Lost? I pondered this word for a moment. Misdirected maybe ,but lost? It was that specific word that I was having trouble with . I knew exactly where I was, I was here. It was the exact quality of here that remained a mystery.
My eyes scanned the horizon. Okay, it had been confirmed, I had not left China. I most likely had not left the bustling city I had been wandering in for the twenty minutes, although with me , it always remained a possibility. This part of the city had a different character then where this adventure had begun. Gone were the shopping malls over flowing with luxury goods for abroad. In their place were small stores filled with hopes and dreams. To the right of me a young woman adjusted the dress on a mannequin. The dress, most likely did not sport a label from a country I had never seen, infact it most likely did not sport a label at all , save the washing instructions. I continued to watch the woman as she pulled the shoulder of the dress to the left, then after much consideration pulled it to the right. There was a sense of deep satisfaction on her face. I guiltily walked on, not stopping in her to her store as I have3 never had a need for a dress. However the way she meticulously moved that dress showed me she was someone who cared for her business and if she cared for her business she also cared for her customers. I walked a little further
An old man watched me as I walked by. Not so much because I was a foreigner, and my guess is no foreigner had intentionally walked down this particular street, but more because I was a stranger.You could see his eyes as they went from distrustful to welcoming. I was in his neighborhood and I had not been there before, he was just making sure I was not bringing trouble with me.
I noticed that the people on the street all seemed to work and probably had for a while. Some returned to their shops to wait for customers, others had continued their deep conversations. Making money was important, after all it put food on their table and allowed for big dreams to be dreamt, but at this moment the happy chatter of old friends continued.
I felt relaxed in the shade of the trees that lined the street like some old painting. Children laughed , and carried about, some would tug at the hand of their mother or father to politely point me out to them. I wondered, as I took off my headphones what I should do. My feet were tired and my stomach was doing its best to alert me that it had not been fed. I pondered going back the way I came, but decided against it, after all if I had gotten lost this time I most certainly could not get to where I was going by going the wrong way again.
I commented to myself how nice it would be if there was a small restaurant. Preferably one with coffee so I could sit and watch this world within a world unfolds. I stood there awkwardly, sweaty, pondering, and while I was lost I realized I had no need to be found. I walked a little more and came up to a book store. I love book stores. They open there arms wide open and say “Welcome, come here, I have knowledge for you so please enjoy some.” I walked and hit an intersection and waited dutifully as the bars on the red light went down, signaling a crossing was imminent.