The news in Europe and the States seem to make it look like China is basically buried under thick and heavy snow everywhere.
Well that’s not entirely true, as you can see on the pictures I’ve been taking.
But I’ll get to that again later.
There is a set of ancient twin pagodas here in Linyi. One is inside a schoolyard, the other one is in a residential quarter. No way to get close to them now, so here is only one of them from afar:
I wasn’t so unhappy that I had no chance to climb up on top of them, since I knew I had quite a bit of walking ahead today (and because climbing pagodas sucks btw).
Remember I took a picture of a pile of trash when I just got here two days ago (pressing)? Well, it seems as though Linyi really does have a bit of a problem when it comes to garbage disposal:
The building on the right is a major post office, so I figured this place was originally intended to be some kind of public square instead of a waste dump.
In my opinion, littering is a problem likely to occur in any rapidly developing society, but I don’t think it has to get as bad as this.
I marched right out of there and onto the long stretch of highway – southeast to Yuncheng.
Head down. Nothing to talk about.
There was a market going on in a little settlement about half the way down:
The golden characters on the red paper are for Spring Festival decorations.
I took a rather amusing break with a bunch of little friends around who kept bugging me with smart-ass questions:
“Foreign uncle, what’s the stick for?” – For walking. – “No really, what is it for?”
“Foreign uncle, just how heavy is your bag?” – 25kg. – “Can I pick it up?”
“Foreign uncle, why do you walk anyway?” – I like walking. – “Don’t you have enough money to take the bus?”
In a small restaurant, some dudes were playing a drinking game that I would like to introduce to you guys:
Can you guess at the rules of this game called huaquan 划拳, or is any Chinese friend willing to explain? (Hint: the dude on the left is on a winning streak.)
Anyways, the rest of the day I did some more head-down walking, taking random pictures of stuff next to the road:
These two shots are in the same location looking in opposite directions:
I marveled at this furniture advertisement:
What is this divided family of unhappy foreigners supposed to tell us about the product?
This is something else, too:
First of all: there was no restaurant in the immediate vicinity of this sign.
Second: there was a bunch of restaurants scattered everywhere else on the highway.
And third: why is there a fork on the picture?
Anyways, 30k and another fat blister down the road, I finally made it to Yuncheng, home of one of China’s all-time finest:
This is Guan Yu 关羽, once an acclaimed general during the period of the Three Kingdoms (ca. 220-280), and today a legendary idol that has even made it to a divine status in many parts of the country.
A country that is currently going through some difficult times with the weather.
Let me try to help clear up a general misconception in the foreign media:
The problem is not that it’s snowing so heavily all over the country. The problem right now is that it’s snowing in areas where they have never had any real snow before, and they are just not prepared for this in any way.
There are basically no problems where I am at right now though. Sure, this has been the coldest winter with the most amount of snow in the last fifty years up here too, but the thing is: they know how to deal with it.
In the South, no home has heating and basically nobody has a concept of snow.
Or of winter in general.