Friday, September 22, 2006
Diary update ...
Some days I wonder what I’m taking for granted, what sights of China I am leaving out of this because I see them everyday: the straight-backed ladies who ride their bikes with a charming air; the green-uniformed guides standing on a rise at the gates who nod ‘hello’ if I wave to them; the dusty dinted battered old cars that serve as taxis; the noodle makers who throw their dough in the air and twirl it around into over six foot lengths; the scrawny sad cats and dirty miniature dogs in the grubby back alleys, often tied to a post with a dried-out plastic lid for water. And the way the shopkeepers sit in their stores or on the pavement outside or on chipped concrete steps, eating noodles and watching the Chinese world go by. Yesterday when I went to pick up some more photos (every bloody document needs photos here) the girl from behind the counter was asleep on a couch. She grumpily arose and served me. Nothing unusual in that: the whole town closes down between noon and half-past two. It’s the best time to go shopping – no-one else around almost.