The curious case of Beijing belly button

By Patrick Whiteley ( China Daily ) Updated: 2009-04-13 09:42:05

This year's stop-start approach to China's heart-warming spring reminds me of a former bi-polar girlfriend who was as crazy as the recent fickle weather.

One day she was 30 degrees and ridiculously happy, and a few days later she was almost snowing sending chills down my spine. A week later her sunshine would burst out from behind dark clouds and temperatures would soar again.

The curious case of Beijing belly button

I've been desperately waiting for the Middle Kingdom's weather to make up its mind and turn on the heat, and finally, at long last, I can positively guarantee, an end to the bitter cold.

One of the certain signs of seasonal change is beginning to bud before us.

The glorious bare bellies of Beijing are beginning to bloom and millions of belly buttons have come out of hibernation.

Summer forces T-shirts to rise all over China to expose some of the best bellies in the world.

They wobble and jiggle, in all shapes and sizes and I especially like the big, fat Buddha-style bellies, bouncing around, defiant and proud.

Unlike the fashion parades seen on many beachside cities, the Chinese summertime T-shirt show does not require full removal of the garment.

Only the shirtfronts are rolled up, and it's all about cooling the belly button, and chilling right out.

This is my third bare-belly season in China and each year I always raise my shirt to salute the belly boys of Beijing.

I've been in training over winter to get my belly in shape.

While some of my younger pals have been busy in the gym, crunching those abs, and buffing up for the ladies, I've been huffing down hot pots like there was no tomorrow.

The capital's 542,937 restaurants has made it easy for me. This town's tasty food has nurtured many a beautiful Beijing belly and mine is ready to come of age.

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