Hot and Muggy (and “on fire”)

I’m making my way back to the States, so Saturday I took the train from west to east China. I went to bed (on the train) to a beautiful sunset, clear skies spotted with clouds, and no haze, and woke up to endless smog, mugginess, and not even a sunrise. It’s about 95 degrees here, 95% humidity, and 95% pollution. Fortunately I’ll only be here a few days, and then back to (even hotter?) North Carolina.

In other news, I got my first facial yesterday, but in all fairness, I didn’t know what I getting myself into. A good Chinese friend invited me and a Swiss guy to go to some place he wouldn’t say. So we get there, and it turns out to be a fancy beauty parlor of sort, with massages and facials. Because he hadn’t called ahead of time, they didn’t want to do any massages, so we just got facials. This included a basic shoulder and back massage, a neck massage, a face massage, and some creams on the face, and concluded with a face plaster made of green sea weed mud. It was actually quite nice, especially after more than 24 hours of traveling.

I also found out from the therapist that I am 上火了 (shang huo le), which literal means “on fire,” but in Chinese medicine has something to do with an internal yin-yang imbalance (I think). The funny thing is, I woke up with a slight sore throat this morning, so I think she was actually on to something, probably my body is having a hard time adjusting to the very different climate here (humidity, altitude, temperature, and pollution differences.)

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