Yesterday Elisabeth and I went to Sports Street to get new soccer cleats and shin guards. If you think shopping here is like shopping in America...well, you would be wrong!
Sports Street is a actual several streets and an underground mall of small stores selling sportswear. There is store after store of Nike, Adidas and other name brands. It's hard to know what is actually a name brand and what is a fake. We generally believe most are fakes.
It took us almost two hours to find soccer cleats and shin guards. I know the Chinese words for "soccer," "play soccer" and "shoes" but not for "shin guards." We only found one store that actually had women's soccer shoes and that was after texting and calling a friend to get explicit instructions where that store was. It turned out we had walked right past it. Getting shin guards required going to yet another store and acting out "shin guards" to three really delightful store clerks. Prices for cleats and shin guards were pretty much the same as in the USA.
Before we went to Sport's Street, we walked through a beautiful park. Paul and I ride past this park on an almost daily basis but have not gone very far in. So Elisabeth and I took the bus to the park and walked through. It was beautiful.
First we saw this man painting characters on the cement with water. He has a huge brush and a bucket of water and he paints very artistic versions of characters.
These are actually poems or proverbs. It's in moments like this that I am really, really aware that I live in China!
Next we saw a statue of the man the park is named after. Forgive me for not knowing my Chinese history better!
Same statue the next day after a Spring snow storm.
Next, we saw this man chopping at ice with a pick ax.
We saw huge groups of people playing cards.
This will be beautiful when Spring really does come!
We hiked to the top of a hill.
And down the hill to this solid ice path.
We averted our eyes (but not the camera) at this kissing couple. Extreme public displays of affection are not all that unusual any more. Young couples have very little privacy so they usually take it outdoors. It can be quite uncomfortable, especially in a bus or other enclosed space. This couple didn't stop even when an elderly couple walked by.
We heard music so we walked over to see a group of people dancing. We see people dancing in parks all the time. It's really lovely.
A man doing Tai Chi with a statue of a girl doing gymnastics behind him.
An elderly man exercising. These fitness machines for the elderly are in every park and many apartment complexes. They are in constant use.
Finally, basketball, right outside of Sport's Street. Basketball is hugely popular in China.
That was our Sunday afternoon in the park!