Monday, February 13, 2006

Day One



Had a good night's sleep and managed to stay out until about 6AM when I was awakened by the sound of birds! At first, I thought I'd left the radio on, or that some oddball alarm was going off. But no, it was the common "peter peter peter" of the Tufted Titmouse. Problem - there is no Tufted Titmouse within 6000 miles of here. But clearly there's an asian analogue. The other thing that pulled me out of my slumber was the distinctive smell of exhaust.

Went outside at 7:00AM to walk the streets and visit the park arcoss the street (unquestionably the source of the birds.) Many people on the street - cyclists, motorscooterists (new word) and pedestrians. The park was full of people, mainly midde-agers doing Tai Chi, jogging, walking backwards (no lie) and standing in bamboo groves yelling "Awwwwwwww" (again, no lie.) There were two groups of women doing a flag dance to some martial music and several groups of young men playing badminton - without a net.

Chinese people do not make eye contact. I attempted some smiles, but no response. Walked around there for an hour and came back here where I now sit, eating breakfast in the 33rd floor penthouse lounge.

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