1/31/12

tadasana tea hols

did vinyasa krama's tadasana sequence today.
enjoyed the black tea my friend XuYe brought from Nepal, where she trekked for a week with her work colleagues. (she may be sharing pictures and i might be posting them soon!) my colleague N., who visited Nepal with his wife J., says this is the typical breakfast of the Nepalese - they drink this tea and eat nothing the first two hours after waking up.  

the tea came encased in a fragrant wood box. N. remarked that the tea had, "nice flavors of a strong team and none of the bitterness our sourness that comes from commercial tea". it's so cool to be able to talk about the aspects of tea, as if it where wine. my tea supplier often uses similar words when describing the oolong teas i buy from him, giving names to aromas and tasting experiences.

yesterday i enjoyed green tea from Fujian Province, Guanyin tea, which my colleague S. shared. i had tried Guanyin tea once before. it's fragrant and mild. most of the teas i buy are from Fujian, a big tea growing area.

do guys get men's hols? the emotional part for sure. kidding. i feel blue about something and it gets my emotions out of kilter a bit.

1/29/12

classic bait swindle


i went to my old neighborhood to pick up laundry, check my old room was clean and buy produce at my previous hangouts - small family-owned stores. among me where many other foreigners stocking up on food. when i reached my new neighborhood, i realized i forgot to buy tofu. i went to one of the two areas with small markets. at a stand, i chose some tofu items. the saleslady said it was 5 kuai. i handed her 10 kuai. her husband said i did not understand.  i told him i did. the woman looked at me and said i owed her 5 kuai, after i had given her 10 kuai. she said the price was 5. i told her i gave her 10. she emptied her pockets and said she did not have a 10 kuai bill. i realized i was being swindled. i left the items and told her i gave her 10. after a few minutes i returned and said, this kind of behavior is not right. i live in Shanghai; i know i'm a foreigner; to do this swindle of money is not right. from now on, i told her, i will not buy there. the owners of the other stands laughed. i went to the apartment and picked up the camera. the husband jeered at me, clucking, saying the laoweis was back, what was he going to do?

it's only 10 kuai i lost, and i lost more on tuesday when i lost my watch. a policeman told me which station i should go report the incident, but i don't see the point of waisting more time. those two are spreading bad karma. they will reap what they sowed. i look gullible. they probably don't get many foreigners buying at their stand. at my old neighborhood, we're treated well. i proceeded to the other place with vegetable and tofu stands and was treated fairly. i bought the items in the top picture for 17 kuai. 5 kuai, the first person was overcharging me. she is probably not licensed to be selling at that location.

1/28/12

marichyasanas opening time

i practiced poses from primary today around the marichyasanas, in between opening and closing poses. today sunday is a day of work, but i took is as holiday. the country gives one long holidays here, then asks one to  work on the weekend before and after the holiday to make up the time. i'm using the time to continue unpacking and organizing the new space.

1/26/12

background practice sightseeing


last night visiting the Singapore Esplanade, the CBD in the background. i'm posting from my friend's computer.

lately, when i travel, practice is on my mind. i carry a mat in the suitcase. but seeing architecture takes over, so i practice meditation when i wake up, then go see places. as i waited for a bus, i saw this advertisement of a local teacher. my practice back in Shanghai at home is more settled.

we visited Little India, where we ate at a vegetarian restaurant. these where the sweets on display. i need to learn to settle my mind when planning trips. when i planned this one, my mind was racing with thoughts about my pending move to a new apartment. when i thought i booked a return flight at 12:55 pm on Saturday, arriving in Shanghai at 5:55pm, i really booked a 12:55am departure Saturday. in other words, i leave half a day earlier. it won't affect my sightseeing too much, but it was a surprise that was too costly to correct.

1/24/12

to Singapore exemptions

on the way to Singpore. V. appeared at my apartment at 6:00 to accompany me to the airport. it was a hot date with transportation involved. traveling conjured up discussions of how long am I staying here in  China, 7 years more, forever? is forever possible? the problem of being a permanent resident here are several. the status is rarely granted, unlike in Hong Kong, and one would be subject to double taxation, both in the US and here. there are tax exemptions for earned income but not for passive income from retirement financial instruments.

