a monday morning walk through the university’s east campus

Monday, September 15:  I wake up before dawn, as I do nearly every day.  Usually I lounge around in my pajamas, drinking coffee, looking at blogs or Facebook, reading, or just generally being lazy.  But this morning, I get up soon after the sun rises and walk to Guangxi University‘s East Campus.  I live and work on the West Campus, so until yesterday, when I got access to a colleague’s bicycle, I hadn’t yet visited the East.  After my little bike ride, I figured out the lay of the land, so I set off on foot this time.

Upon first entering the East Campus, I see this official-looking building looming over me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy thought is that an early morning walk will be cooler and the light will be softer than the harsh midday light.  After all, what time of day is better for photos than sunrise or sunset?  I’m wrong on both counts. Though it’s only 79 degrees F, the humidity is 94%, with rain predicted.  This makes for a warm & muggy experience, as well as a hazy sky.

I see this other building, with palm trees in front, and a bicycle rickshaw zipping past.

another official-looking building

another official-looking building

I like the look of this wrought iron fence with tendrils of vines bearing yellow flowers.

vines and tendrils

vines and tendrils

The colorful flags on this building seem a cheerful welcome to the incoming students.

colorful flags

colorful flags

Near a lotus pond, I find this rock carved with some mysterious message.

stone carving near the lotus pond

stone carving near the lotus pond

I come upon this curvaceous walkway.  You might not know it from this picture, but there are hundreds of students queuing up at various buildings, for what I don’t know.  This East campus seems much busier than my quiet part of the West campus.

curvature

curvature

I think one set of parents, standing here looking over the pond, must be hesitant to leave their child behind.

reflections

reflections

I’m so disappointed by the haziness, and now I’m soaked in sweat.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this humidity.

more reflections

more reflections

I stop to catch the curvy walkway in the other direction.

more curvature

more curvature

A pretty little monument juts out into the pond from a small peninsula.  I’m not sure what the monument signifies.

monument on a little peninsula and reflections

monument on a little peninsula and reflections

reflections

reflections

monument

monument

I keep walking until I walk right out the East Gate.  I see a Kentucky Fried Chicken, food carts, a guy reclining on his motorbike reading the newspaper, and the hustle and bustle of Chinese commerce.

food cart outside the East Gate

food cart outside the East Gate

street outside the East Gate

street outside the East Gate

food cart

food cart

catching the morning news on a motorbike

catching the morning news on a motorbike

facades

facades

Then I enter once again through the East Gate.

entering back into the East Gate

entering back into the East Gate

Two ladies are doing their exercises on the little peninsula, and I try to capture them across the pond.  Across the street from them is a huge athletic field, where people are out in droves exercising.  Students are playing basketball; others are doing exercises on simple outdoor “machines.”  I can’t figure out a way to take pictures without being really obvious, so I don’t.

some older ladies doing tai chi

some older ladies doing their exercises

I take a little path around the pond and I can see a bridge crossing over the lotus pond.

pathway

pathway

I pass by a young Chinese couple facing each other.  The boy looks sheepish as his girlfriend tries to rearrange his hair.

Bridge over the lotus pond

Bridge over the lotus pond

A big blue Red Bull tent is set up, probably from this weekend’s welcoming activities, and beside it is a wall painted with the Red Bull emblem, as well as some Chinese characters.

Red Bull, Chinese style

Red Bull, Chinese style

Finally, I head back to my familiar West Campus, where I pass another huge athletic field.  People here are walking or running around a track, doing aerobics classes to some high-energy tunes, exercising on basic metal ellipticals painted in primary colors, or doing Tai Chi.  A grandfather has put his little grandson up on a set of monkey bars, and he does pull-ups while chatting with his grandson.  It’s a friendly environment and people here seem serious about their physical fitness.  I never saw this in Korea or Oman, so I’m happy to see the Chinese people taking their health seriously.

