My Wagas run relaxes me more than anything in the world. The run starts off in grungy smelly “authentic” Shanghai (near my school) and then takes me on a changing course full of completely different settings. It feels new and exciting every time! It takes me about 20 minutes to run past the hanging chickens, moped recharge stations and dumpling shacks. I then arrive at the West Bund where I can run peacefully along the river on a well-paved path for 3 miles. As I run along the river, I get a view of neon-lit skyscrapers, making me feel like I truly live in a bustling city. The streets are much cleaner (and more pleasant smelling) in this area, but I have to make sure my music is down very low so I can dodge the hundreds of mopeds and bikers flying past me. (Yes mom and dad, I am careful!) After my 3 miles along the river, I finally get to a big white (pedestrian only) bridge that allows me to see the whole city (assuming it is not a smoggy night, which is rare). I always stop on the bridge for 5 minutes or so to allow myself to take in the scenery and just embrace the moment. I turn my music off and just reflect on my day, thinking how lucky I am to live the full adventure-filled life that I do. The bridge’s exit leads straight to the mall that is home to Wagas, Gap, and Starbucks (my three favorites!)
It is such a nice routine to run to dinner because we get in our daily exercise AND we only have to pay for a cab one way (although the cab is only 2 dollars, so I really can’t complain). Once we arrive at the mall after our run, we enjoy a leisurely dinner at Wagas, get our green tea soymilk lattes as Starbucks (they are the best drinks there! I recommend them…just make sure to ask for “no syrup added”), see if Gap is having any good sales (Gap just fits so much better than the Chinese brands…I have yet to find Chinese brand pants that fit around my butt…unless I get them custom made at the fake market), and then we top off our evening by watching the older Chinese women do their nighttime dancing in the street. The street next to Wagas always has a group of older women doing their nighttime dance routine to traditional Chinese music at 7:30pm. I like to watch for a few minutes before flagging down a cab. Watching this dance routine is a nice reminder that I live in China, for sometimes when I get caught up in my daily routines I forget that I live somewhere so far away with so many different customs. Sometimes you just have to take a step back, look around, and live in the moment!
I thought I would document my run tonight so that you can get a better feel for my Thursday routine and feel like you are here with me. Enjoy!
P.S. I have not downloaded any new music for my running playlist since I left the States. Does anyone have any music recommendations for me??