this past weekend our company treated our studio to a trip to Huangshan. the weather was foggy and occasionally rainy
when i put on a poncho my colleagues burst out laughing saying i looked like a hunchback. it was Halloween. i didn't have to work so hard to get into costume, eh?
they in turn looked like little red riding hoods.
this is all we could see at this view point
on a clear day, this is what you see.
at Aouyu Bei or Carp's backbone, an exposed 9 meter arch with sheer drops on both sides, this is what we could see.
on a clear day one would experience this. the weather protected us from vertigo since we could not see the precipices.
i angled for my shot of Huan Ke Song, Welcoming Guest Pine, said to be 1000 years old. to take the picture, i pushed by many Chinese tourists who wanted their individual pictures taken in front of it.
on a clear day, this is what one would see. the pictures with blue sky where taken by my former colleague Leo, and are posted in this blog. he went last October, but experienced different weather. i want to return to Huangshan and experience its beauty. one could do without the tour guides' ear-piercing loudspeakers, and people telling each other, "zuo, zuo, zuo" - "keep moving, let's go." the way we did our trip we avoided big lines. after descending the mountain in a cable car, a queue that required a 3 hour wait was forming at the entrance to the station. Huangshan is best to visit in low travel times. but it's hard to find that time.
i'm at a mountain hotel in Huangshan. last year i posted pictures of the mountain and a historic village nearby, taken NY a former colleague, Leo. you can search the blog for it. this weekend it is raining so not good for photography. i did inversion poses in yoga in my room to relieve legs tired from hiking four hours to the hotel. i thought we were going to be at a base camp were we could leave our backpacks, but no. i would have brought less things had i known. this is a place I will revisit. it inspired poets and artists for centuries. it now inspires tourists.
yoga helter skelter these past few days. i completed a deadline, so i only have to work 2 hours today. tomorrow we go with our colleagues to Huangshan, Yellow Mountain for 2 days to enjoy hiking. the architecture in the villages around the mountain is like this one, Anhui style.
practiced forward bending asanas of VK this morning. had not done headstand in a while and there is a sore knot in the upper back.
sculpture outside a school in Qingdao.
if the real estate in my room keeps being occupied, will need new digs a few months hence. don't really want to move, though, since my apartment is quiet and conveniently located. maybe i could trade my room for my flatmate's boyfriend's little apartment nearby. she might like to have him closer.
practice of one hour was good today. Nanjing in the distance through the trees.
while dancing last night with me, Miss Piggie introduced me to Steve, a Brit, who smiled and replied, "my name is not Steve but it's the only name she remembers."
this is an armillary sphere, used to measure the equatorial and horizontal coordinates of celestial objects without interference with each other. the instrument was simplified by Guo Shou-jing (1231-1316) and this one was created in 1437.
colleagues are in from the States. meetings through lunch yesterday. caught last metro home. forgot to put the alarm clock. getting ready for work was my practice. may have one of those revelations today of, "aha, i feel that way because i missed my asana practice."
paraphrasing a colleague, some architects use expensive materials to create an over the top environment. other architects use interesting forms with simple materials to elicit the same. dynamic form yields richness.
i did standing poses today.
i hope they enact laws against talking on a mobile phone while driving.
it might help avoid incidents such as that of a truck driver running over a child while talking on the phone.
i practiced seated poses of yin yoga this morning, after walking and dancing excessively yesterday.
wax figures depicting the founding of the northern Song Dynasty in 960 ad in Keifeng
what a city during that dynasty would have looked like
yesterday was unusual. i met an architectural photographer for coffee and enjoyed an interesting conversation about architecture.
the period key (.) in my computer that i waited weeks to get fixed took five seconds to fix. the technician at the store where i bought it pressed it in and said they are designed to be taken off and on. doh.
i was in a daze from tiredness after a busy week when a friend called to go dancing. somehow energy came out of nowhere.
the time went to organizing. if i don't organize, i can't find things. i found three unmatched socks.
it takes me a week to recover from a trip. work comes first. organizing later.
laid out the yoga mat. found receipts was looking for. unmatched socks remained a mystery.
practice was distracted this morning; i meditated. my writing says, "practice is challenging; look at pictures."
flatmate is on her way to Miami. sent pastries to my closest friends Lucas' mom and Ana.
i woke up earlier and started yoga practice earlier, getting more asanas done, despite working later yesterday. i'm at the asymmetric poses of VK on the left side. i finished editing the pictures from Wuyuan of last march. that means that, given time, i could tell that story. this picture is from a subsequent trip to Kaifeng, an ancient village in Henan.
i am doing yoga again, but not enough of it. one way to do more would be to get up earlier.
that might require less sleep, or going to bed earlier, which is difficult when working longer hours and living with flatmates that eat dinner at 10pm.
i'm thinking of creating a personal card with my address, phone number and email. i often give my business card in social situations to people and don't hear from them.
it was a day of work, but also a sunday, time to dance. i danced with Miss Piggy and Elaine, among my regular dance partners.
suddenly a visitor made a b-line for me and engaged me in long conversations, in English, a rarity. we danced. she had a degree in English education and had studied three years in Singapore. she was leaving in two weeks for a year and a half program at a university in Madras, India. she was buddhist and practiced yoga. it sounded like a match, right? well not entirely; there were complications - others in her life. bleah.
Miss Piggy took me out to dance and said sternly, "she sells her body, she's the kind you buy. do not dance with her, i repeat, do not dance with her." i kissed Miss Piggy and then asked myself, who was i to believe? my friend of 8 months, or the person that arrived thirty minutes earlier? so i trusted Miss Piggy and danced with others. what Miss Piggy right? maybe not; she was being protective and might have seen people gussying up to the customers after money.
complicated. the yogini left disappointed and dismayed. but then Tonane, someone i want to go out with arrived, greeted me warmly and danced with me. hehe. this sunday evening left me weirded out, so i had to blab offline about it and do triage with my flatmates. uhm, on the subject of yoga, i am reestablishing my routine. time to go...
today is sunday, yet an official day of work in China. to take seven days of holiday last week, we make it up by working saturday, sunday and the remainder of the week. i took the saturday off and would have taken the sunday as well but there was no flight out of the town i was in on sunday. i flew back to Shanghai out of a small airport with one check-in booth, one security checkpoint, one waiting lounge. the airport has flights to about five cities and as many flights a day. the flight on an airbus jet was full, except for the seats next to me. as flying expands regionally, the airports in similar towns will grow in size.
yesterday I was at the rock sea caverns near Xingwen in Sichuan
in this town I heard the word "laowei" or foreigner about a thousand times as I walked around. i then traveled to the historic town of Lizhuang. reaching the village one could see farmhouses set idyllically agains hills.
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).