easy yokes

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I said good-bye to my friends in Xinle today. Life in the spa was very pleasant, but eventually I had to get going, no matter what.

On the road I saw someone who seemed to be carrying a lot heavier than me.

old man pulling cart

The official retiring age in China is sixty. Many a good man is forced to work unimaginably hard until his last breath, though.

And so is many a good woman.

You can see them everywhere.

Living the socialist dream.

I shot wide-angle shots today, obviously, since I had my baby back.

truck near Xinle

I like the energy.

red advertisement

The generous use of space.

gas station

And the feeling of a wide perspective.

When I was just walking along G107, a brave group of middle school students came to hold me up:

students near Zhengding

They invited me to visit their school, which was in the center of a work unit, sometimes kind of like a little village all by itself).

school near Zhengding

I found these kids from the countryside extraordinarily eloquent and nice to talk to.

Standard, dialect-free Mandarin, very pleasant to the foreign ear.

We chatted a while, then we found a place to shoot fun pictures:

rural schoolyard

I was trying to explain the word “dramatic” – since I don’t know the Chinese expression (shame on me).

Then I took a group picture of my new friends:

posing for a picture near Zhengding

I hope they’ll soon get a chance to look at this. From what I know these kids rarely have the time to play or get online, because they study very very hard.

Wish them success.

When I continued to walk, it was already getting dark, and some of the way became a bit of a helter-skelter:

burning stuff near Zhengding

Now I’m in my hotel room on the outskirts of Zhengding, there’s a police series on TV, I have just had a nice and tasteful dinner, and I’m looking at the photograph above, the one of the old guy pulling his cart.

I guess my yoke is easy and my burden is light after all.

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