the fog

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I couldn’t see.

the road vanishes in the whiteness.

Everything was white, and it wasn’t snow.

Holding the land in its soft embrace, the fog brought destruction to the ones who drove hastefully.

I counted 4 massive accidents today.

From what I could tell, there was much damage, but nobody had been seriously hurt.

But to me, the one who was walking slowly and just looking at the world around me, the fog brought pure and absolute joy.

It was as if very place…

the fog

…and every thing…

traffic in the fog

…got magically beautified.

people in the fog

Stumbling through that beautiful white I accidentally ended up at the annual market of Kongcun 孔村.

Kongcun is a tiny village.

When I got there, virtually everyone seemed totally at ease and of a certain happiness that was very charming.

Hebei villager

A police officer gave me some tangerines to eat and a pat on the back.

Some people cracked jokes about the size of my shoes.

One guy got his 1,6m buddy and asked him in front of everybody:

“You and this foreigner – who’s taller, eh?”

Great laughter and hallo!

Some people even came up to me and wanted to have their picture taken.

village near Baoding

This was something new for me, because most people I had been photographing had been a bit reluctant.

When I look at the photo now I see the eyes of a happy man and the eyes of a man with hurting feet.

I hope the villagers can all see this picture! 看到这张“孔村合影”让我心里高兴!

Nice people, nice place.

When I got to the end of the village, there was a recycle yard.

There were car wrecks.

There was trash.

There was debris every where.

But the fog was covering it all up.

While I was just kind of standing around there, someone got a little friend and had him pose for the camera.

little friend near Baoding

He was a little bit shy, so we gave him a big brother as back-up.

children near Baoding

I love both the kids’ expressions on this picture.

The little one looks kind of like me on my baby photographs.

He is obviously trying to maintain a certain physical balance while trying to figure out what is actually going on.

The big one reminds me of myself when I was his age and looking cool (both posture and face) started becoming a serious issue.

Of course it’s no issue at all today.


Not much color in all these pictures, huh?

The fog never cleared up that day. It was only in the evening as I reached a bigger settlement that I would see colors again.

See? I walked past cabbage mountain today!

the cabbage mountain

And it was mighty green.

So today was an interesting day.

Lots and lots of cabbage, interesting weather, many a happy face, new friends, and some terrible accidents.

I hope I was right and nobody died or got seriously insured on G107 today.

Wish them luck.

  • kati

    4th picture is so like CD cover of take that ''patience'' see here


  • Christoph

    haha, that gives me an excellent idea – Take That will be tomorrow's soundtrack alright!


  • Rindy



  • Rindy

    haha, it's TAKE THAT


  • Christoph

    Was Take That big in China, too?


  • Jesse

    I didn’t have the guts to walk across China 🙁

    But there were a lot of roadtrips from Beijing to Shanxi and Shaanxi (not typo, just crazy Chinese names) back in the 2000s, and one of my most vivid memories of those roadtrips is all the crazy accidents on the highway. Especially those big commercial trucks.

    On a rainy or foggy or snowy (the 2003 snowstorm was the worst) day, you just know you will see crashes along the road. Traffic will slow down, and sometimes you see the flashing police lights, and then you just slowly drive past this gigantic pile of distorted metal that’s been pushed to the side of the road.

    There were a lot of those.

    Chinese highways back in those good old days…definitely different from the Autobahn.


  • Ruli Sastra

    Hi! I’m from Indonesia. I just found out about you from Youtube. I was curious and decided to read your post from the very begining. So far, I haven’t be able to stop and it’s 12.58 am. I just want to say: you are a funny man! :)). I love how you put them into words. And great photos! You’re so talented.

    p.s. you should visit Indonesia someday. A great and culture-rich country.


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