Saturday, March 3, 2012

Just out for a stroll

To enjoy this beautiful Saturday I decided to take a long walk. It turned into a three hour walk and was both sweaty and lovely. The sun is shining brightly and there is a light cool breeze, close to perfect weather. Even the humidity doesn't feel so bad today. Today is the first day in the month I've lived on Hainan island that I actually feel like I'm living on a tropical island. Looking forward to more days like this!

On my way home, a man bicycled up next to me and starting talking, so I tried to make conversation and was doing pretty okay for awhile. Then he said something that I didn't understand so I made the universal gesture -- palms up, head tilted slightly -- to let him know I don't understand what you're saying. And this was after using all three Mandarin phrases I know for "I don't understand" or "I don't know."

Then he replied with another universal gesture -- put thumb and index finger together to make a circle with one hand, put index finger of other hand through the circle, pull index finger out of circle, put index finger back into circle, repeat three to five times.

A mime is worth a thousand Chinese words. I politely declined his offer and continued on my way.

That was the most...colorful...experience on today's walk. Another, less flattering encounter, was when a man walking toward me got right up in my face and yelled. I'm not sure what he said, but it didn't sound friendly. In fact, it sounded very threatening. I just smiled, moved out of his way and continued walking.

There were a few other friendly encounters where people smiled, waved and yelled "HELLO!" Out of all three types of greetings today, I have to say I like this one the best.

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