By the way, on one of my earlier walks, I made it a point to see if I could find even one obese Chinese person, and I came up empty-handed.  I hope all this Chinese food and perspiration will be good for my weight loss regimen. 🙂

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Categories: Asia, China, East Campus, Guangxi University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “a monday morning walk through the university’s east campus

  1. I was just about to say that it would be a good place to learn t’ai chi, Cathy! Have you started to tackle the language yet? I don’t envy you that but it’s supposed to be very logical (let’s me out!) It’s a very imposing campus site, isn’t it? I’m happy to picture you there in your new environment. 🙂 I haven’t made it to FB since I got back but I must!
    Many thanks for the walk, hon. Sorry about that darned humidity.

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    • You’re right, Jo, it would be a good place to learn Tai Chi! I should join one day, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t know a word they were saying. Or maybe they don’t say anything, which would be the best of all worlds. Maybe I should read about it first. 🙂

      I’ve learned a few phrases, but I have a long way to go so that I can actually communicate important things, Jo! If it’s logical, I have no idea about that. I know when I studied Arabic, I found that very logical, which was good for me.

      This is quite an imposing campus, but a little shabby in parts. I find the construction doesn’t hold up for very long; for instance I heard our apartments are only 6 years old, but they seem like 60! I sure hope the humidity abates once it starts getting cooler, possibly around the end of October. 🙂

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  2. Smiling here because I didn’t lose any weight when I was in China. My eating experiences there were not so good and sometimes really awful. My worst meal was in a restaurant car on a twelve hour train journey. My best food experience was a free dinner served in a first class high speed train between Peking and Shanghai. And we were’t even expecting the meal. My favourite red wine in China was a red called Feng Shui and we had a bottle with us on that ride. A perfect meal. My cheapest gourmet experience was a gorgeous meal for 4 RMB in Kunming but the Dali beer served with it was undrinkable. Have you tried many types of beer there yet ?

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    • Oh dear, I was sure hoping to lose weight here, Dai! That worst meal of yours sounds horrible, especially if it made you sick on a 12 hour train journey. Funny how the best meal cost the least: free! I’m going to have to look for the Feng Shi wine, Dai. I bought a corkscrew, but I haven’t yet bought a bottle of wine, because I wasn’t sure what to buy! I’ve eaten some great meals here already, and also some that have made me sick. I’ve tried Tsingtao beer and Xiaomaiwang beer, as well as some kind of pineapple beer that was a little strange. What was your favorite? I really want to go to Kunming. Did you go to the Stone Forest near there?

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      • Well I wasn’t sick and the meal could have been good but everything was dripping with oil and that’s not my thing. Served with that meal was warm beer which is not my thing either. There was a fridge but they kept the cans of beer on shelves in the warm train. Tsingtao is spelled in various ways and that confused me a bit before. And yes that was the best beer I found there, Kat. I’ve never tried that Xiaomaiwang beer but I think it’s brewed in Harbin (Haerbin). I sure would like to see the Harbin Ice Festival. China is vast and there are so many things to see. I never visited the Stone Forest, Kat. I did consider it but we were on a schedule with buses and trains to catch so we never had the time always. If you do go to Kunming, you should try to visit Lijiang but stay in the Old Town for canals, weeping willows, Chinese red lanterns and endless little hotels and streamside restaurants. There is a little town square with terrific folk dancing every day and we can join in. Then there is the incredible Naxi orchestra with ancient instruments and ancient players too. Yes it is all done for the tourists but I still thoroughly enjoyed this place and its ancient culture. I wish we could insert pictures in these comments.

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      • Warm beer and too much oil, neither of those sound very appetizing, Dai! And I can’t understand the belief that it’s not good to drink cold beverages. Almost every drink I’ve had here has been at room temperature or only slightly cool. The Tsingtao and the Xiaomaiwang beers are good, Dai. Yesterday, I bought a beer called Harbin, but I haven’t tried it yet. Since Harbin is so far north, and I’m so far south, I doubt I will make it there, but the ice festival sounds marvelous!

        I really like your idea of staying in Lijiang, Dai. It sounds so appealing. I think I will have to travel in that direction during one of my holidays. Maybe you should write a blog post about it so I can see your pictures! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. I really enjoy reading about it.

