I'm in the idyllic setting of rural Fujian province, in the town of Liuliang. From here it is convenient to visit the historic Hakka Tulou rammed earth housing clusters. It is a precursor to the modern day apartment- giant self enclosed buildings within which entire clans lived in a harmonious hierarchical structure. Today I visited the tulou in the town an it was fascinating, set along a river against hills with layered rice fields. Tomorrow I will spend it visiting two other groups of tulous in the area. I have saved money in the way I have traveled here and in the simple accommodations I chose. Arranging for someone to take me to the various historic sites cost me a premium over what the guide book I read said and over what a blogger reported. It could be because it is a holiday and I am one person and a foreigner. I won't tease about posting pictures because at the moment I am about nine months behind posting pictures of my travels. As soon as I get back I need to do my tax tabulations. We expats get automatic extensions until June. So I am incredibly busy. Earlier, I spent one day in the island of Gulanyu. It was interesting but the weather somewhat rainy, so not great for photography. There I met up with my former colleague Armando, who was spending the holiday in Xiamen with his girlfriend. We strolled together, enjoyed drinks and dined at a seafood restaurant.
starting on bow pose sequence. not needing an area heater means i hear my breadth more during asanas. thanks Grimmly for getting me interested in vinyasa krama. i have limited time for practice and this system adapts to it.
earlier to bed, earlier to rise, more time to practice. how often i can repeat this? working on supine poses. upon arising drank two glasses of water, a cup of coffee and took a teaspoon manduka honey. hungry. painting from the watercolor museum in Zhujiajiao.
this past weekend i sampled a shanghai bath experience. there is a good article that describes a similar place to mine. the one we visited was in a building in Pudong with doric columns, brightly lit. in this type of facility, single men and families go and sample a lot of different types of treatments. we soaked in different pools, some with medicinal herbs, some medium hot, some very hot. then we lounged in the sauna for a while. afterwards, we attended a live vaudeville style show for two and a half hours. there was no intermission. i kept looking at the clock and made long faces, i was told. at that point it was quite late, so we stayed overnight along with many others, in beds located in large sleeping lounges. a service person interrupted my sleep a couple of times to obtain my id, which i did not bring because i was not staying at a hotel. in the morning we had breakfast, following by a little more soaking. then we went to visit parks where retired Chinese sing opera and play traditional and modern instruments. i wrote about a strange spa experience when i went to a place in Xi'an and did not know what to expect. there i was ushered into more than i wanted, only to scurry out as quick as i could.
in my practice i'm a little stuck. i think i need an hour and fifteen minutes to practice and advance the poses in between opening and closing poses. that would require going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking 15 minutes earlier -not easy when i'm supposed to get 8 hours sleep daily now, as instructed by my tiger wife, and i don't get home until late.
next week i'm planning to go to south east China for Labor Day holiday. i plan to visit the island of GuLangYu, about which i wrote about two years ago. it was a former Portuguese colony. being from an island myself, it should feel like home. after the island visit, i plan to see some architecturally significant ancient structures in the vicinity of the city of Xiamen.
the weather is good for yoga. it's short shorts time. i'd like to teach my SO yoga. tree in a Taoist temple. at this location V. translated for me a document describing the benefits of Taoism. it was the foundation of ethics and was used in governing people throughout history.
experienced lower back discomfort so i did a few asanas to relieve it, such as chest opening poses and legs behind the head moves. teacher says that Koreans and Japanese pick up Chinese to the level of a native speaker within three years time. foreigners - Americans and Europeans included, require about five years before speaking like a native. and that is if they study. my level is three years; i understand a lot, but still miss on a lot. a watercolor in a museum in Zhujiajiao.
lately too busy to write; the same with practice. the other day i wanted to get photos from the camera card. instead of putting it into the computer's camera card slot, i put it into the DVD one. it broke it. luckily, the computer manufacturer replaced the DVD player because it was still under warranty.
my new doctor's insights go beyond normal western medicine thought. i am doing what i can to preserve my health, given the way i eat and my healthy activities. i asked her how does one sensitively share with one's new love the details of one's health. she said we were created as social beings, but we are not perfect organisms. our bodies have problems. we leave being in a relationship it in God's hand. if it doesn't develop, we take solace in God. i substitute Buddha.
meditated today. cooking for myself allows me to control my calories. my intake is about 1800 calories daily except on Sundays, when i consume more. i track my nutrition with Cronometer online. my weight is higher than three years ago. there are three unmatched socks in my laundry today and no one to blame. uhuruburu.
yoga the last two days has been challenged by a new requirement to sleep an extra hour daily. i feel rushed - getting off bed, drinking coffee, ablutions, starting practice. hope to adjust so i can get at least an hour of practice in. my mind during practice was distracted with advising a friend with his career, and with explaining to my significant other about the state of my health. spring has sprung.
this morning i asked my tutor to meet me 2 hours earlier so that we could finish earlier and i have more time to visit V. i felt it was an imposition on a Sunday, but it turned out that she thought it was OK. the alarm didn't sound so i ran to the office to study in preparation for the class. along the way i ate unusual breakfast food typical for locals. i had to ask my tutor what i ate afterwards. some things are variations of others i'm familiar with, but others aren't. i think i ate yogurt curds with soy sauce and vegetables; pickled vegetables and a folded fried bread, surrounded by sticky rice and shaped into a ball; a fried egg inside a foccacia type of folded flat bread; spinach in another. it's hard to count the calories, but i estimate it was about 2/3 of my daily allotment. i would prefer to have eaten my own breakfast but i did not have time to prepare it. yesterday V. and i danced in a park. that was OK except awkward during the the moment when i noticed 8 people standing around us as V. was telling me how to dance correctly. i blurted out, "please don't teach me know, there are many people watching." eventually people stopped looking.
yesterday i spent an afternoon with Andrea, "Miss Tenacity" - a friend of many years through the calorie restriction society. i used to buy her low calorie, nutrient dense mega muffins. she would bake them and ship them frozen to me in San Francisco from her home in Albuquerque. there is a link to her website on the sidebar of my blog, labeled "The Food Part Lady". she was in Shanghai with her family and it was her second visit to the city.
i took them to Jing 'An temple and to Tea City, the large tea market, where we sampled mountain oolong tea. i shared what i have learned about tea from my main supplier, the shop where we sampled the tea. Andrea is always interested in food.
i always love meeting my friends, members of the CR society. they always love life and study ways to protect their health. we walked long distances during the afternoon together, and everyone in Andrea's family had a lot of energy.
The other day we were headed to a spa at the end of line 6 in a free trade zone on the east side of Pudong. As we walked around the neighborhood, a foreigner abruptly interrupted a conversation we were having to ask where he could exchange a 20 USD bill into RMB. He said he was from Ukraine. We told him he should go to an exchange house. After we walked on we noticed he was looking for some other unsuspecting person to bother. V. Told me that was a scam artist trying to exchange a fake dollar bill into real Chinese currency. If the scam artist had been a local person, I would be midly annoyed. But because the scam artist was a foreigner, a guest in the country, it troubled me that he would be here trying to scam innocent people. He's a predator. I hope he gets caught.
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).