One year in China. Let's do this!

Be my friend. Be my friend. Be my friend.

Christ, making friends is tough.

And super awkward.

And I just want to curl up in my bed and watch Sister Act and eat popcorn while clicking around on Facebook and liking peoples’ pictures of food on Instagram.

NO CHARLOTTE.  Explore.  Experience.  Enjoy.

So that’s what I did.  I put myself out there the past few weeks and tried to meet some new people.  I put on my “let’s pretend this isn’t super awkward because I don’t know you and you don’t know me” pants and walked out the door.  And in the process, I have found some really cool people.

The most recent endeavor out into the big scary social world brought me to Fuxing Park for afterwork yoga.  Meetup, a great social networking site that makes people get off their bottoms and actually socially network with 3D people who walk, talk, and breathe rather than just exist in the form of a 2D thumbnail, had a yoga meetup.  Anyone was allowed to join.  It was free.  So I signed up.

A group of ten of us sat around in a circle in the massive lawn in Fuxing Park.  Located right in the heart of the French Concession, Fuxing is a really entertaining park filled with loads of foreigners and an equal number of Chinese nationals who gawk at us “laowais” and wonder what the heck we are doing.   As I inhaled my left leg and opened my heart like a starfish, I could hear the mumbles behind me.  I turn around and see three old Chinese women wobbling around trying to imitate what our group was doing.  Then two migrant workers sit about five feet behind us, whip out some ciggies, and start puffing on them while they watch us.  Really?  Really?  Can’t you see we are trying to do exercise?  And you are smoking?  Really?

Eventually, it got dark enough that we weren’t as obvious of a spectacle and the Chinese gawkers left and went about their own business.  Our instructor started having us doing balance exercises and I am about as good at balance exercises as I am at turning down a piece of chocolate cake.  (So not very good.)  As I fell over and over again, I couldn’t help but giggle.  I know I probably ruined the environment and prevented other people connecting with their third eye or whatever you are actually supposed to do, but I was having a ball so I didn’t really care.  Then we got to the lie on your back pose which is basically like chilling on the grass for a couple of minutes – sweet deal  – and I looked up to find a wide and open sky with STARS in sight!  It was beautiful.  And I was beyond content.

Yoga meets up again on Sunday morning.  And I have set up to grab coffee with some of the ladies after yoga at a coffee shop across the street in Sinan Mansions.

So I guess making friends isn’t so bad after all.  Go me.


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