This weekend was one of those relaxing Beijing weekends. One of those weekends where it felt like I actually lived in this place and wasn't just a visitor or tourist. It felt routine and kinda like home.
It sort of reminded me of some of my favourite weekends while I was living in Calgary. Waking up on a Saturday, grabbing a coffee, and spending the day outside reading/running/exploring in some of my favourite parks. This weekend, I checked out Yuyuantan Park in the western part of Beijing. My friend Amanda "went" to this park last year. I use the term "went" lightly because she didn't actually go INSIDE the park, but spent her day outside the park frolicking in the lilacs. Unknowingly. Until going home and talking to her boyfriend, she really thought she was in the park the whole time. So cute. And innocent. I remember Amanda telling me this story vividly over a Skype date last year, so I was really excited to go with her this year.
We drank wine, we played cards, we ate so much food, and we napped. The sun wasn't really shining brightly as there was the usual light layer of smog covering the sky in Beijing that Saturday. But it was still a nice spring day, and I wore a dress, and I felt refreshed. I breathed easy. We honestly didn't really explore or walk around the park that much. We found a perch and we just sat and relaxed and laughed.
Honestly, the park was kind of grey and worn down. Probably because of China air and because of all the people trampling around. And it definitely wasn't quiet between the karaoke beside us and the people everywhere. But it was nice to see different sights. And drinking wine in a park is just fun all on its own! It felt routine, and it felt like Canada...but then a Chinese family would run up to us and ask us to have a picture with them and I would quickly snap back to reality and remind myself that I'm the minority in this country. I'm a walking tourist attraction somedays. I stick out like a sore thumb. Someday, I want to run up to them and do the same...but I think the thought of it is more funny in my head then it would be in reality. Right?