This post is about a 26km walk from Xinle to Zhengding. I hang out with some middle-school students in their work unit.
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 yoke than me.
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.
I like the energy.
The generous use of space.
And the feeling of a wide perspective.
At some point, while I was just minding my own business, quietly walking along G107, a group of brave middle school students came to hold me up:
They invited me to their school, which was in the center of a work unit:
Work units often feel like independent little towns. They have almost everything people need in their daily life.
I chatted with the kids for a while, and I found them extraordinarily eloquent and nice to talk to. They spoke standard, dialect-free Mandarin, which is always pleasant to the foreign ear.
We found a place to shoot some fun pictures:
I was trying to explain the word “dramatic” – since I didn’t know the Chinese expression (shame on me).
Then I took a group picture of my new friends:
I hope they’ll soon get a chance to look at this. From what I know these kids rarely have the time to be idle or play or get online. The pressure to succeed in their studies is just too much.
I wish them luck.
When I continued to walk it was already getting dark, and some of the way became a bit of a helter-skelter:
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.