At the moment, I am remembering how brilliant Chinese singer Faye Wong (Wang Fei) is. Having introduced a friend to her rather fabulous song ‘Jiang Ai’, I proceeded to play some more songs of hers and was reminded of just how talented this lady really is.
Sad that she’s not that well known in the West. In Asia, she’s a massive star of stage and screen and has been in such films as ‘Chungking Express’ and the weird head-spin of a masterpiece, ‘2046’, both written and directed by one of my favourite directors: Wong Kar-wai.
When I eventually get to visit China (I can’t wait to explore Beijing), I will be shopping. Oh, yes. I need to learn how to say ‘I am a vegetarian and no, I don’t eat fish’ in Mandarin, but I can sort that out nearer the time. I have been to Beijing in my head countless times but nothing is going to prepare me for the real thing. I also will be going to Fujian province with my kung fu club one day. They’re going this year but I couldn’t come up with the necessary deposit (*sniff*), but that won’t happen every year. Two weeks of training with Chinese masters on their home ground, thinking about nothing except kung fu and food. Lots of food.
At my instructor’s camps that he holds at home, there is always lots of food. He is a great advocate of stuffing yourself silly in order to maintain energy levels, as training does take a surprising amount out of you. You’ve seen the old dears practising t’ai chi in Beijing parks, at least on TV? That’s energy work and after doing that for an hour, you feel unbelievably worn out but also incredibly refreshed – and hungry. Hence the food.
I am eating more now than I ever have. I am also fitter and healthier than I have been in years. I have even – and this is a massive thing for me – started being able to read on the bus. My whole life, I’ve had travel sickness in cars and buses. The sickness stopped years ago but I was still not able to read as it meant taking my eyes from the window. Now, however, it seems I can read on the bus (I haven’t tried in a car, recently). I am guessing that, since practising this breath work along with the kung fu training, my balance has improved as significantly as my posture and therefore my head doesn’t spin so much and make me sick. This is an excellent progression, not only as one of those life-markers when you realise things are getting better, but also because it means I can feel the time I spend on the bus is not wasted.
I love to read. I have always loved to read. It has been one of the few constants in my life and it will never change. I hold my hand up and admit that I am a bookworm. So being able to read on the bus is officially a Good Thing.