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Love my walks in China.

Popularity 3Viewed 3681 times 2018-6-25 20:35 |System category:News

I love my daily walks everyday since I have been living in China. I have lived fulltime in China for 10 of my 16 years being in China. The 6 years I was not in China fulltime I spent 3 months a year here when school was out in the USA.

From my very first walk I learned many things about Chinese people and their daily life. I have known enough Chinese since year 3, because I learned Chinese from my wife. I, she says " am about like a 6th grader in Chinese."    My first 2 years I never knew 1/10th of what I know now. Can never really be part of China unless you learn Chinese. 

Walking down the street I see Chinese in the morning eating breakfast , racing to work, exercising in the parks, old folks playing games, kids off to school,  and some like me just taking a morning walk. I always smile to each person I see and great them a good morning. Everyone one of them says hello to me. Some of English, but most in Chinese. The older people I meet wish me to sit with them and talk, since I do not work, live here retired from the USA. I always make time for them. They all want to know what country you are from and what you do in China etc. During my walks you see many things you would never see in the U.S.A. When I walk by a store about to open , you see the employees standing in line next to each other doing morning exercises and then you hear their boss ,who is in front, explaining what he/she expects of each of them today. You see anywhere from a few employees to many depending on the size of their work place. You see people in the park exercising, practicing Chinese Martial Arts, and most are playing music as they do these things. These are in the AM. When I stop for breakfast at my normal Chinese place, they never let me pay, I always ask," what I owe them" and they always say someone else covered my bill or they did. Told me we enjoy your company and they also think I bring them more business.   I always end up staying for a long time for someone always sits down with me and wants to talk. During weekends or when school is out many of my neighbors kids walk with me. They get to practice their English and me my little Chinese. Plus when it is hot out they know when I stop for a cold drink I will buy them a treat. They never ask, never have, I always just offer to buy them a cool drink or a ice cream. Until they knew me the kids would always say no thank you, for their parents would not be happy. So I made it a point to meet their parents, once I did we all became friends. Once I explained about my walks and stopping for a cool drink, explained I would enjoy their child having a cool drink or whatever they enjoyed with me, they would tell their kids it is OK with David only. Only if I offered. 
 When I miss a day or a few because I left town for a fun trip, or whatever reason, the next time I take a walk all my neighbors ask, am I OK? They say we miss your smile good morning. Miss our chats etc.

When I walk in the evening you see many of the same things, only now is shift changes, or very large groups of adults dancing, exercising in front of their apartments or in the park. Always with music playing.

I have learned more about China from observing people, talking to them, and actually becoming their friend. To really know China, the people, the culture, you really need to be able to understand Chinese and converse in Chinese. You can never really become part of China unless you are really into  their culture, become close friends, become part of their family life if not, you miss- understand the Chinese life. When I knew only hello ,good bye, in Chinese, I missed out on all the things I know now because I could not converse with them in Chinese. I have friends who practice their English with me more now, because they know I am not afraid of making mistakes in Chinese and I will not make fun if they make mistakes in English. My Chinese will never be perfect, their English most likely not perfect, but we learn from each other everyday. What I have learned about Chinese people you can not learn in a book. I know I mean something to every Chinese person I meet and they know they mean something to me. Why? Because of their friendly smile and hello to me each day. Same with my friendly smile and hello to each Chinese I meet daily, new or old faces. Well off for a late night walk to  meet some Chinese neighbors for BBQ. Oh and I bet a few beers. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report 财神 2018-6-26 15:06
Thanks for inspiring story..
i have started it again..in summer days its joyful to have a walk in the morning...specially with my new girlfriend.
Reply Report Swifty55 2018-6-26 20:11
Thanks enjoy walks with your lady
Reply Report parcher 2018-7-3 18:29
i love the countryside and having worked out in rural areas for 10 yrs i would not swap it for the city ..
i think as we get older we start to appreciate daily walks, and the fresh air
Reply Report SEARU 2018-7-4 13:47
财神: Thanks for inspiring story..
i have started it again..in summer days its joyful to have a walk in the morning...specially with my new girlfriend.
The old carpenter in our village
                             A “flying" person
when I was young, I knew all the villagers admired a Middle-aged man------Mr. Tom (not his real Chinese name).
------He was the fastest walker in the local area. The way of his walking was very special: He bent his body with the his upper part  always “advanced” than the lower part, so he could “naturally” walk faster than other people, since he had to keep balance of the movement of his body!  If your legs are lazy, you might fall forward and get down onto the ground! -------As he walked in the street, many people watched; some naughty boys would follow him and imitate his “running”! -------( Dear readers, you may have a try, this is a good form of exercise for your health; if you are a student, this method would help you get championship in sport-competition! )

The above is part of my one old blog! I wish it is helpful for you -r training!
Reply Report Swifty55 2018-7-4 17:13
Thanks for sharing,I also walk fast one hour per very early AM. So not many see me. Wife tried to walk with me once lost her after 5 minutes. Hehe. People do not seem to realize that walking bristly 3 times a week for 30 minutes or more can add years to your life.

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