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I stayed around at the house of Grandpa Liu 刘爷爷 until noon, chatting with the old man and the old lady, waiting for the kids to be back from school.

Even the dog was nice after he had gotten used to me. Lovely people. It was hard to leave.

Grandma had prepared some bread and some apples for my lunch, and I made sure to have them in the nicest place I could find on my way today:

Shanxi mountains

I stayed up there for more than an hour, just listening to the wind blow, the cars going by in the valley – and I think I even heard some birds singing…

Then I was back on the track:

mountain road

A pretty rugged track it was.

I thought maybe short videos could be nice on this. I placed my cellphone down on the ground and pushed record. Then I started walking. When I was just about to turn around, the motorcycle appeared:

See the dude looking over his shoulder? Must have been weird: there’s this foreigner walking around in the middle of nowhere up in the hills, and then he suddenly turns around and starts FOLLOWING you, hahaha…

Today I had an interesting conversation with one of Grandpa Liu’s grandkids, a twelve-year-old girl:

me: “So, you’ve been to Beijing before! How did you like it there?”

girl: “It was pretty good, I had fun.”

me: “Well, what exactly did you like about Beijing?”

girl: “You know, Uncle Chris, if you wear something white here in our town, it will have turned black after a day. But not in Beijing. You can wear white clothes all week if you want over there!”

…so much for one of the greatest pass-times a few hundred thousand foreigners in Beijing have in common: complaining about the bad air.

A photograph of my shoe impacting on the ground next to the road might help to illustrate:


That’s some bad-ass dust, eh?

Here’s my paw after a couple of hours outside:

hand at the end of the day

From what people tell me this whole pollution problem seems to have been at its worst in the late nineties, and is slowly getting better now.

Let’s hope it really does.

  • Marvin

    You are really getting to meet all types of people. Your really building a life time of memories. I am envious. Take care of yourself.


  • John

    that is soooo great, christoph! WE CAN HEAR YOUR FOOTSTEPS AS YOU WALK ACROSS CHINA, MAN!! awesome!! i was just hoping the dude on the motorcycle wouldn't run over your camera!


  • David lee

    Beautiful hand with pure color,haha


  • Christoph

    Marvin: Sometimes it's really just plain old head-down walking like that time through that bad Midwestern weather on Rock Road! 🙂
    John: Maybe I should post more short videos, you think?
    David lee: Takes so long to get that stuff washed off, dude.


  • John

    yeah, a video or so every few days would be awesome. we'd really feel like we were there with you, and they can be so serendipitous. but they take up loads of room on the laptop. you got other storage options? and i'd be tempted to wear a mask around those coke plants or coal mines. think of what it's doing to your lungs!


  • Christoph

    Well, the videos are really small, I take them with my cell phone, so they're really only crap. But if it's enjoyable – why not!
    I stay off the highways as often as I can, for better air and better shots, that's all I can do for now. Don't wanna run around with a stupid mask…


  • Christoph

    Haha, just not as stylish.


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