I do not have much stress anymore – I have learned over the years to cope very well and have reduced my stress levels to almost nothing. Stress cannot be avoided completely and there is good stress and bad stress. But the bad stress days I had in the past are virtually gone – and I owe a lot of that to my love of walking.
Walking in unknown countries, walking around the areas I have lived – all of it has kept me in relatively good shape (I could stand to lose some weight and tone up but that will come in time). We have been very lucky here in Southern Ontario the past few days weather-wise – we have been enjoying unusually warm and sunny days for the end of February! Alas, they are coming to an end, albeit temporarily, as spring is just around the corner. I have been out and enjoying the beautiful weather that has been given to us and these are some pictures I have taken. I have brought out my camera once again, and am excited to start using it more!
Living in China has been an experience that I don’t regret taking at all. But the past week it’s been an eye opening experience.
Yellow dust. It’s something more than smog. A west wind blows the dust in from the desert and all I can say is that I don’t like it. I stay holed up in my apartment with all the windows closed. If I have to venture out, it’s to a store or restaurant about 2 minutes away.
What is amazing are the people out in it without a face mask on them and their children. How do they live in this? My hair is dusty, my place is dusty and my clothes are dusty.
Thank goodness this is only a phenomenon only in spring (so I’m told!!)
I have lived in cities in Canada that have had, what I thought, bad smog days. What I wouldn’t give for a smoggy day in Toronto right now!! We know nothing about smog in North America….
It has been over six months since I arrived and I am still learning new things each day when I am out. These are some things that may surprise you about China:
Pedestrians have no rights. Seriously we have no rights. We walk whenever there is a break in traffic. Cars do not slow down for you. Sometimes it feels like you are risking your life by crossing 8 lanes of traffic. I have become very good at maneuvering my way across the roads.
Public transportation. It’s a very different experience here. At small stops, a lot of the time the bus simply slows down enough for you to jump on and then takes off before the door is closed. You need to be quick! It is very cheap to take the bus ~ only 1 rmb (about 20 cents Canadian). They pack on the people ~ like a sardine can. People push, they sometimes are aggressive with their pushing. You learn to push back. I also have learned when the best non crowded times are to get on a bus!!
Stray dogs. This is a very sad part of the area I live in. Many people within the gated area have dogs as pets. But outside of this area, there are a lot of stray dogs. They look frightened and sad, but it is still better to keep away from them. There have been many times I have seen parents make their child run away from them. Its sad.
Snow removal. This city amazes me with the snow removal!! They waste no time getting out the snow ploughs and shovels to clear the snow. And the amount of people who are doing the shoveling is astonishing. Men and women of all ages. Once the snow stops falling, they get out their brooms and start sweeping the snow off the roads. It really is awesome to see how they do it. They do not, however, use any salt. Its very slippery some days!!
Shopping centres. If anyone has a noise sensitivity, you need to be aware of the noise. And this isn’t from the shoppers. The different stores have people standing there, with microphones, yelling about their sales. They talk over one another. I know this now and so plan my shopping on days when I know I can handle the amount of noise I will encounter. And in the supermarkets, they have people offering free samples and they are very pushy!! I know to say BU now (no) and walk away.
These are just a few examples of surprising things I have encountered. It still amazes me that some of these things happen!!
The beauty and mystery of a foggy day brings a sense of romance to mind. Oh how I wish this was a foggy day.
But it is definitely not fog. Yes this is smog. The pollution here is something I have never witnessed before. Its overpowering and well disgusting. I understand now why so many Chinese people wear masks, and I am getting one. I have to carry an inhaler with me now just to keep my lungs as clear as possible.
It amazes me that even with this amount of pollution, people here still smoke as much as they do. They must think well the pollution is destroying my lungs anyway so why not.
I have come to understand the Chinese ways, the spitting, the sniffing ~ it doesn’t bother me anymore because, I am ashamed to admit, I do it too. It can’t be helped.
Oh how I miss the big blue skies of Alberta on days like today.