Glasgow Rain in Beijing!!
It rained all day in Beijing today.
It was the heaviest rain in Beijing for a while, and when I popped out for a coffee from the local Starbucks, I noted that the Street felt like Glasgow city centre.
I am from Glasgow, but I live and work in Beijing.
I reside on a busy main road in Beijing. As I stepped out the apartment block entrance onto the Street, there were buses, cars, umbrellas, and that unmistakable sound of puddles being smashed by rain, feet or tyres.
It was brilliant. I smiled from ear to ear with the weirdest feeling sweeping over my body. I was home, and yet, I wasn’t. I was just home from home.
The rain smelt like Glasgow rain. The Street was grey like Glasgow, and there was an organisation to Beijing for once because it was a holiday day and not so busy. The chaos had subsided for this national holiday day, and that added to that Glasgow feel. Not too busy and not too quiet – just, right.
Beijing had a lazy, damp, pinky-grey buzz in the air.
I got to Starbucks, and instead of buying my coffee to take away. I sat inside at the window, looking out with a feeling of absolute peace.
Being the only person in this small Starbucks strategically situated at the bottom of an office block, I could sit in relative quiet.
Blissfully aware of the scene in front of me.
My phone remained purposely in my back pocket, and I just sat and watched the world go by while reminiscing about the Glasgow in front of me.
Buchanan Street to Jamaica street, down Bath Street, round by the Queen Street Station and out to Candleriggs Market. It was all there in front of me. Clear as day.
I am sure that people passing by the window would have looked at me with curiosity if they could see the odd smile on my face and the disconnecting blank stare. They would think it strange for a start because I was not engaged in consuming stuff from my phone like everyone in a Starbucks. And, with that look on my face, they would have called for some local police assistance.
But no one came past that way for the duration that I sat there. This is very unusual in a busy area of Beijing. I just sat there taking in the grey sights of Glasgow and chuckled to myself.
I am lucky to be alive, I thought.
We are living through the luckiest time to be alive, even if we don’t always feel like that.
It is noted that now is the greatest time in all of human history to be alive. From the lowest crime rates, highest life expectancy to the peace, wealth and technological prosperity, this is the best time in all of history to be alive.
However, it does not feel like that if you listen to the daily news cycle. The news people would have you think we are on the brink of global or neighbourhood war. Hate is everywhere, and we are encouraged to take part or, worse, to take sides.
Switch it all off.
It’s a mind, money and misery cesspit. It might be necessary to stay tuned to what’s going on in the world but take some control back.
One of my top ten life tips has always been to encourage people to manage their consumption of the media news cycle.
You should take a news and media break at some point in the week. Pause and stare out a window for a while and do nothing apart from think.
Think about the past, present and the future…
Think bout how lucky you are to be alive at this precise moment.
You might even want to think about the streets of Glasgow, where nothing much happens apart from the rain.