(By the way, I have recently enabled comments on these blog entries if you want to comment the comments are emailed to me then they show up at the end of the blog entry)
Last night I got up to go to the bathroom, something I started doing at age 30 when I lived in Taiwan (I even blogged about), when I came back from the bathroom I quietly lowered myself back into the body indentation where I had been trying to sleep before I went to the bathroom, I didn't want to wake my wife. About a week or two ago we bought a memory foam mattress topper for our bed, so now I can lay on my side without my arm and shoulder going numb, my body leaves and indentation. This "lowering myself" down was a very unpleasant, the indentation from where I had been trying to sleep before was soaked with my own sweat, which was now cooled down from the fan that was blowing. Are you sure you want to keep reading?
I'm not grossed out by sweat normally, actually I'd say that I almost like sweating sometimes, it feels purifying to me when sweat drips off my chin, as long as I'm wearing the right clothes. Not only that but I sweat to some degree year round, I hear myself often brag "I start to sweat when it's 50 degrees outside," so I'd be very unhappy all the time if sweat grossed me out. But a bed soaked in cold sweat goes over the line with me.
Needless to say, it's been swelteringly hot here in northern China lately. Just a few days ago we had three new fans delivered, the one fan just wasn't enough. A friend of ours told us yesterday that it was 34 degrees! That’s 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit, even temperatures have to be translated here, I think in metric now. Do you think I'm cool now because I think in metric? I do.
So anyway, I'm laying in bed restlessly listening to the street noises, and then one of the noises compels me to get out of my now warmed up sweaty bed indentation. Sweat doesn't feel as gross when it's warmed up by your body, or in this case: re-warmed. Now, I wouldn't get out bed for just any sound, at a subconscious level I knew that my sweat would start to cool down, getting grosser and grosser every minute I was away from my sleeping indentation, so I was reluctant to leave it. But I heard someone yelling.
Yelling is very common here, people yell for many more reasons than they do in the Western world I grew up in, not just when they're at a sports event or when they're angry. But this voice seemed angry, and it kept going on and on, so I got up to go the our fourth floor window and check it out.
I wish I could describe the scene below me better, but across the street, maybe 150 feet to give you an idea of distance, there was a restaurant, the one that specializes in donkey meat, that had it's lights on still and I could see the outlines of people standing in the door way and I could hear a scraping sound that sounded like someone dragging a garbage can on the sidewalk. If memory serves, I could also hear a thumping sound, like someone was kicking a garbage can too. I could also see a man standing on the sidewalk, it looked like he was yelling at the people standing in the restaurant doorway.
I never did figure out what he was yelling about, for anger or for some other reason, but I later figured out that the thumping sound was the sound of workers tossing bricks from the brick sidewalk into the back of a big blue truck. I'm sorry that the mystery of the angry sounding yelling man will not be solved in this blog entry. But, even though it's fairly common to hear yelling, it does motivate one to check it out and see what's going on, maybe it's human nature, or just me, I don't know.
There is still another mystery: As I stood there watching the man yelling across the street some movement closer to me caught my eye: two middle-aged guys on the street in nothing but their boxers. They seemed to think nothing of wearing just boxers on the street. At that time of the night there were only a few cars here and there, so of course, it was logical to wear boxers since it was also very hot. I guess I was wearing the same thing, just not on the street. A minor detail.
Below our apartment there is one of several construction zones. The construction zones are fenced in by seven feet tall plastic yellow barriers, you can't really see inside the construction zones unless you peak through the cracks between the panels. Next to the largish construction zone below our window is what I'd call a blue job shack, where the two guys in their boxers apparently came from. It looked like they were security guards making their rounds, checking on the construction equipment to make sure no one was stealing it or messing around with it. One of them even stopped to re-secure one of the yellow plastic barrier panels after passing through it.
After my surprise subsided from seeing two security guards walking around in their boxers on the street, I felt myself smiling, "that's pretty cool," I thought. When it's hot in China, just wear your boxers, no problem. When I was in school I was taught that America is a land of freedom, I think those guys felt a large degree of freedom here in China, even if was surprising to see. One of the guys even stopped for few minutes to gaze at the scenery and the night traffic in the distance, wearing just his boxers and flip flops.
After the two guys retreated back into the blue job shack I gazed at the traffic in the distance myself …also wearing boxers. (But inside).