So maybe it’s just because the weather since I’ve returned to Nanning has been unseasonably not humid and pleasant, with lovely cool breezes, and slightly overcast skies, that I’m becoming newly enamored with my home city. Moon cakes are being sold on every corner in preparation for the fall festival, and despite the people staring at me in the street, it’s pleasing to live in a place where there are free outdoor elliptical-type machines right outside our building, and where I can be entertained by grandmas and grandpas dancing in rhythm, walking backwards (not aware of the health benefits here, but apparently everyone else is!), or doing tai chi while on my morning run.
When my husband and I swung by the market yesterday (and seriously you would think he is a celebrity the way the vendors look at him so endearingly and exclaim, “Oh, it’s been so long since you’ve come by? Where have you been? How are you?! Surely you need some potatoes!”), another blessing of living in South China wafted over us, and that is, the selection of fruit. Now, I’ve never been a fruit-person, especially compared with someone like my little sister, who would skimp on dinner, and then heap spoonfulls of fruit salad into her bowl until her stomach hurt.
But South China is enough to convert me. With the changing of the seasons come new, wonderful piles of bounty– yesterday’s discoveries: pomegranates and round, voluminous Asian pears, both 3 for a $1! My husband and I strolled the stalls as if it were our first time in the fruit market, marveling over the selection, the mangos that make the most divine smoothie on the planet, the mangosteens, which turn your fingers a bright purple, the lychees (which I can now NEVER ever eat out of a can, because it’s just wrong!), and the exotic dragon fruit. I have had a fruit reeducation since I’ve been here, being introduced to species I didn’t even know existed. Looking forward to the fall season, I said to my husband, “Oh, I can’t wait for strawberries!” “And I can’t wait for those tangerine-thingies!” he replied giddily. The strawberries here are sweeter than regular ones, and they make my breakfast yogurt positively sing. And those tangerine-thingies, well, of course there’s no English name to describe their sweetness, and the way we ate them by the bushel last fall.
So after being in Hong Kong for the past few weeks, and eating many of the comforts of home, let’s just say, I’m glad to be back to my very own fruitopia here in South China.