I'm still in China, obviously--less than six weeks to go!--but am now based in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan Province. Yunnan is located in southwestern China, bordering Vietnam and Burma, and feels a bit like a mix of China and Southeast Asia. Kunming is a very green, laid-back city--kind of what Hanoi might feel like if the roads were better, the buildings weren't falling down and the threat of death by motorcycle did not loom at all times. It feels a bit too sleepy for my taste after Beijing and Hong Kong, but it's not a bad place to be based for a couple of weeks. There is even locally grown coffee!
I came to Kunming as a tourist about five years ago, and remember it as one of the first places I ever saw the various wacky activities that go on in Chinese parks--salsa dancing, karaoke, badminton, tai chi, usually all happening simultaneously. Yesterday I went for a walk in the park by the Green Lake, a pretty lake near the provincial library, and discovered a new (to me, at least) innovation--an activity that looked like tai chi, badminton and dancing combined into one. Here's a short video. I might want to be a retired Chinese granny when I grow up.