Wednesday, July 18

Couple of Tourists, Covered in Soil

Once my sister and I boated up to Guangzhou and rented bikes for the day. We had no master plan, and eight hours to kill, so my sissy had a thought: “I want to find out how people here live,” she said, and pointed to a random man on a bike. “Let’s follow him and see where he goes.”

We did. For the first mile or so, he rode in a straight line. Then he began turning corners, and glancing over his shoulder. Eventually, he started circling a single block. Finally, he stopped, got off his bike, and glared at us.


My sister pointed to another man. “Follow him!”

And that’s how we spent the day. You’d think that in a city with 4.5 million bicyclists, people wouldn’t pay much attention to a couple of large sweaty white chicks on one-speeds. But I don’t think we ever got more than a mile or two before our “guides” would spot us, and start riding faster, slowing waaaay down, or dodging around corners to lose their tails.

And in the end, we probably learned nothing at all about how people in Guangzhou spend their days.

That evening we were back home, and when we arrived at the house I hopped on the scale. A full day of bike riding had netted me a six-pound weight loss.

Totally worth it.

* * *

The exercise watch I ordered off EBay a month ago finally arrived. It measures my pulse, and keeps track of the number of steps I take each day.

I’m childless this week (Wee one is up a mountain at girls’ camp), and I’ve been quite frustrated at a week of no weight loss.

So I decided to spend an entire day exercising. Yesterday, I put in 23,000 steps. Today: 24,000. And I think I’ve blown out a pair of trainers.

Net: One pound down.

Totally worth it.

Tomorrow: 25,000 steps or bust.

- - - -

Some people claim that I’ve a sister to blame, but I know: It’s my own darned fault. Jimmy Buffet knows how I feel.