There is more than one reason my blog is called Confused by Confucius. The first is based on my initial confusion over chinese culture, and my experience in Shanghai. However, I have recently discovered the second reason. Confusion appears to be a bit of a personality trait recently acquired in China. Whether is is confusion over who has the right of way (no one), or confusion over what I ordered at a restaurant, confusion about what my co worker just said, and last but not least…
confusion over what my plans are for the weekend.
My roommate walked into my room as I was packing my bags last night and asked me what I was packing for. I sarcastically remarked “not our weekend trip to Beijing that we booked tickets for last night,”. However, my overconfidence got the better of me when my roommate replied, “cool, the one for next week. You are clearly on top of things,”.
Oh. Next week.
I am going to Beijing…next week. Cool that I already posted it on my blog and told my Dad’s friends from grad school that I was going to be there. So I am humbly retracting my previous blog post, but I going to leave the post up as a wall of shame and a reminder to organize my life before I go about announcing to the blogosphere that I am a spontaneous traveler.
What are my current weekend plans? I did in fact bounce back from the initial shock of not going to Beijing and agreed to commit a night to KTV (aka karaoke). The Chinese are absolutely wild for it, and I have a feeling I may share that sentiment by the end of the weekend. In fact, I feel like I have been preparing for a successful karaoke career most of my life. We are talking ten years of choir, and about fifteen years of awkward moments making me the perfect candidate for shameless rocking on the karaoke mic.
In other Shanghai news…
Gen’s Jogging Routine vs. Shanghai Locals Round 2:
The quest for acceptance in my running habits continues. I have really been beating myself up about not running in China. Before China, I could breeze my way through a four or five mile run without a huge show of it. I liked that running was an approved way to stay in shape because it could double as my reflection time, when I sorted out my thoughts. But since being in China, I have done a whole lot of reading about running (I am currently engrossed in Born To Run) but I have only slid on my geeky barefoot toe shoes a handful of times. Last night was the last straw when I noticed my calf muscle was pretty much non existent. These were my options: I knew that night time jogging seemed to be a popular time frame for running, but because night time jogging is really not an ideal environment for the directionally challenged foreigner, I elected not to join the night time jogging scene, and chose the second option. I went to bed early, and woke up when I was pretty sure the streets would be a little less crowded: 5:45. I was out the door by 6 after running into technical glitch with my ipod, meaning, I couldn’t find it. I usually find it relatively impossible to run without the motivation of street rap pumping in my ears, but today, I was committed. Tupac or not, I was going on my run. “Born To Run” by Christopher Mcdougall has become the barefoot runner’s bible. Without going into extreme detail, It documents ultra runners, the mexican tarahumara running tribe, and the bare foot running philosophy. It is a philosophy that I have bought into, for better or worse, hook, line and sinker. I decided to spend my time working on perfecting my barefoot running “gait”. The theory says, that if you can perfect the gait, the amount of distance you can cover is limitless. I can’t say for sure whether it was the technique, my focus, or the fact that I was just happy to be running again, but by the time I arrived back at my apartment, I had run for a full hour. Thats twice as long as I usually do, and I was pretty out of shape.
I know that I was out of shape because my legs are still aching as I sit writing this post from an office chair.
But other people have got to be sore too. the amount of exercise I saw happening in China at 6 am was unbelievable. Old ladies doing some adapted jazzercise routine in the parking lot of City Shop, a man using a remote control helicopter to aid him in sprinting and jumping (by chasing the helicopter), another old man appeared to be doing summersaults and leap frog with his wife in the park. There was also your more conventional soccer, karate etc.
and if you are wondering how the locals dealt with my running this morning, just know that I think they changed their judgement of me. Now I am not a freak for running in the morning (I am now among other morning enthusiasts), I am just a freak for running in hot pink and orange toe shoes.