1/23/12

celebration incense spectacle


yesterday was the Chinese New Year celebration, which i spent at V's, whose sister cooked a meal for us. the older brother came to visit as well. both V's parents had passed away and it is the Chinese tradition to honor the memory of the parents by lighting some incense, playing a recording of chants and making an offering in front of their pictures. V asked me if we have similar traditions in our culture. i mentioned that there is the Dia de los Muertos, which is just like the Chinese tomb sweeping day, when relatives clean the tombs of their ancestors. we don't have the same tradition of honoring our deceased relatives. when we get together we relate stories of their lives. when i visit my family i go to my father's tomb and honor him. last night it was snowing and cold, but my heart felt warm. we drank Chinese merlot wine. when i tried it i winced and V explained it's supposed to be a little bitter. we watched the live entertainment spectacle on TV broadcast from Beijing. it brings me comfort that V and her family practice Buddhism, which I practice as well.

1/19/12

internet starts deco

internet will be installed in the apartment today. during Chinese New Year holiday, which starts this weekend, i will be visiting Violetta three days, then going to Singapore for four. my apartment is in one the six buildings designed in the Bund in the 1930s by George "Tug" Wilson of Palmer and Turner, who also designed the Peace Hotel. there is some information about art deco buildings in Shanghai from that era here. the building is the twin of the Metropole Hotel, developed by magnate Victor Sassoon.

1/17/12

tent architects essential


my friends Tangliang and XuYe, who traveled to Tibet by bicycle, came Sunday and helped me build my yoga practice tent. Three of us architects quickly did an aesthetic and stable structure. the practice area felt warm on monday morning. today it was toasty, when i added an electric blanket on the floor. this time i may skip placing a roof over the tent, which i did in the previous place. i decided to use the orange-red side of the blanket inside, blue on the outside. blue matches the peach color of the walls. red is energizing. since my practice suffered lately, red will add rajaic energy. on monday i did warm up poses, the five essential poses and closing asanas. today i continued with the standing poses during an hour and a quarter.

internet will be installed this week. i'm blogging after hours from the office. the connection i ordered, offered through the phone line, will be faster than the typical one offered through the cable.

1/14/12

yesterday new cinderfella


i moved apartments. Violetta helped me pack three hours Saturday morning. i was ready for the movers. how much crap i accumulated! it's the word that feels appropriate. i could live without this stuff but life would not be as convenient. it took a mid-sized truck to move it, and there was little furniture. at the new apartment, the kind landlords where placing the new bedroom furniture. with new Chinese red curtains, the place wowed. i'm unpacked, with boxes and suitcases everywhere. when i'm settled, there will be a yoga tent inside my bedroom, so it will look different. i should take before and after pictures. in the evening i went to dance with V.  i was cold and disoriented when getting dressed to go dancing. i put my underwear back to front, which i did not notice until i woke up this morning. heh. this morning i returned to the old apartment as cinderfella to mop the floor, lest my flatmates curse me out for leaving it dirty.

1/12/12

crowds queueing for iPhone 4S

the crowd queueing up this morning at 9:00am at the new Apple store on Nanjing East road in Shanghai, in order to purchase an iPhone 4S. see the Shanghaiist report on how enterprising people hired hundreds of others to stand in line and buy the allowed two units.

1/11/12

mouse at workstation


a mouse has been busy nightly in our office, subsisting on fruits, peanut butter and cookies. it chomped on half a banana last night at one workstation, then ambered to another and relieved himself. i love mice. they participate in longevity and calorie restriction studies. however, some people are anxious to help this one find a happy home. up to now, he has been ignoring the glue trap next to an electric sonar device. now it's daytime, so he must be sleeping. photo credit.

1/10/12

packing busy floor


i'm slightly congested and at the beginning of packing. my responsibilities keep me busy. yesterday my kind new landlords and i went about the new apartment to understand how things work. the place is a microcosm of old Shanghai, in the old British concession. the place is really unusual. there are floors within which individual rooms serve as the home for a family, with shared kitchens and restrooms outside. some floors have four apartments and others two. the floor plate in my floor is the smallest, so it accomodates only one apartment.

