Thursday, June 7, 2012

Offensively Sweaty Gweilo II: This Means Warm

(This is part of an occasional series in which I, the Offensively Sweaty Gweilo, answer questions both real and imagined from the world of Hong Kong)

Q: Dear Offensively Sweaty Gweilo: So, I see you are walking a lot more slowly now. (But still in a straight line! Oh well, you're getting there.) Has this helped your offensive sweatiness at all? Summer is upon us, after all.

A: You noticed! Although I can manage to make it most of the way to my office on foot without spending too much time outside, the last few blocks from the MTR station to my office are exposed. Some days that means getting wet. Lately it has mean getting sunned on. So I have tried to follow your implicit advice and slow down. This has definitely reduced the OS part of OSG. I'm also keeping close watch on whether it offers me any kind of new perspective about rushing through life, running to get to work, real Ferris Bueller-type stuff. I'll keep you posted.
Q:What if you're not going to work? What then? I would suggest stopping in a shady park and practicing tai chi or honing your sword work.
A: Mrs. Blog and I have hiked up into the hills with no particular destination in mind other than a nice spot to eat lunch. And honestly, when you're surrounded by greenery, with the hum of the city reduced to, well, a more distant hum, there's no point in moving fast unless you're trying to get away from another hiker who is, for no discernible reason, blasting Cantopop from a tiny speaker hanging around his neck. We have also taken nice walks around our neighborhood, traipsing through the waterfront park. Tai chi or sword spinning or even some kind of fan-based martial art all look inviting when you practice them in such pleasant surroundings. I'm going to start small, though, and try out all the bizarre exercise equipment built into the park first. Like the revolving platform that you stand on and twist from side to side... what exactly does that do?
Q: Yo, OSG: Hot enough for ya?

A: Come on, really? First of all, pretending you have uniquely great/terrible weather is kind of universal. Humans just need to believe that they have something to brag about, even if they're bragging about basketball-sized hail or frying eggs on the sidewalk. So not only is Hong Kong not superlatively hot, you're not even superlatively bragging. Now. Having said that, yes, it IS warm, but Mrs. Blog and I just moved from the desert. A mere 90 degrees in June makes me want to go to the pool, nothing more. Speaking of which....

Q: Dear OSG, we have all noticed you commenting on the lack of lounge chairs at the pool. What's the problem here? What kind of Gweilo madness is it to go to the pool but not want to get in the water?

A: You have keen eyes. Mrs. Blog and I have indeed been scoping out the pool. And it's not that we don't enjoy swimming--we do! It's a perfect activity for a slow-walking summer day. But consider how you could prolong the pool experience and heighten its enjoyment by adding, say, a book or a nap to the mix. Neither sleeping nor reading work well underwater, but in a lounge chair on a hot day? Oh, yes. Give it a shot... you won't regret it. Unless you get sunburned, which is something the OSG has always fought a losing battle against. But that's a question for another summer day.

As always, keep the questions coming! Possible topics for the next installment: A day at sea on a junk, the prevalence of water balloons in Hong Kong culture, and whether I cool down when I'm visiting America.

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