September 8, 2008

My Urban Hike

With all the excitement of this past week I haven’t had the chance to mention my urban hiking adventure. After talking with a friend of mine who lived in India for 25 years and hearing about how he did this, I decided to walk across Xi’an. I really wanted to do this to get to see the city I’m living in and how the people live as well as familiarize myself with the city I hope to live in for a while. This is obviously no easy task, first off it’s impossible in a city of 8 million people (metro area) to define boundaries, and then you actually have to walk across it. Well after chatting with a Chinese friend of mine I decided to take the 600 bus north as far as I could, which was about an hour. I brought with me a map, sunscreen, Toilet Paper (you never know when you might not feel well), and about $15 bucks… to be honest I didn’t bring more money in case I was robbed. I left the house at 6:30 am (this was a week and a half ago) and caught the 600 north, when I got to the last stop I was definitely on the edge of the city, because there was hardly any people. When I asked a person sitting there to show me on the map where I was, he pointed north off the map, perfect I thought, that is exactly what I wanted. After walking most of the early morning I made it to the Old City, I headed through an old street which was packed and after making it through, I sat down at Subway to get some food. I decided to head west for a couple of hours before cutting south to make it home before dinner. Well I got a bit off track (that’s what the prideful say when they are lost) and ended up WAY far west, but after a moment or so of disappointment continued my journey. I remember every hour or so stopping to ask where I was on the map and each time thinking I was going to be way closer to home then where they pointed. I’m actually surprised I made it, ask my wife, I’m absolutely terrible with directions. Most of the walk was pretty uneventful, but I did have to jump one fence, and after I did I was approaching the gate to exit and a guard stepped in my way. I thought “I’m going to jail”, but lucky for me he was moving a cone for a car that was also leaving and just behind me, WHEW that was close. The second half was way tough and had its discouragements, but I made it home at about 3:30 pm and am super glad I got to do it. I feel like this is a city I’m falling in love with and want to know it as best as I can.

Also, Heather’s back is feeling a lot better. She hurt it about 2 weeks ago showing Jenny (our sister in law) how to power walk… At least she hurt it doing something glorious. It was really tough for her to take such a long break from running, because she enjoys it so much. But I’m happy to report that (like I already reported two sentences ago) her back is much better AND after that long break she still ran 10 miles yesterday. WHAT A CHAMP!

the petersons