Habits: reading stash, book 1 done
We settled on the bench to eat the donuts and then the kids ditched me to play in the park. While sitting on the bench, an older woman I think was from China stopped to look at the produce. Without saying a word to me, she opened the bags to get a better look. She didn't notice the basil so I showed it to her and we both took a good whiff of it. I smiled at her and she yelled across the park to another woman in what I guess was Chinese. Then she resumed her walk around the park.
I wasn't particularly surprised about how she boldly examined what I had on the bench. I wasn't surprised because just last night I finished reading Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler. The American author wrote about similar situations in the book - describing how some of his neighbors in small-town China would enter his home and look at his things without saying a word in greeting.
Maybe I misinterpreted the woman, but I like to think I got her actions right - that she was curious about what I bought, so she looked. I'm not about to adopt her habit as it seems impolite by American culture, but the encounter did connect with my own habit of reading.
I mentioned a few days ago that I'm not reading as much as I should and I'm working on improving my habit. To get back into the routine of daily reading, I'm working my way through a stash that is stacked by my bed, unread. The idea is that I'll pick whatever book is on top and read it - or get rid of it promptly if I don't want to read it. And I told myself I'd make a blog post about each book after I finish it.
Book #1 finished. A very readable book about what's happening in China's countryside in the last decade.
Photo: After the farmer's market, after the donuts, before math, before lunch.