Zhu Hui decided to try out the walking thing today and softly pushed his bike alongside me while I was stumbling under the weight of my backpack.
Somehow I am starting to get the idea that a great part of the things I’m hauling through this beautiful place might be absolutely useless to me…
The first thing we did today is have breakfast, and then we went to school:
Zhuozhou Experimental Middle School. Now I’ve shot in other schools before, but this has been the most massive one so far and by far!
3.000 students simultaneously doing their morning exercise in the yard is a thing that a German country boy doesn’t get to see everyday.
While I was still trying to find an angle to fit as many kids inside the frame as possible, some 15-year olds came over to chat.
Good English, gotta admit that. China’s youth are not like the past generations when it comes to learning foreign languages.
That might have to do with a subtle change of attitude though.
Poor kid, I tried to have him relaxe a little for this picture, but he didn’t really feel all that comfortable with his classmates and the headmaster watching.
After a brief chat with the staff, Zhu Hui and I decided we would have to hurry up in order to make it to the Zhang Fei Temple 张飞庙.
Little did we know we would run into even more students on the way, though students of a different kind:
Passing by this place on the highway, little would you know how many famous masters have studied in this school. Well, I don’t know much about martial arts.
We decided to call this day the The Student Day 学生日.
Well, and then eventually we had to leave this place, too, and we took the short walk to the Zhang Fei Temple:
Who would have guessed that Zhang Fei’s birthplace and tomb are both in this place? The temple is tiny though, not nearly comparable to Wuhou Temple 武侯祠 in Chengdu.
Then I did something that I usually never do:
I picked a lucky stick and had the chief Taoist read my fortune from it. 3 things I remember:
- My ventures shall be crowned by success. (aaaah!)
- My business shall be prosperous. (business, what business?)
- My descendent shall be a university graduate. (you might guess how hard I laughed because of this one!)
I think the reason why I did this fortune telling thing was because I wanted to be polite, and another reason is I wanted to get an answer like the first one about my trip.
Every night when I am putting my sore feet in that hot water bowl to ease the pain, I am worrying how long I will be able to keep walking like this…
I think the second answer was made out for the Taoist himself though, because when we were done talking about the universities my son/daughter was going to graduate from, I got asked a quite generous funding for their temple.
Their business shall be prosperous thought I, handed over the money and took my friend Zhu Hui and left the place.
The last bit of road today was a particularly tiring one: We had to go back on the highway, and my feet hurt more than ever, and there was really nothing to shoot, and we had been spending so much time in all these places that the remaining bit of road was actually a quite long one…
The only thing that really got my attention and made me lift up my head from that stupid road was this group of people who were all in white. Completely white.
Their house white.
Their clothes white.
Hands and hair, even their faces white.
They were doing some kind of recycling work, and the dust that came with it made them white. Oh how I would have loved to do an extensive shooting with them!!
But they wouldn’t let me.
As Zhu Hui explained they would have felt uncomfortable being portrayed in a working environment this bad. Now how would you argue with that? Too bad for all that beautiful whiteness…
Now I’m in a hotel room with Zhu Hui.
He’s writing his diary, I’m boring you with my blog, and my feet don’t hurt anymore because they are soaking in a bowl of hot water.
The neighbors next door are playing chinese music on their tv. I’ve just had a small bag of chips and a chocolate candy bar.
It’s been a good day.