I went out for my first walk by myself.
First, I love my new boots. I don't expect them to last long and they have no arch support whatsoever, but they are delightful.
Second, this is not my first time out alone. I went and bought cookies on my own yesterday. But this is my first actual walk. In fact, it is my first deliberate walk, as opposed to walking to shop, in days.
The apartment opens on a back road, but faces a big road. Huangshi something. (I pulled up a map yesterday, but Ping-Ping could not tell me where we were.) There is a raised walkway to cross the highway. I figured if I walked away from the crosswalk I could see it coming back. So, I set out and had a wonderful time looking in stores and watching people pass. I walked for quite a while and then came back...as always happens when you go somewhere the first time, the way back seemed much shorter. (I am sure there is a principle related to shadowalking or maybe motion tax in there somewhere.)
I was particularly proud of myself because I got up the courage to buy a bubble tea. I love bubble tea, and I am often too shy to ask for foods that I want...but I screwed up my courage and bought one...it cost 1 yuan, about sixteen cents.
I also noted some place names...road signs have the pinyin words, too, and am currently, in another window, trying to use them to find out where in the city I am on the map.
I also noted that every single person I saw was Chinese, or at least from an East Asian country. This stood out to me becasue it was not true where we stayed last time...there were Americans, Dutch, Spanish, French, Polish, and Indian and Arabic people. At home, also, the area is very international, and I meet people of every kind regularly. Not here.
Still, almost no one stared. ;-)
The stores are interesting here. They don't always put the same things together that we do. One store had health needs...canes, pillows, special chairs...and chocolate and candy. Drug stores are simpler, too. Less other stuff.
Oh...we are off...YiYi and Jing-Jing, her boyfriend, and I!