Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Cleaning

China declared winter was over on March 15th. Since then, we had two miserable weeks of cold. The central heat was turned off at work so by the end of the day, your core body temp had dropped. All your joints and extremities ache. Your knees and ankles don't want to work. Your hands and wrists feel brittle and you fear tripping, lest you'd have to catch yourself and risk serious injury. All this happens so slowly throughout the day, that you don't realize how cold you are until it's too late. It take hours for the cold to leave your body.

So that was last week. This weekend, spring arrived. We are now smack in the middle of, dare i say, perfect weather. (Ok, a little rain would be nice...)

Couple that weather with a three day weekend, and it feels like spring is really here. Monday was Tomb Sweeping Day, a national holiday in China:
"Chinese visit their family graves to tend to any underbrush that has grown. Weeds are pulled, and dirt swept away, and the family will set out offerings of food and spirit money. "

I did not sweep any graves, but Ace and i continued (and probably completed!) our apartment search. That itself feels like a form of spring cleaning: making a fresh start in a new year, creating a new life, taking new roots in the city. We are close to settling on a nice hutong location, walking distance from some of our favorite hangouts. It's biking distance to work for her, and about 40 minutes for me. We'll have fruits, vegetables, meats, dry and baked goods, and liquor available just outside our door. All at separate little hutong stores. Down the street are two coffee shops and two different subway stops. Our little balcony faces east and catches the morning sun for breakfast and coffee, while looking out over the hutongs. It's a pretty charming, 98 sqm, 2 bedroom, and we're getting mentally psyched for the change.

So yeah, we spent a few days enjoying the weather. It was very refreshing and this week has started off very well. It seems everyone at work is in a good mood. It's amazing what a change in the weather can do for the human spirit.

And the avian spirit too. Even the birds are happy and getting exercise. This little flock did about 50 consecutive laps around the courtyard across from our apartment.


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