Imagine if the entire nation of America took their week long holiday on the same week. That is sort of what the week between Christmas and New Years is like in the US. Many people fly home, prices at resorts and cruises are at their highest, airfares go up, airports are crazy busy.
Now imagine that a country is same size as US, but because of the many mountainous regions, only half of the space actually has cities, and there are 1 billion more people than US, and this week is not really the week to go home, that comes in Spring. This is the week to tour… the pretty and relaxing places and historical sites. (The places I want to go!) Enough people put fear and fair warning of the situation that we decided to just stay home in our little town of 15 million during the holiday early October.
At times it did feel like everyone left town, but other places like the “Water Park” and Ikea, we thought oh… this is where they are. Water Park needs explaining – it’s a HUGE area with lakes, zoo, amusement rides, and lots of walking paths, and gardens. I only got to a portion of it so far, but it’s bikeable from our apartment.
We went to 4 beautiful outdoor spaces during the National Holiday and had great weather during two of them, which is very fortunate.
Not all parks had gorgeous archway entrances, but two did. Three of 4 had paddle boats you can rent. We did the very slow moving ferris wheel at the Water Park. It moves so slow we thought it wasn’t running, but if you watch it really closely, you realize there is movement. Once around and then you get off. So funny. Can’t recommend, as the windows are so dirty you can barely see out.
My favorite part of this exploring is finding all the different activities that are going on in the park. One had multiple groups that were dancing, mostly ballroom type, but I couldn’t really guess exactly the step they were doing. It was more complicated than my skill level. Recorded music and people watching and this was at 10AM, so a morning tradition. Another area had people wearing pastel PJ looking outfits doing some form of choreographed martial arts. Women and men that looks my age or older and very limber well balanced folk. I admire them so much! Then around the next bend a group of women all wearing black bottoms and colorful tops doing another form of martial arts exercise together.
Then the group that had a recorded music with voice over doing marching and clapping and a few other movements in a single file line. They all had red caps on and matching jackets, either blue or red. Many people watching were doing it along with them. A few more steps and we came across a few men swinging ropes with a spinning top thing that make a loud noise as it spins. At the water park we saw the 4 people doing the amazing jumps in the air to keep a shuttlecock (birdie looking thing) in the air. They were amazing, not your basic hacky sack moves!
At the water park there were about 6 rollerblading seniors who were very dramatic and so artsy and good. They danced to music and I really enjoyed watching them. They had a big crowd.
Groups of men here and there are writing water calligraphy on the cement tiles in the walkways. They have these huge three foot brushes. One had a soda can over it and that was filled with water and that’s what keeps the brush wet.
Music from recorded music is here and there, but there is also singing. People are walking around just singing, and loudly sometimes. Then you see people playing their instruments, some strings such as the Erhu and similar and then we saw a group playing a wind instrument (maybe Hulusi) along to a recording. There was about 6 playing along.
Not one of these groups is looking for money, or has a donation cup out. They just gather to enjoy their craft. It’s so cool and they are so sharing with their talents. I love it. Everyone at the parks is so friendly and smiling and enjoying their recreation fully.
On a weekday it’s mostly seniors. We have learned that some professions here have mandatory retirement ages. Keeps the younger folks coming into employment able to get jobs, but many lines of work you can just work forever if you want.
Finding the pretty spots of this city has been fun. To get good weather, no pollution and free time, all combined, a miracle. Thankfully my new Chinese brand cellphone has editing tools that can defog, or dehaze. So everyday can look better! Ha