Once again, I am following the one-word prompt from Kate at Heading Home. These are actually useful for me to find simple ways to convey my new life in Beijing.
If you're interested in trying it, click that link to her blog. Every Friday is a new word, and the only rules are: Write for 5 minutes. Link your post on hers. It's pretty cool, and I find a new blog every week.
(Now if only I would make the time to revisit more often during the week.)
This week's one-word is "Park".
In Indianapolis, I would often drive up to the nearest park to take a nice long walk in the woods. I am a nature lover, and used to work for State Parks. I was afraid I would lose my connection to nature in Beijing.
What I have found is that Beijing is a much greener city than most US cities I know. There are a few large parks, like the Olympic park with two 5K paths through beautiful greenery, or the zoo, or the grounds of Beijing University, and many others I see on the map but haven't visited.
But there are small parks along every street, the small areas between hotels and the canal, back streets - so many parks! And trees everywhere. There are teams of workers sweeping up fallen leaves every day along major roads, but the trees stay.
Along streets, in many areas, they have free exercise equipment set up. Not weights, just resistance, and you may see many elderly out at any time, just working their muscles and maintaining movement. It seems very wholesome and helpful.
I do miss taking long walks through parks, but at least my many walks to and from schools and bus-stops are among greenery!