A run at the track.

Back in Shanghai for a day.  The meeting in Qingdao went very well.  It was actually kind of easy for Jim and I.  We’d prepared his shooting board and tentative locations and casting to present but the “Big Boss,” as he’s called at Lovol, only had thirty minutes to spare so the whole meeting was conducted in Chinese by our production company interpreter.  We just sat across from the BB and smiled and nodded when he’d nod or grunt approval for what we had to “say.”   After a really nice meal hosted by BB we went to the airport and arrived back in Shanghai for one more day of meetings with various departments of the production.

It’d been four days since I’d run and I was really feeling the need.  To many days on planes and in crazy vans.  I wasn’t in the mood for a treadmill so started thinking about a run through the city but I’ve been told that traffic doesn’t stop for runners or pedestrians and the language barrier is huge.  If I got lost I’d be screwed.  At least in Italy I knew enough to get back home.

I went to my window and looked outside and there right across from the hotel was track with people on it.  Yay!

The view from my second Shanghai Hotel

I put on my running stuff and went downstairs.  Crossing the road to get to the track was as warned – dangerous but I made it safely.  When I arrived there was a woman of about 65 walking backwards in lane four.  I stretched and started to run.  It felt so good!

As I went I passed the woman walking backwards and each time she’d smile.  I thought she was quite friendly.  I kept running and when I came around again she’d stopped to play hacky-sack with a ball that had feathers on one side.  She’d kick it into the air and the feathers would straighten it and keep if from traveling to far away from her foot.  As I went by she stopped playing to give me a thumbs up.  I smiled and waved back.

More people joined the track and I began to feel a little self conscious as I was the only white haired and western person there and the only one running.  Everyone else was walking or stretching or doing high leg kicks.  The hacky-sack playing woman was now talking to another woman and I noticed them pointing at me.  As I went by they both gave me a thumbs up.  I smiled again and waved.  I then came upon a man of about 70 or more who was walking backwards in lane 4 and he also gave me thumbs up.  I thought wow, am I the only caucassion to run here?

Closer view of the track.

I kept going and after three miles decided it was enough.  I was, after all, jetlagged.   Still it felt good to be outside and running!  As I left the track the hacky-sack woman was using a section of the fence near the entrance gate to stretch.  She held up her hand with three fingers and nodded her approval.  She’d counted my laps and calculated my distance!  That was my first experience with the Chinese public and now I’m wondering if I should’ve run further or if all of my ‘fans’ were counting my laps.  I won’t ever know.


tom lowe photo, llc

tacoma, wa 98406



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