So I’ve been KILLING it on my staycation writers retreat, (I’m averaging 6,000 written words a day!) but I wanted to talk about something else I’ve been doing that you can try in your own city.
See, I figured out that actually a big Starbucks is the best place for me to do my writing. It’s noisy, loud and I can focus like craaazy. (Quiet cafes on the other hand are terrible. If there is a couple talking, or a waiter watching a video on his phone it drives me CRAZY. I can’t block out just one noise, but I can block out a caucophany of noises. I think this is a trick I learned living in China.)
So just like any American City, there is a Starbucks on every corner. So, to make a game out of my writing I decided to get on a bus and just go. Since the weather isn’t horrifically hot, I want to go to parts of the city I have never explored before.
So, I get on the bus headed in some direction and get off when I want. Either because I’ve seen something interesting out the window, or because an unusual amount of people get off at a certain stop. (So there must be something good there, right?!)
It’s a crazy fun game. Once I decided to go all the way to the end of a bus line, over an hour away, and I ended up at the ocean! Another time I wandered around a park before sitting down to write. Once I found a weird side street with golden cows at the entrance.
I’ve even found a 6kuai (about $1) for 2 pieces of sushi place. I’ve been back there several times (an no I haven’t gotten sick!)
No matter where I end up I can find a Starbucks, or Pacific Coffee (or a small cafe) within 20 minutes of wanderings. And of course since I took the bus there, I can take the bus back. (I am now a bus master. Buses are kinda scary. Even in English the names of the stops are kinda incomprehensible, much less in Chinese. But now I’ve figured out a few hub stations that will always get me a bus back home.)
All Work and No Play
And of course I haven’t squirreled myself away totally. While I am avoiding friends (and missing out on a lot of dinners and activities) I decided that on weekends I can take a break from writing. I’ve done archery, eaten some new food and even got to hang out with an old friend!
So while you know I LOVE to travel, I’m having a good time exploring the new city I call home. Even if you’ve lived in your own city for years, there must be places you’ve never explored. So get on a bus and just ride until you see something that catches your eye. It’s a unique way to find some fun places in the place you call home!
You’ve been very close to where I live!
Keep enjoying your life in China, dear!
I totally agree! Now that we are in a new place (between Suzhou and Shanghai) We are starting to do that very thing. I love riding the bus and exploring new places. Glad you are having a good time! Sorry we haven’t communicated in a while.
By the way, that ice cream thing looks amazing!!! What’s it called so I can find it in Shanghai
Hey Kim, I’ve been reading your posts about your latest move too! i think now, when the weather isn’t miserable, is the perfect time to explore. But all of it will come to a screeching halt in a few days when Spring Fest arrives, haha.
The ice cream thing is SO amazing. It’s a Taiwan snack and this is the first time I’ve seen it in China (Since we are so close to Taiwan, Xiamen has a lot of Taiwanese stuff.) It’s just called a 花生冰淇淋饼 as far as I know. I’ve never seen it in Shanghai but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I wrote a post a few years ago when I went to Taiwan (and ate it for the first time). http://www.beckyances.net/2013/03/top-five-taiwan-street-foods/
This would be a huge hit in America. Don’t know why we haven’t stolen it yet. 😉