amw (amw) wrote,

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mountain therapy

I tell you what. I was feeling a little mopey when i wrote that last entry, partly still remnants of the Saturday hangover, partly disillusioned by the latest round of neo-Nazi violence in the US, but mostly just feeling a bit like i had wasted my weekend. So i decided to climb the mountain i can see from outside the front of my hotel. I just walked in the general direction and trusted there would be a path somewhere. Sure enough, i found an entrance and started the very hot, very steep climb to the first peak.

Chinese are so fit it puts me to shame. I am not sure if it is a result of government-mandated exercise regimes in the past, or if it is just cultural, but the number of old men and old ladies who march up mountains every day and do aerobics/dance every night and tai chi every morning is ridiculous. I consider myself reasonably fit - i don't do any deliberate exercise or sport, but i walk an awful lot. Climbing the first kilometer or so of this mountain fucking destroyed me. But i pressed on to the second peak and - lo - because it's China, there was a little shop up there selling icecream and tea and water and other refreshments. I got boiled frozen tofu on a stick drenched in mega-spicy chili broth and then headed further north. Right at the north side outlook point there were a couple of locals who had set up a mini snack bar on the ground, just selling water and fruit and spicy dried tofu. If i hadn't just bought at the official snack stand they would've gotten my money for their hustle.

It was awesome to stop at the various pagodas along the way and take in the whole city - Shenzhen Bay, Hong Kong, Pearl River Delta... Man, i forgot that one of the reasons this city appealed to me over Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi'an is because there are mountains and a coast right downtown. It totally cleared my head and improved my mood.

When i got back down to the bottom i wandered through a park where oldies had already gathered to play chess and youngsters were sneakily fishing in the pond. Then headed back through the more urban village-y area of Shekou where i took in all the sights and smells of street vendors preparing Sunday night dinner. I ducked into a Sichuan style place i found the other day and ate a solid 小面 (xiǎo miàn) then picked up a 烧饼 (shāo bǐng) from another street vendor before grabbing a 40 of beer and big bottle of water to enjoy back in my room. Great day. Great evening. I need to make sure to climb one mountain a week. If i get fit enough, maybe i can do one in the mornings before afternoon classes. And next weekend, damnit, i am not going to get so drunk i spend a whole day folded up in my concrete box.
Tags: movement

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