The culture here, especially in warmer months, is to enjoy the outdoors and stroll with friends, family and pets. I’m all about walking and having adventures so I embraced this tradition and took a walk last night along the Huangpu River in Pudong near our apartment. It was hot and humid with the AQI in the 160+ “Unhealthy” range, which in Shanghai means a lovely evening, so everyone was out enjoying themselves. Without Thom, it’s not as much fun but he will be home soon, so in the meantime, I had to get out and enjoy some unhealthy air all by my lonesome. So, off to the river walk I went with an end destination to pick up some healthy salad at Fresh Elements and take home to eat while I watch Veep, Season Three, purchased at the local DVD store.
Walking by the courts along the river, it’s easy to see that basketball is big here as there are usually always several games going on. I have never seen girls playing basketball so I wonder if that is done here. The only sports that I have heard that local girls play is tennis and badminton. Sports in general are not really a way of life though watching the World Cup is definitely HUGE here–probably because it involves drinking and partying as well plus I’m starting to see articles about the gambling that is going on with people betting on the games. Now, that is definitely a huge sport here with people going to Macau to “make money” not like Vegas where going to shows and entertainment is a part of the total experience. I’m told that they take gambling very seriously here.
Going further down the river walk, I happened upon what looked like an organized ritual going on. There were probably 20 people, including a monk, chanting specific wording off laminated cards. Facing the water and solemnly reading the words over containers filled with live eels, I wished I could understand Mandarin well enough to know what the hell was going on. It was definitely a “Shanghai moment” and I’m so glad I was there to experience it.
Even though I’m alone right now, I force myself to get out and see this wonderful, unique country while I can. I don’t know how long we will be here and I want to soak it all in while I can. Looking forward to my son, James, coming this week so we can go on adventures with him. He came at Christmas but the weather wasn’t as accommodating to get out so hopefully he brings his walking shoes because instead of playing Xbox and ordering from Sherpa’s as he loves to do, we are going to wander and explore China while he is here-just what 21 year olds like to do with their parents!