I usually cycle to work…cycle the five-minute route down Julu Lu then left onto Shanxi Lu. However, last night I left my bike at work as I had to go and collect an oil heater (basically a plug in radiator) from Todd’s office. He’d kindly ordered it for me with a few other things we needed for the apartment. We now have an oven too. Lisa and I somehow managed to get the heater onto her scooter with both of us on board. We looked a little bit like a clown circus act where the bike would wobble on the road…it made me laugh so much. Completely unsafe but we made it to my apartment and scaled the seven flights of stairs to get it to its final destination. It had better work to keep me warm this winter after taking it all that way!
Anyway, as I couldn’t cycle in this morning I had to walk. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes and you have to cross a huge main road called Yan’an Dong Lu using a footbridge. On this footbridge, many homeless people sleep and beg…I keep on seeing this one older gentleman who has serious facial burn scars. I was feeling pretty emotional this morning (courtesy of an email from my Dad I received yesterday) so it literally made me cry quite unexpectedly. I don’t think there is much care for the sick or disabled here, unless you are flush with cash. It’s all about the money here…”I’d rather be crying in a BMW than smiling on a bicycle”…all about showing face. This walk to work reminded me of when my Mom used to go into London from Surrey to work and she would see the same homeless family en route. She’d take them packed lunches of Marmite sandwiches, cartons of Ribena and Kit Kat bars…they were so grateful of her generosity. I heart my Mom. I’m considering doing this for the man on the bridge…though I’m not sure whether he would appreciate a portion of homemade five-bean chilli and a ginger biscuit. Everyone loves those biscuits though…he might? It’s strange though as so much food is wasted in this city you’d think there would be enough for everyone. This question applies to the whole world though and it’s poverty situation. Hmmmm. It certainly put me in a thinking mood for the day.
Every single day you go through the process of questioning what on earth do I want to eat? Lisa and I go through this dilemma every work day and can never make a decision. It seems wrong to talk about this after what I’ve just mentioned. If you want to, you can eat at a different place every single day…eat different foods, in different ways, from different cultures. You’d think that choice is a good thing but it generally isn’t…it just makes the decision process even harder…although for me, with my diet, I often have that decision made for me. Last Thursday, Lisa and I had Korean food for lunch at a really quirky place near where we work. They sold Korean pumpkin porridge, which I love, but I didn’t have it on this occasion. Next time for sure. Instead I had a spicy tuna rice dish with a fried egg on top, apparently called a “bibimbap” (thank you Elizabeth!). A lot of dishes come with eggs out here, maybe not good for cholesterol or the heart, but it is something I know I can eat. It tasted really good so I’m sure we’ll be going again.
I like the decor in this place…the ad hoc nature of the photographs and post-it notes. These posters were also on the walls of the restaurant and they made Lisa and I laugh a lot…it’s funny how (some) men present themselves over here…I think Eastern pop culture is to blame for making them look completely effeminate. I can’t even work out what the guy on the right hand side is kissing and I’m sure young girls here love it. I, however, find it a little odd. As you can see I managed to blog again to keep up with ‘NaBloPoMo’…National Blog Posting Month. See you tomorrow for more thoughts…if you see a homeless person today, give them a few coins, or even better, take them some food.