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  3. I’m afraid I wouldn’t deal well with that humidity, I’d swell like a balloon! And walking would be very uncomfortable. Your university campus looks HUGE! I like the curved walkway though – nice perspective. And make sure you drink loads of water in that heat. Don’t want you becoming dehydrated!

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    • I don’t deal well with this humidity myself, Jude, and as a matter of fact, it really depresses me! It makes me feel like never going out. I dealt better, I think, with the dry heat in Oman. Our campus is HUGE! I still haven’t covered every part of it! 🙂

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  4. Fabulous 🙂

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  5. Humidity is not my friend either – but, if this is any solace, it’s good for your skin. And all those wonderful veggies would be good for your weight.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    • I’m sure the humidity is good for my skin, Carol, but I still prefer cool dry weather, or even the dry heat of Oman. I know the veggies should be good, as long as I don’t eat too much rice, or too many noodles and dumplings. I told one of my colleagues that my love of dumplings here might just turn me into a dumpling. 🙂

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  6. Kat, it’s Feng Shui and not Feng Shi (just in case). It was always difficult or impossible to find that Feng Shui red wine so we stuck to the Great Wall company wines. They have many qualities and the cheaper ones were not so good but the more expensive ones were great. And still cheap compared to Nepal or the UK of course. Some wines were totally weird and I’ve poured some down the washroom sinks.

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    • Dai, I was just in the supermarket yesterday and I spied the Great Wall wines. I will have to buy a bottle when I get my first paycheck, which I hope will be soon! I’m almost out of money, so am trying to be frugal right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no ! Out of money and can’t buy red wine. That’s almost like being in hell hehehe.

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      • I agree! It is like being in hell, Dai! Haha! I just got an advance on my paycheck, as did all the teachers, but I’m hesitant to tap into it as then I’ll be in arrears for the following month. And I’m hoping to travel to Yangshuo on October 1. 🙂

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  7. Oh I forgot to say, Kat. The Chinese border (Tibet) is near here and Nepalese citizens can cross over for about a dollar and go shopping in Kasa Bazaar. There they can buy Great Wall wines but the customs guys on the Nepalese side only allow one bottle for each person (they drink the extra ones I guess). If we could bring as many as we wanted, guess what I’d be arranging.

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    • Wow, that’s a great recommendation for the Great Wall wines, Dai. Kasa Bazaar sounds cool. I’d love to go to Tibet while here but I just don’t know if I’ll have enough time. I wonder…..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t have many pictures of Lijiang, Kat but I do have a couple I think. I can’t think why I don’t have lots but it’s just in the past two or three years that I’ve got into taking lots of pictures. I love train travel, Kat so I’d love to ride on that line into Lhasa….. the highest railway in the world. We are just a very short flight from Lhasa but the problem is the visa and group travel. I like to travel independently and go where I want, stay where I want and visit who I want. On the other hand I can well understand why the Chinese authorities have become so restrictive because some idiotic foreigners travelled in the past into Tibet for political reasons and now we are all suffering. You’ve really put me in the mood for travelling with your blogs and pictures, Kat. I wish I was younger and had a bit more money so I could do more travelling.

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    • I’m sorry you don’t have many pictures, Dai; hopefully I will go to Lijiang in February and can post pictures when I go. I hope it won’t be too cold then! I’m like you, I like to travel independently and not be constrained by group travel.

      I wish I were younger and had more money too! Too bad I have to work to support my wanderlust habits. 🙂

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      • Kat, if ever I go to China again I will have lots of memory cards and I’ll be taking many videos and pictures

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      • Good, Dai. You really should come to visit and bring some of your family. I would love to have you, even though my apartment is small and I’d have to get pads for the floor. I really do wish I’d have visitors. 🙂

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      • It would be tempting, Kat but it has to be paid for and fares to anywhere from Kathmandu cost a fortune. Maybe you know already. Just to Guangzhou we need to pay around 78,000 to 90,000 rupees round trip by China Southern. I need to go to Bournemouth in a month or two and I’ll definitely be buying lottery tickets again.

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      • I know it’s expensive, Dai. It’s too bad travel has to be so expensive, isn’t it? It really is such a shame. I sure hope you win those lottery tickets!

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  9. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Santa Luzia | restlessjo

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