(Title taken and adapted from the excellent Lauryn Hill song "Every Ghetto, Every City", in the spirit of Zen Muffin's super duper post on Ms. Hill.)
First and foremost:
The Jolly Green Giant! I love my new bike. I love Shanghai when I'm riding my bike. The city teems with charm when you're on a cruiser. Yesterday I rode it to the Garden Hotel Park, which is actually the lawn of a big hotel in the middle of the city. It is one of the only places in the city where people are actually allowed on the grass, which on the weekends makes for a crowded lawn. But on a Wednesday afternoon? Perfect solitude. I rolled out the picnic mat, stripped down to my swim suit, and did an hour's worth of yoga right there in the park. Aside from the swim suit I was sporting, practicing yoga in the park didn't really phase any of the people that strolled by. Many, many Chinese people come to public spaces to practice Tai Chi, take dance lessons, do Kung Fu, or employ Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tactics while walking (slapping themselves gently on opposite shoulder, clapping one hand up and down arms, etc), so a few sun salutes seemed in the norm. In fact, I might make it my new mid day routine.
After an hour or so, the sweat was beginning to both distract and gross me out. Some friends arrived in the nick of time with home made squirt guns.
The grass seems to invite inversion practice, and we all started flipping upside down; or, at least attempting to flip upside down. Free standing head and hand stands still elude me, but crow and side crow have become a cake walk. I once was afraid of them, so its only a matter of time before I'm on my hands, right?
In sweets-related news, there's not much to report. The oven has been off for a week or so, and the air-con is blasting. In all this heat, the only things that sound good are iced teas, frozen yogurts and cold beers. Good yogurt is hard to find here, and the flavored ones are runny and cloyingly sweet. In an effort to make a sweetened Greek-style yogurt, I drained some plain yogurt overnight in a coffee filter, and then stirred in some fresh squeezed OJ the next morning. It thickened in the fridge, and sucked up all the OJ after a good stirring--pretty good!