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  • Writer's pictureJohnny

Shanghai Simplicity ~ 不忮不求

A Kitchen in a chinese apartment.

Not the Adventure I Expected

"A Knife, spoon, and bowl. That makes up a whole kitchen. Splash. Chop. Slice. Dice. Done."

The cool wind bites the skin of my face on the early morning walk to class. Passing the empty shadowed streets, my mind muddles over thoughts. December is almost over. The first month of my Shanghai trip has almost passed.

An empty feeling hits my gut upon this realization. Working the restaurant and as a janitor, I had thoughts of grandeur. Training 2-3 times a day, exploring China's many beautiful locations, discovering new delights, and improving my Chinese along the way. Crossing the dimly lit street, I think about what I've done... what we've done during my time in Shanghai. This time the trip has mostly been for my girlfriend. To save money, I've learned how to cook a few more dishes. She's taken me to a nice park. We've stumbled across some neat streets. Even now, we plan to go to a couple (free) spots in Shanghai to spend our time.

Although this is not the adventure I expected; it has been a fun one so far. Not all adventures can be four months of intense training, temple crawling, and fighting. Some time adventures are more cozy. Hobbit-like. Waking up next to your best friend while tucked into warm blankets. Trying to hide away from the creeping fingers of winter. Where your biggest issue is what delicious food will be eaten today.

A Bus stop in Shanghai.

Always Ambitious

Even with all of these cozy thoughts my ambition eats away at me. The whole reason for starting this journey... to learn Kung Fu. An urge that won't leave me. Go back to those dusty, dirty fields in the middle of China. To return to the only white walled building standing among the farms. A castle among the villages. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School. Four months. My time there feels unfinished. My training feels unfinished. I'd like to return for the four months that I still have. To learn whatever Master Bao has left to teach me. Then, head to Thailand to continue training and testing myself. Developing my Kung Fu further.

What an ego.

This kind of voice has been in my head for awhile. It has made it so I'm always ambitious. Believing anything is possible with enough hard work and a few smart decisions. I'm not sure why, but training is a big motivator for me. It seems to be the reason I get up in the morning. If I could just train and share my art with others, that wouldn't be a bad life.

But, I have to be sure what I'm teaching is honest.


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