Pingyao

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Get on the good foot.

Today was another day I started on the bad foot.

This is the very first thing I see when I step out of the door:

Dashan

Dashan 大山 (big mountain) – China’s favorite foreigner: 100% flawless Chinese and the right kind of attitude. His ads for electronic pocket dictionaries are everywhere, with him in his traditional Chinese outfit smiling at everyone. I think Chinese people enjoy foreigners that are a bit on the whacky side. Why would that be though?

Whatever. Qixian does have an old town district, but I found it only mildly attractive:

Qixian

Maybe I just shouldn’t have gone on a Sunday. Too many people. Too much noise.

I quickly made my way out of there.

You know what’s weird – I don’t specifically look for it, but I see a lot of things pointing towards death lately:

paradise bank money

This is money issued by the “Paradise Bank”. It is burned at funerals to ensure that the decedent has sufficient funds in whatever might come after this life.

Taking this impression a few miles down the road, I stumble across a little makeshift graveyard:

revolutionary grave

This guy has lived “a life for the revolution, loyal to the Party.”

Wow.

Why this one is wrapped in red – I don’t have a clue:

covered grave

Maybe he or she wasn’t so loyal after all?

Whatever the case, I found this place perfect for a rest:

rest

Chocolate chip cookies and some kind of grape lemonade. Straw to sit on. Birds to listen to.

Drifter, vagabond, vagrant, floater.

And then it’s back on the road, because I must make it to Pingyao by nightfall:

fog near Pingyao

To be honest, I have grown pretty tired both physically and mentally by now. Christmas is at hand and I really don’t feel like walking anymore – much rather would I hang out in a room full of candles and friendly faces and have ginger bread cookies…

I’m going to rest up in Pingyao.

Rest in Pingyao.

Rest in Pingyao.

These guys offered me a ride:

biker dudes

Seriously, I am not kidding, and neither were they.

Li Shuangyang 李双阳, Song Kang 宋康, Wang Junjie 王俊杰 and Fu Liwei 付丽伟 really were insisting I should take a seat on their motorbike and they would give me a lift to wherever it was I was headed to, because they thought I just looked too miserable.

In the end we all agreed that I would be able to pull off the last 6km by myself.

It just doesn’t seem that much when you’ve come all the way from the capital.



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