Enter Shanghai & Nanjing 9.18.10’ish
Weary from my fun times in Hong Kong, I got on a bus and headed to the airport to board a plane to my next destination, Shanghai. There, I was to meet up with my classmates with whom I would be sharing the next five weeks.
After arriving to the airport late that night, a few of us took a shady cab ride to our hotel near downtown Shanghai. At the airport, the cab driver got into an argument with a airport official, for he didn’t want to take us all the way to downtown, and it turned out he didn’t know how to get to the hotel anyhow. Nonetheless, we made it to our hotel and settled for the night, and I earned some good energy through a restful night of sleep. The next morning, all of us travelers met up in the lobby of the hotel with many hugs and excitement for the adventures that lay ahead of us on this unfamiliar side of planet Earth. A few of us did a quick walking tour of the neighborhood, and all of us jumped on a bus to take us to Nanjing.
My first couple hours in Nanjing made me aware of the concept of qi in a new way. Nanjing is a bustling city of approx 8 million people, and a sense of industry permeated in everything that people did, from driving to practicing medicine. No rules seemed to apply to traffic, for people all drove with just the destination in mind, as well as existing in the moment to avoid striking another or being struck. Traffic lights were loosely followed, I never saw anyone get stopped by the police, people don’t use signals, drive in oncoming lanes when necessary, and cut each other off without a second thought. No seat belts noted. Strangely, however, I never saw anyone in a state of road-rage, and I never saw an accident or collision in my five weeks there.
My first experience of being in speeding cab in downtown Nanjing with a driver who didn’t speak a word of English, and myself only understanding a few cordial words, definitely put me in a spot to let go and just ride within this crazy metropolitan machine. I imagine that if people got upset with the traffic etiquette or hit the brakes too often or too hard, then crunching vehicular chaos would happen a lot more often. Simply going with the flow of things, with an intention of your destination while existing aware and within the moment, allows for all this energy to move smoothly and without interruption or challenge. Qi. My first day in Nanjing and I’m getting a cultural experience and lesson of a major concept in Chinese Medicine. As far as traffic and vehicles are concerned, I emerged unscathed during my travels in China. What happened in Beijing is another story. More to follow.
Thanks for looking, peace,