Today was a breeze.
Yuci is well-known for its rebuilt Old Town:
A lot of Chinese movies and TV series have been shot here.
I ran into some students from Shandong 山东 who were taking pictures dressed up in imperial outfits:
To me, this subject is really interesting: How do people interact with their history?
These kids were born way after Chairman Mao passed away, and they probably know only very little of the hardships their elder generations had to go through. They have never tasted the hatred that poisoned this country during the “Cultural Revolution” – what a blessing!
I think enjoying something because it looks nice and it feels right is an underestimated privilege.
This is not my hotel room. It’s a prison cell from a couple of centuries back. Hard times, no privileges at all.
Then I noticed the hole:
See the thing in the center at the end of the wall? It used to be an opening to get rid of the corpses of all the inmates who died during their time of imprisonment.
I wonder how many people have entered this place from the door and left it through the hole. Terrible thought.
But hey, did I mention that this Old Town is really worth looking at?
I spent about 4 hours running about the place in a picture-taking frenzy.
Even a cat looked somehow meaningful to me:
Now I’ve seen this before, the thing with the eyes, but it still gets me every time. Mesmerizing…
A little way outside of town I found a place where they make tombstones:
This one was for a person whose family name was Yu 宇, and it was custom-made for the occasion. They do get advance orders on a regular basis though. I wonder what kind of a feeling it must be ordering your own tombstone…
Pondering about this thought (or was I just counting my own footsteps?), I heard something that resembled a whimpering dog from afar.
A dog it was not. It was pure anguish:
This lost soul was standing there facing a pile of rubbish and crying and crying and crying her eyes out. Some people were looking. I asked an old guy who came across my way, but he turned out to be mute or deaf or both. Why didn’t I ask her?
I think I was scared.
Scared of what?
Scared of contamination by misery.
Well, I’ll let you pass your own judgement on this. Anyways here’s a picture that I took later that night, while I was still walking south:
Wonder why I look so weird? – It’s a 30 second exposure time.
I’m in a cheap truck-stop-restaurant-motel now, it’s midnight and the day is weighing heavy on my eyelids.
The lost soul is out there sleeping I hope, though crying I think.
Everything is good with me though.
I have remained untainted yet.