So, since Wushu West is still under “quarantine”, the school requested that we not go out over the weekend, at least not as a big group in an organized tour (i.e. going to the Great Wall). However, a small excursion to do some shopping wasn’t out of the question so we were able to see a little bit of life outside the school compound.
But first let me start at the beginning with Saturday’s morning practice.
After the usual breakfast we made our way to the MPH for another session. Lots of wushu and not too much to talk about that hasn’t been said before. I was working out so I didn’t get any pictures of this practice, but it pretty much looked like the other practice. In fact, from this point on I will probably gloss over most of the practice details, barring anything interesting happening or a milestone occurring, since the blog would get pretty repetitive.
After practice was lunch. Patti and I actually had a bit of a work lunch meeting type of thing in a nearby hutong so I didn’t get to eat here at the school. Cary and Tiger were also at the lunch. It was a nice restaurant/bar called “Bed”. The whole motif is in the style of Chinese beds. Very neat. Here are some photos.
After lunch we had an afternoon practice. Like I said, since we are in quaratine and they would rather us stay in, they made sure were kept occupied and gave us 2 extra training sessions. Usually it is a half-day on Saturday and no practice on Sunday, but this time we got two on saturday and a half-day on Sunday. Pretty intense since that means it is a total of 10 straight days of wushu for us.
The second practice on Saturday was in the newer wushu hall under the track. Since the last time I trained here was 2006 (I’ve visited since then, but haven’t been down to see the wushu hall yet) it was a new experience for me. And, although I had told myself I would only practice once a day while I’m here during this trip (due to being out of shape and generally being a bit older than the kids) I felt pretty good so I went ahead and joined in.
Probably not the wisest thing since I kinda pulled a muscle in my calf. But it isn’t severe at all. Anyway … enough about me.
After the second practice Ashley and Lauren came by my room and chatted so I did another quick video interview with the two of them. You can view it here:
Afterwards Shahaub came in the room for an impromptu back walk from Lauren. Here are some photos:
Ashley Hangs Ten
Lauren giving Shahaub a massage
Cary doing laundry
Lauren, member of the CHP
In the evening I went out to meet some old work relations who were in Beijing, but I heard that the kids took a quick walk to the nearby “Hypermarket” and did a little light shopping. The heavy shopping would be saved for Sunday …
After breakfast we had a morning practice. This time for warm up we played some soccer. Ashley showed some impressive ball handling skills. It is pretty obvious she has some soccer training too. Everyone had fun though and then after some quick basics it was on to forms.
A request was made to Tiger to show us some wushu, so he said he would do something for us later in the week. He really is quite amazing and I’m looking forward to him showing his stuff and blowing everyone’s minds. 😉
I took a few pictures of the wushu hall below the track for you to take a look at too. Here they are:
After lunch we all met up in the lobby at 2:00 PM for a trip to Ya Xiu (“Ya Show”) and Wang Fu Jing. For those of you who don’t know, Ya Xiu is a “silk market” type of place. Lots of knock offs and great stuff for super cheap (assuming you can bargain). It has been a staple of the shopping excursions in Beijing since over 5 years ago.
We broke up in to teams, each with a captain (Shahaub, James or Myself) and a Team name (Team Bad-Ass, Team Venture and Team Whatever, respectively). At Ya Xiu we split up and each went out to explore the floors of shopping stalls, with a pre-set return time in the lobby. It seemed that everyone had a good time learning or practicing their bargaining skills and most people ended up purchasing a few nice items.
At 4:30 we met up downstairs and headed next door to the mall and had a group sit-down at McDonald’s. Everyone seemed to enjoy the change of dietary pace.
Shahaub trying to remember his name:
Amazingly, when we left McDonald’s a monsoon type of storm had came down on Beijing and we were greeted by torrential rain. As we waited for the rain to subside Shahaub had some fun dancing in the rain, so to speak. You can see some of the videos here:
Raining like crazy:
Shahaub Tong-Bei-ing in the Rain:
Finally the rain let up and the majority of folks decided to head back for Shi Cha Hai. Wang Fu Jing would have to wait for another day. Four of us (James, myself, Loren and Ryan) went back to Ya Xiu to do a bit more shopping. (I had a nice jacket tailored as well as a shirt and got some workout shorts, in case you were curious.)
After the shopping the four of us headed back to Shi Cha Hai and the rest of the evening was spent relaxing back at the hotel, getting ourselves ready for the next day’s training, while the sounds of rain, lightening and thunder echoed outside our windows…