Tuesday, September 14, 2010. I hardly slept
last night, although I was very tired my brain was whirring away spewing
thoughts a mile a minute. I slept about an hour and then my alarm went off at
5:30. I contemplated going to school for the morning session but I decided that
I was too tired. I woke up again at midday feeling groggy and depressed.
Getting up in the morning is such a bloody chore every day. I went to the afternoon
session and everyone was outside in the sun shine. After a long run we went
through some new throws. It was the first time Coach Ma had taught us in the
afternoon. It was great to have him around marshaling the class. I was glad the
lesson was not so hard, my muscles where sore and unresponsive so it was better
to have a more technique based lesson. We were working on disrupting your
opponent before you shoot in for a takedown. By grabbing the arms, shoulders or
neck you can push and pull your opponent around and while they are finding
their footing you can execute a throw much easier. Timing is very important.
Having good technique is useless unless you have good timing. It’s like having
the world’s hardest punch but not being able to land it on anyone’s face. Also
when you push your opponent around you can watch for his foot work pattern. So
that you can preempt when they will put a certain foot forward to balance themselves
and you can exploit this.
We went to the Si chuan restaurant in the
evening and had our usual spicy beef noodles. Sarah and I observed a couple in
skin tight shiny cycling cloths heaving their bikes in to the restaurant and propping
them against a wall. Why on earth would anyone cycle around here for pleasure?,
I asked Sarah. “ Xinzhuo is known as the yellow dusty town” she replied, saying
that even the country side was dusty. I suppose a true cyclist enjoys the
peddling more than the scenery, that’s the only explanation I can think of.
After our meal, which I didn’t manage to finish because I was sweating so much
we walked back homewards along the crowded main road. A group of young men
leered at me as we passed an alcohol shop, looking Sarah up and down and
staring. I stopped and stared at one of them who broke my gaze and looked away
a bit ashamed.
We went to the park and practiced Taiji,
the large groups of people line dancing to loud music in the open spaces. Two
young boys one grubby with a snotty nose the other with a mischievous face came
and stood a few feet away from me “ Oh he isn’t Chinese”, one laughed as he
leaned in and stared. Something snapped in me and I watched as if in an angry
dream as I cocked my hand back and went to whack one of them, I controlled myself
and only almost hit them remembering I was not in a class room anymore. They
got out of the way and laughed. Sarah told them to go away and they did. I was
so furious. It keeps getting to me how rude people are when they stare.