Let me describe my daily trek to work… Now that I drive on my little bike I can see things that I may otherwise miss.
Each day I see the street cleaners sweeping the streets with their twig brooms and emptying the trash into their little green push carts. They sweep away the garbage, leaves and twigs that may cause dangerous obstacles for the many bikers along the bike lanes off to the side of the main highway.
Driving can be hairy as you have to constantly be looking around since some cars run red lights, turn right and left from the wrong lanes and bikes and other vehicles can be traveling the wrong way down the street or bike lanes. Watching carefully at all times keeps you safe and aware. I keep 1 hand on the brake and the other on the horn… beep warnings if you don’t think someone sees you. No one shoulder checks -that is what horns are for!
As I drive off the main street, to the road where my school is, I pass over a little bridge and some days the ladies fan dancing are along the river bank moving to the Chinese music, other days the men with the large square fishing nets are there instead, raising and lowering their nets. In the afternoons the older gentlemen are there with bowls with various size turtles. I am guessing they caught them in the river, and are now for sale, but not as pets. A few times we have seen this ancient, very large turtle with a large spiky shell. One of the girls from work says it looks like a stegosaurus. We now have decided he is a pet and this old fella takes “Stegosaurus” for a daily walk. She has seen him at one of the local shops, and he is at the bridge regularly. What else could be the reason he is always there? It is a very distinct turtle, so it has to be the same one. “Come Stegosaurus, time for your walk!” Wonder how long it takes them to get from A to B?
Friday on my way to work I saw a man pulling a fish out of the river. The fish was HUGE. It was almost as big as he was. I swear it had to be 5-6 feet long and I am not exaggerating! It was massive; I have never seen anything so big. The water is so muddy and murky I wondered what these fishermen were trying to catch. The water is not that deep since sometimes you can see men standing in the water up to their chests. The China sea is not long from here and the Huang Pu river empties into it. Maybe this small river is also linked to these main channels. Could this massive fish be a migrant from the sea? Could this shallow water support such large fish?
The lovely tree-lined street leading up to the school has an entrance to Regency Park, an area with big, beautiful homes. It reminds me of a resort in the Caribbean with the marble, fountains and gardens at the entrance. Driving along here is peaceful with all the trees, birds singing and few cars. occasionally in this area I pass a man singing as loud as he can, without an MP3 player. Lately I have also seen a woman singing out loud -what is that expression? Dance like no one is watching… how about sing like no one is listening!
My favourite things along my drive have to be the bikes laden down with things. Sometimes they are piled high with cardboard, styrofoam pieces or plastic jugs tied together like large bunches of grapes. Sometimes I see bikes with baskets filled with chickens and ducks. They are so calm and just look around despite the speed and noise.
It is getting cooler now and I am not sure I can survive the cool drive through the winter. I can bundle up, but the wind makes my eyes tear… and I don’t think I am up for one of those crazy visors they wear here. They are like the visors people wear for tennis, only they are darkened like sunglasses, but with a rainbow of colour reflects on the outside. So if that is not bad enough the visor goes down from your forehead to your chin. They just look hideous!
Hopefully you can see this image to see what I mean! My bad fashion limit is already exceeded with my helmet and neon green jacket!
We are about to start reports next week, not to mention extra time to practice the school Christmas concert, so I will do my best to write a blog over the next few weeks. Stay tuned…