Ahhh, Spring begins on the calendar this week, and by interpreting what I see happening around me, I think I can unplug my space heaters and humidifiers. Forsythia is blooming all around. Green buds are on the trees. Two types of pollen is flying around clogging sinuses everywhere. I bought a hose this week at the Flower Market near my house. First, I selected the type of hose. I went with the middle quality, made in Italy. Then I told the lady the length needed….10 meters. Then it was cut and I also purchased two caps for the ends, so that I could attach it to the outdoor faucet. When I got home, I took Hollis with me to spray the winter dirt out of our courtyard. She caught on to the technique, and gleefully took over from me. Today, I wanted to tackle our patio in the rear of the town home, but when winter started, the workers came to detach our faucet. So we simply filled buckets and poured water on all that black dirt. I had a spare mop, and did a little mopping near the door too. This was good fun for Hollis, who poured water on our patchy plot of grass that sprouted last Fall. Next week I’m going to toss some more seeds on that and hope for a green carpet in a few weeks. I’m rambling…so later this afternoon, the workers showed up with a tuk tuk full of faucets and re-attached ours in the back! Spring “must” be here!
One of my new favorite haunts is the Panjiayuan Antique Market, or the Dirt Market. Its pretty much a flea market, with some indoor shops. Its a huge market. I have yet to see the entire place. Fake “antiques” abound, so I wasn’t even attempting to decipher what was real or not. I picked up a bone locket, some Chinese paintbrushes of good quality, and a moon cake mold. Negotiating here is tough, and its a little rougher than some of the other markets. One man haggled me into buying some (fake) Chinese coins, and then followed me around, wanting me to buy his entire coin book. Bu yao! (not interested!) Luckily I had a friend with me and we wandered over to the police officer. I really just bought the coins as souvenirs for the girls. I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on your purse here and being wary of your surroundings.
This weekend I attended my usual yoga class and then followed it with an Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse workshop at the Yoga Yard. I learned about the three constitutions: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Since Spring has started, it is time to move from the Winter “Vata” diet to Spring “Kapha” diet. Translation: eat pungent, bitter, and astringent foods such as leafy green veggies, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cucumber, green tea, beans and SPICY foods. Honey is a good sweetener for this time of year. Good spices to use in cooking right now are: cayenne, ginger, mustard seed, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and black pepper. These are all purifying herbs that stimulate digestion and eliminate toxins.
In other news, its exciting to know that Michelle Obama and her daughters are in town, visiting schools, the Great Wall, and Peking University.