|I am horrible at blogging this semester. So much. I don't want to lose it in the dark hole of my brain. The brain is truly a fascinating thing, isn't it? Just reach up and touch your head for a second...I just did. It's smaller than a basketball and yet it is so full of everything. In Chinese culture there is a great respect for the interconnectedness of the body. How what you eat affects all of your organs, how your mood affects your fitness, how pain in your foot triggers tension in your heart, ect. ect. At first it all sounds like nonsense, but after living it for the past 6 months I'm pretty sure I have changed my habits enough to have an extra 10 years of life in comparison to the American lifestyle. Not only 10 more years, but 10 better years. It's great because I get to combine the best parts of both cultures...so for example I get the individuality of an American AND the health of a Chinese.
I want to tell you about the awesome experience I had last night with my friend Katrina. Firstly, CheNa is awesome. She is from Sichuan, which is a really interesting province that is situated in the mountains of inner China. It's the place known for beauty and mysticism and panda bears. In Sichuan people like to sit in coffee houses and drink tea all day long. They enjoy life. Really fun people...and CheNa is really cool. And she's really beautiful too. She's got dark skin...they call it black here, and she's an advertising major and in her spare time likes to produce movies with her friends. And she speaks pretty good English, and she likes to backpack around China, and she climbs and hikes a lot, and we have become good friends.
With her I always have interesting times...For example we have had wesabi wars, who can eat the most wasabi...and a fencing competition on the beach with some sticks...and a chili pepper eating contest...and staying up all night with a bottle of red wine...and an impromptu dance party on the roof...just to name a few things...
Next fall after I am done with my internship we are planning on traveling together through Sichuan and Qinghai and Xinjiang. Awesome.
Last night, though, might have been our most interesting adventure yet.
It all started innocently enough. I wanted to go swimming so I gave her a call. We decided to hit up the pool at a nearby apartment complex. We took the bus there.
We arrive at the pool and head in. Yay. In the pool we are swimming for awhile and I did some laps. Then two fairly attractive men waved me over and were chatting with me a bit and they wanted me to teach them how to do flip turns in the water. (Where you do a flip near the side of the pool and then push off the wall during lap swims.) So I gave them a little lesson and they watched a few times. Then CheNa came over and chatted with them for awhile, and then they invited us for dinner later.
After we finished swimming we went out for dinner with them. These guys were the perfect picture of health; tall with big toned muscles, just beauty. And it isn't just because I've been in China for so long...haha... And really a care-free boyish manner. Really cool. So we go to dinner with he and his friend and I find out that they are both cops. Wow. These guys are the first cops I've met, and I didn't tell you earlier about the soldiers I met on the train, but meeting these guys and the soldiers really gives a person and a face to the image I had in my mind before. The idea of cops and soldiers being these blind emotionless tools of the Chinese state has been completely shattered in my mind. We talked with them about their job a bit and they were really happy about Zhuhai and said that compared to other places the crime rate was relatively low. They also talked about the stress of their job, and the long working hours. They said the drug problem in Zhuhai was not like Hong Kong or Shenzhen or Yunnan. They said they do carry guns...they are learning how to drive boats now....
More than what they said, I was just struck by how they acted. They were so earnest and friendly. They didn't have that cynical and worn look of American cops. They were interested in the U.S. They wanted to know how I learned to swim so well. They were just cool guys. The other thing that struck me was their training...These guys were serious professionals. They said there were two ways to become a cop. One was through the military and one was through school. Competition is fierce for both and their training program even more rigorous. They both had learned Chinese Kong-Fu as well, and seriously they could probably track down and kick the asses of most cops I have ever met in the U.S.
They said they had fitness testing every few months. Running, swimming, shooting, and self-defense. The boyish looking guy, I asked him his age and he told me to guess. Ummm...I guessed between 25 and 30. He was 40! 40! No way! He said he just exercised a lot...swimming, playing basketball, running...They also like to do outdoor sports, and for awhile we discussed some of the good places to go around here. Also, the 40-year-old guy had a daughter he talked about for awhile. You could see the pride he felt for that little kid...she was only 12. She was a good swimmer and danced and played piano and did calligraphy...the typical over-stimulated greatly loved kid...just like I was. haha.
So that was our dinner. We had hot-pot, with wild greens I had never tried before. It was great. I love China. Moments like this I seriously question whether the government is hoaxing me. Setting me up to meet all these great people to instill in me hope and admiration for this crazy place. Really, it's impossible though. We just randomly met these guys. There is no way it was set up. Well, it worked. Maybe I will live in Zhuhai someday. :) My secret hope is that someday the U.S. and China combine into one great super power linking our economies and government so I can have the best of both worlds...I mean it could happen...We have the same problems....too many poor people, corruption, unsureness about the future, big armies, brainwashing by McDonald's and KFC, kids who play too many violent video games...We share Taiwan already...Ok...I know...this last one is potentially not funny.
So that was dinner last night.
I'm sorry I am a bad contact. Keep reading! Take Care!