Here comes the…

Oh my God – the sun is out today!! It’s been almost two weeks of grey skies. The last time I saw the sun was when I visited Chengdu. I can’t believe how goofily happy I am.

So I did what anyone does on a beautiful, bird-filled sunny day – I played video games. Just kidding. I’ll do that when the sun (hooray!) goes down.

No, I went for a walk. There’s this park I’ve been meaning to check out. It’s got the Olympic rings all over the place – I think it might be a sort of sister site for when the Olympics were in Beijing. Maybe it was a gathering place to watch the games on the monster screen on the side of the nearby building? The reason I wanted to go to this park was because it appeared that there was a sort of gym for grownups. And I was correct – there is some free exercise type equipment dotted all over the place. Nothing fancy – the treadmill is a series of metal rods on a slope, for example. Most of the contraptions were for promoting movement in general – twisting at the torso or stretching the arms.

I considered advocating for adult parks back in Chicago – adults deserve to play as much as children, and goodness knows we could use our worries and cares taken away for a few minutes. It’s nice to see something like that implemented, even if it is here in China. Again, I wonder if we could be trusted to have our own exercise equipment in the parks.

Someone would probably sue. That’s why our parks have grown lame – we treat it like it’s someone else’s fault we fall over. In Germany, there were some absolutely fabulous parks for kids. The equipment was amazing and probably not that safe in some regards, but the kids loved it. And when they fell off or over (or, in the case of the centrifugal handle-less merry-go-round, were thrown bodily into the sand), they sniffled and bounced back.

Remember parks – the old parks? The ones with rickety metal slides which burned the back of your legs? I remember jumping off of swings into pea gravel, skinning myself up a little and moving on. I chipped a tooth on the merry-go-round (got that fixed when my braces came off). While I do think that modern playgrounds offer more options for kids – rock-climbing walls, for example – I wonder at how soft and rounded they’ve become. The asphalt got replaced with pea gravel, which got replaced with wood chips, which got replaced with rubber mats. I mean, what’s wrong with skinning your knee every now and again?

That’s off topic – point of this update: It’s sunny. I’m glad it’s sunny. Spent lovely afternoon at park. Don’t know whether the weather helps me weather the stares…


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