Our house had fallen into serious neglect. Before resigning to our fate of cleaning we headed to the park to practice our Tai Chi. The old man was out there again. He watched us as we went through our pitiful moves, the few we could remember… Before long he joined in with us and began to guide our movements.
His movements were strong but flexible, purposeful but graceful.
We were told 24 times, which we thought meant that we were to do the routine 24 times in order to remember it, but later found out it meant we were doing the 24 steps Tai Chi. We got lost after the first few moves and the old man came back along with his friends. They were laughing at us and Nate figured they were taking bets.
We followed their lead. Their entire bodies were strong, their arms seemed to push and pull on an invisible tide. Mine felt more like limp seaweed.
The sun was up, the sky was clear. I was very tempted to ditch cleaning and spend the day outside, but Nate was adamant. He did agree to a trip to the market first to pick up ingredients for dinner.
We’d wanted to get a ham, but no one seemed to have ham in China despite the fact that it was advertized for everywhere! We changed tactics and picked up ingredients for chilli instead. We had invited Sonya over for dinner, she arrived at 8:45 with Lina. Both girls liked the food enough to go back for seconds. We went to the night market after dinner, where Nate actually found a solid coloured sweater that fit him!