things falling apart

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Today I didn’t walk much, because eventually some things fell apart.

…but I didn’t know that yet when I headed off for a good start and said good-bye to my friend Zhu Hui.

I did a little walking and then had a nice chat and shot some pictures at a site where two kids from Anhui were recycling paint buckets for their future use as stove parts.

recycling yard

They said they were particularly busy in winter when there was more demand for their products, and that the fumes from the paint only got them a little bit dizzy, since most of the paint had already dried out before.

recycling work

Then their boss came out and started talking about an area near Beijing where foreigners were not allowed to enter, and I suddenly knew that it was time for me to go.

I chose a path through the countryside next to the highway. Lots of interesting things to shoot, I thought, even though my feet were falling apart.

Things falling apart.

girls are as good as boys

Boys and girls are equally good. We are within 100km from Beijing, it’s one more year to the Olympics. And boys and girls are equally good.

Interesting, I thought.

Then I noticed that one of my cameras was starting to fail.

Things falling apart.

village kids in Hebei

I asked these boys for a place where I could take a look at my camera indoors, because otherwise I would obviously get it dusty.

They took me to 2 stores and 5 private homes, and nobody wanted to help.


I ask the people: “Can I sit down in a room inside and we close the door for a second? I’m going to need 5 minutes to take a look at my camera, it seems that there is something wrong with it.”

And they say things like: “We don’t have a room.” or “You better get going.” or just “No.” or it’s just a hand waving me off…

I don’t know what happened here. These people were not like the Chinese people I’ve gotten to know so far.

Whatever, I guess the whole village must have had a bad hair day or something. Or do I look scary or what?

Things falling apart.

Well, about another 30 minutes of angry road later another thing started falling apart: my butt.

hotel lobby in Dingxing

Things were falling apart, and I was lucky enough to be right next to a hotel when I realized that with messed up feet, a messed up camera, my messed up mood AND messed up bowels the best thing I could probably do is take a room and stay in it.

Take care of my feet.

Take a look at my camera.

And sit it out.

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