Sunday, July 05, 2009

A recipe for staring

The sun is fully up by 5 a.m. here, so getting up to run is much easier than it was in Singapore. This morning I slept in til 6 and regretted it a bit because normally when I walk out the door I get hit by a nice breeze. Today, not so much. That was unfortunate because our new maid has mistaken some of my clothes for the kids', my running shorts included. Since the kids were asleep I had to put on my running capris instead which are warmer. I'm always a little self-conscious in them because they are stretchy, and let's just say I have a different body shape than the Chinese women out there who are not even wearing exercise clothes. On top of that, my chiropractor's "scraping" technique on Friday left me with two wide, dark red streaks down either side of my neck which were easily seen with my hair in a pony tail. There's a canal about two blocks from our house. I like to walk there to warm up, then set my inike for my run (today was 5 miles) and head out. Since I left later than usual, there were even more people out walking, running, and fishing (one of the fisherman nearly smacked me in the face with one of the fish he was reeling in) In other words, this all added up to:

Stare at the foreigner! She's dressed in strange clothes we've never seen and I think she burned her neck! What's that thing on her arm? She keeps poking it! She's sweating! She's running! There's so much to see!!

It's not unusual to be the object of attention here. Just yesterday when I was picking up drinks for our 4th of July party, I heard a little Chinese voice say, "Are you a foreigner?" I looked down at a little girl with sweet eyes peering up at me. "I am, are you Chinese?" I asked back. "I am," she replied solemnly. Very cute.

But this morning I felt more freakish than I have in a long time in China. I finally just kept my eyes focused straight ahead and zoned out the people around me (another reason why I almost got slapped in the face by that fish). To my credit, there were others doing equally weird things, like that guy who was practicing his whip cracking. But I guess I was just the most interesting thing going at the canal this morning.

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