excitement when seeing the newly painted dining table and chairs which the landlord provided, he talked loudly and moved furniture about. the table is bigger one the previous one, it's beautiful and can accomodate large dinner parties producing more joyous noise.
i wrote this note to my flatmates today, after seeing some cigarette butts in a jar. we'll see how it flies. "i don't want our friendship to be damaged by this point, but i need to state my request that if you have guests that smoke, please ask them to smoke outside. it's a house rule. i don't don't want to relive a big blowout fight i had with a former flatmate, a french guy, about smoking. i know we live in China where smoking is allowed in many places. that is changing. the reality is that side stream smoke glues to the walls of residences, and the toxins that are the byproducts of smoking stay there and affect the health of residents. i'm a green, sustainability consultant. the smoking room is the balcony and all previous flatmates, all of whom smoked, respected that."
update: it's a mystery who smoked. it wasn't the flatmates.
continued with the asymmetric poses of vinyasa krama this morning, on the right side.
Grimmly made his vinyasa krama practice sheets available for download as a PDF on his website. i will load the to the iPad.
i practiced poses from the asymmetric sequence of VK this morning.
on saturday NH danced with me three times. said she wanted to date me. a tad fast. i have been dancing for months with others i would like to date and haven't.
sunday sleep meditate study cook class class dance work sleep
monday sleep meditate work work work cook sleep
tuesday sleep yoga work...
i discovered the avocado lady on Wulumuqi road by accident this past week. i was dumbfounded when i found almonds without salt there. it's impossible to find raw unprocessed almonds here, because the moment they arrive, they salt them. i was washing mine before eating, which didn't take out all of the salt. besides almond, she had unprocessed filberts, pumkin seeds, cashews and walnuts. i can now give up peanut butter since i can get my nut fix.
i don't have writer's block. i read my few last posts and it would seem i'm writing about having yoga block. no. i do have a key that fell off the laptop. the one that i use to press ... periods. one should not miss one's periods. it will take a few weeks before i have time to have the period repaired. i make my practice devotional because asana - the physical part is frustrating. my practices are short and i can't cram too many poses in. the curent routine is warm up poses, poses from one and a half pages from the vinyasa yoga book, and a few closing poses. that's it.
short practice today. if i wanted to go to Beijing this weekend for a workshop i would not be able to. a big holiday of the year starts in two weeks and everyone works long hours to finish projects before that deadline. strange news: since people drive cars now, they become crazy behind the wheels of their cars, such as this story about a 40 year old man running his car over a meter maid, instead of paying the 15rmb parking fine. similar things have happened in other countries. it's irrational.
i (cough) i practiced today, continuing with the asymmetric seated sequence of VK, on the right side. during meditative practice my mind traveled on the overnight train to Beijing friday to attend Kino's workshop, returning sunday, in time for my chinese lessons. meditation is great and not spendy.
I'm an architect, originally from Puerto Rico, living and working in Shanghai, China. I practice ashtanga yoga and Buddhist meditation. I also observe calorie restriction while seeking optimal nutrition (CRON).