1/9/12

balance landing down

symmetry, balance, detail and classicism in a stair on a shopping street in Hong Kong. the same applies to the handstand, from an ad for Pure Yoga. it requires strength, guts and poise to do that pose at that location and not topple down. reblogged from yogadudes.

1/8/12

meditation creativity giggle

pranayama and meditation this morning. recreating my yoga and creativity tent in the new place. it's apartment packing time. enjoyed dancing with Violetta last night; she makes my heart giggle. sunset at mom's place in Fajardo on New Years Eve.

1/7/12

methodologies moving fabrication

In their book, Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies are Poised to Transform Building Construction, architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake talked about moving architecture to an integrated aproach that uses technologies from fabrication industries, saving time and money. Some of these principles must be used in the fabrication of a 30 story hotel tower built in China in the record speed of 15 days.

1/5/12

morning current plugs

i did a short practice this morning. counting down to being in my own apartment. current flatmates are themselves moving. they were noisy past 11:00pm last night, waking me up from my sleep. i didn't complain of their noise. i turned fans on and used ear plugs. the last two mornings i prepared breakfast at 4:45am so i could do yoga. they peered out of the door to complain about noise. they don't use ear plugs. hope the next person i live with will be compatible with my habits.

1/4/12

unpack digs solitude

my practice today was to unpack from my recent trip, taking deep uyahi breaths in a meditative state. the room is ready for asana movement tomorrow. a friend invited me to Singapore for Chinese New Year. i have yet to buy the ticket. the time coincides with my move to new digs, but i should go on a trip because it is the longest holiday of the year. if i don't go, i should practice yoga in solitude in my new home.

yesterday a young man in the metro collapsed on the floor. he might suffer from occasional epileptic attacks. concerned that no one might help him, since good Samaritans get in trouble here, i asked people that a doctor should be called. some people agreed that guards should be alerted at the next stop. everyone was stepping away from the man. luckily in 10 minutes he regained consciousness and eventually steadied himself up.

1/3/12

re-institute regular practice

soon i'm planning to re-institute things that helped my regular yoga practice in the past:

1) waking up early
2) eating a full breakfast
3) showering
3) waiting 2 hours before practicing
4) practicing 1 1/2 hours
5) showering again
6) preparing for work
7) walk to work.
8) lunch at home
9) maintain my CRON calorie restriction practices throughout the day.

this is what worked during many years during which i did self practice and maintained my busy work schedule. i was able to have a good practice and maintain the CRON way. in the last few months my routine has suffered.

the Christmas log our cousins give us each year.

1/2/12

Monjas Carmelitas de la Antigua Observancia, enTrujillo Alto

la semana pasada tuve la oportunidad de visitar el monasterio de las monjas Carmelitas de la Antingua Observancia de Trujillo Alto, al cual mi sobrina intenta entrar. me acordo de mi experiencia a su misma edad cuando considere entrar en el monasterio de los Cartujos en Vermont.
el diseno del monasterio es por el arquitecto Tomas Marvel. Marvel me aconsejo cuando yo estaba planeando solicitar a escuelas de arquitectura y mi cunado trabajo en su bufete. tengo unas ilustraciones de los planos de este monasterio, al momento en mi almazen con el resto de mis cosas. cuando los encuentre a lo mejor puedo editar este blog y anadir los dibujos.
la estructura es de concreto expuesto, muy sobria, con formas elegantes, sencillas y sin adornos.
pudimos conocer a las monjitas durante nuestra visita. son muy alegres y llenas de espiritu. toman la oportunidad, cuando hablan con uno, de pasar las ensenanzas del cristianismo.
pueden ver dos videos interesantes sobre sus vidas. el primero toca temas generales sobre sus vidas diarias:
el segundo es sobre una celebracion de una novicia recibiendo sus votos de vocacion.

mas tarde en la semana, cuando mi sobrina averiguo que yo pensaba subir a la cima del Yunque, me pidio acompanarme, ya que nunca habia caminado hasta arriba.

el tiempo estaba nublado y lluvioso

comentamos que el Espiritu Santo estaba presente y se manifesto en esta foto, sobre mi sobrina, en forma de paloma.
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