Monday, February 13, 2012

Goodbye to all that!

I have formulated a 'plan' for the year ahead.

It involves taking one or two long breaks out of Beijing, out of China, to clear some of the cobwebs out of my head about whether I can bear to stay here any longer. It involves researching some alternative places to live and work (Vilnius is singing a siren song...). And it involves focusing on my more serious writing, and maybe even trying to get paid for some of it.

And, most of all, in the short term, it involves trying to get back into reasonable shape again. Some old university buddies of mine are having a reunion at the end of May (no particular pretext - it's not the 20th or 21st or the 25th or the 30th anniversary of our first meeting or of our starting our courses [one of the ringleaders of the group wasn't an undergraduate anyway].... although - damn! - I suppose for most of us it is the 25th anniversary of our finishing our studies!!), and I'd rather not have them see me as the portly, wheezy, broken-down old wreck that I am at the moment.

Very little running over the past 18 months, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle (as almost all of my work is now writing/editing that I do at home) have piled on the pounds. I peaked at 220lbs a little while ago: that's about the heaviest I've ever been in my life, and a good 10% more than I ought to be.

So, I've got a plan to address that: 2 or 3 months of stern dieting, daily exercise, lots of running - and laying off the booze. This weekend I went for my first run in 3 or 4 months, and while it was short, slow, and, yes, wheezy, it felt pretty good on the whole.

But, you know what, I've hardly been out on the town at all in the last 3 months. And if I'm going to spend 3 or 4 months away this year, and another 3 or 4 months in monastic self-denial... then I think I ought to have one last splurge.  Yep, I think I will spend the rest of this month revisiting all the places I haven't been to for ages - Flamme, Fubar, Union, The Brick, Grinders, Lily's, Mrs HippyHome Plate, Amilal, El Nido, Mai, Za JiaSand Pebbles... maybe even Chocolate and Hollywood's... and getting well and truly lashed.

In the words of St Augustine: 
"Give me continence and chastity - but not yet."


KingTubby said...

This last round up thru the bars and other low spots is not a good idea.

I can see an expats version of The Lost Weekend in the offing.

Want to get a new lease of life on the edge, follow my example and take up big wave surfing. Adrenilin, plus it is a great assist in picking up girls.

Froog said...

I've always been fascinated by surfing - spent hours watching and photographing it when I visited Sydney some years ago. Opportunities to take up the sport in China, though, are somewhat limited.

Have you seen the documentary Step Into Liquid? That's a GREAT surfing film. And it has some VERY BIG waves at the end.

One of my ideas for a 'China book' is called Surfing To Shanghai - inspired by the image that when (when, not if) the Three Gorges Dam breaks, there will be some people who try to catch the wave all the way down the Yangtze. I see it as a metaphor for the misplaced exhilaration most foreigners seem to feel about China.

KingTubby said...

Not too sure if I caught that movie during my Sino-dvd pigout, but viewed tons of the same. They constitute a pretty massive niche market.

Misplaced exhiliration....definitely not one of my symptoms, and you would't need a board to reach Shanghai when the levee breaks (choice of versions here). Simply walk on the water, I mean the garbage.

Now for some of that latin quod....stuff. Off to my site Froog for my surfing latest, and leave a comment, so I know that you have reported in for Life Guard duty.