Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A walk to the park

Monday I woke up in a bit of a funk. I got up late (to no surprise), was late to class, broke the dryer handle, and burned my eggs...all before noon. It was one of those days where I either wanted to get back in bed and start over, or get back in bed and sleep through to Tuesday. Since our Chinese teacher was not here, I had an afternoon all to myself. It was the first sunny day we had in almost three weeks. Up until then, it had rained non-stop. Dreary, dreary days.

For about a week I had wanted to venture out and walk to a park here in town that Mikey and Mariah had told me about, but hadn't been able to because of the rain. My motive wasn't so much the park but a little coffee shop tucked away in this park. So, after a few minutes of debating whether to take a nap or walk, I decided to walk. The park is about 5 miles away so put on some comfy shoes, grabbed my Ipod, and hit the road.  As I walked past more and more people the closer I got into the city, I was keenly reminded of the fact that I stand out a bit here. The blatant staring can make me quite uncomfortable at times, but I decided I would make the best of it. I waved at some, smiled at others, and when I had had enough, I just focused on the music. I tried to put myself in their shoes and imagine what it would be like to never have seen a foreigner, or very few foreigners. I guess I would stare too. As I began my trek I was thankful that just a day before I had read an article on cars in China. Apparently traffic signals are just a suggestion, so I was extra cautious.  One tip I read in the article was that when crossing the street, to do so in a group. People here aren't so much concerned about hitting one person; it's hitting multiple people that would damage their car, so there truly is safety in numbers here. At least when crossing the street. Thankfully in a city of 6 million, there was always someone waiting to cross the street.

A few wrong turns and an hour and forty minutes later I finally saw it. There is a huge ferris wheel at the park where the coffee shop is located. At each turn, I kept asking God to show me the ferris wheel because I knew I couldn't ask for directions, and I hated to turn back after walking so far. Finally, there it was and I knew I was not far. I arrived at the park, found the quaintest little coffee shop and quickly found out how to order a cappuccino.  After an hour and forty minutes, I believe it was the best cappuccino I have ever had. And for you who know me, you know I would probably walk that distance often for a good cup a coffee :)

Here are a few shots of what I believe will become one of my favorite spots in Luoyang...

Entrance to Wancheng Park
Inside Wancheng

Cafe' on the Lake

Inside cafe' were worth the walk, my friend
 About 30 minutes later, I was joined by the Martins, who also came to see the park and let the kids run around a bit...

With Lillian in the cafe'
Charlotte's face is priceless...
I have no idea what those red things are
With blond-haired kids in Luoyang,  you can't get too far before the crowds begin to notice! Whereas in the U.S. we tend to rear our kids with "stranger danger" alerts, here it's no strange thing to walk up to a foreign child and take their picture, pinch their cheek, or even try to hold them. I have a lot to learn!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, Rebecca, what an adventurous trek for a cup of java! You are indeed a gal after my own heart. Starbucks has nothing on your newly found coffee shop. Love it! The park is beautiful. What a great way to spend the first sunny day in weeks (ugh)!!!! I love reading these blogs, they help me feel what you are experencing. Prayers and hugs from Lola and me. Oh - got a story for you - while we were at McDonald's celebrating Kylie's baptism, a fly (ugh again) landed on LaLa's table. She looked at Kate and said "if Lola were here, she'd eat that fly." That cat has gained quite a reputation among our family. love you!