Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ponchos, Umbrellas and Wet Feet

Before I came to China people would say “I’m glad you’re going for one year because you get to see China in all the seasons!” I didn’t quite understand what that meant until I experienced a rainy day in Hangzhou. It is so incredibly different here when it rains. People who seem normal riding E-bikes on a sunny day turn into very colorful ghosts of purple, red, yellow, green or pink! Often they carry one or more passengers so you might see four or six legs hanging out of their poncho. The Chinese people just make things work. They seem to live in a necessity based culture. You don’t have what you don’t need - that’s just a waste. If they do not drive an E-bike (scooter) they use a regular bike - one hand holding an Umbrella, the other steering - what a talent! And if they do not ride a bike they simply share an umbrella with a friend. I took this picture today out of my school’s cafeteria window! I was amazed at how many umbrellas I saw! My last class this afternoon I asked each student if they were happy - this gave me an opportunity to get to know them a little better and for them to practice english with simple conversation. Most said “I’m happy because there is nothing to be sad about”. I couldn’t complain about this answer. I came to one student and he said “to be honest I am not so happy”. He said that he had wet feet and this made him sad. :( I might bring an extra pair of dry socks with me to school next time it rains :)

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