Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yau Yi

It is my favorite kind of walking. And it doesn't matter whether I am in a forest, on a mountain trail or in a bustling city. To meander leisurely along without any particular place to be is I think one of the best ways to see what there is to see.

The conveyor belt squeaked in syncopation with my step as I passed the market. Boxes unloaded from the nearby truck slowly made their way into the basement from the sidewalk. I stepped into a small store that looked like something out of a Raider's movie – a Chinese medicine store that had every sort of ground root, dried fish, fin, slug or squid and more fungus than you could shake a stick at. Had I been able to read Chinese, I'm sure I would have seen the likes of bear Gaul bladder, tiger urine and eye of newt.

I could tell I was an outsider here, not looking like or speaking anything Chinese. I'd smile, use my hands expressively and ask a few questions. No one spoke English for the gringo. I thought of my farmer's tanned friend Hunter who could have wowed them with a little Manchurian charm. I could not help but smile as I stood with these interesting people, wishing that I knew their names and a little bit about them. I knew though that they knew that I meant them no harm.

I have one day left in the City before flying South to LA. The weather could not be more perfect. I will walk some more before I go with a little more work.

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