leaders of the valley

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First of all, here’s my shoe after the repair (1 good thing, 4 nice people, 1 bad thing and a possible solution to a problem):

repaired shoe

Walking feels a bit weird now, but I guess I’ll get used to that.

Let’s just hope the glue and the stitches will last.

As you can see on the map, I’m slowly making my way through a long valley:


Walking here is actually pretty nice, but right when I left off I was still struggling with the grudge I had from yesterday.

This is the entry of the cave with the Buddha statues I wasn’t allowed to photograph:

homeless person

“The thing is,” I had told the pencil pusher who was handling my case, “I want to take pretty pictures of your country, I really do. But if you don’t give me a chance to cover the cultural relics you got here, all that is left for me to shoot is the outside reality – and the misery you’re not taking care of.”

Take another look at the picture above, and you’ll see misery crouching in the dirt. She’s never far.

Yes, I was bearing a grudge with each step.

A grudge.

A grudge.

A grudge.

Then, after too many steps, I ran into these guys:


They gave me a great “hallo” and told me to follow them to the riverside.

We had to traverse large areas with tomato-greenhouses:


Then we all sat down by the riverside next to a fish pond, and they made a twig wreath and put it on my head, and we talked and talked and laughed and laughed, and my grudge was gone and forgotten:

These little guys made me a flower wreath

“Is your sister pretty?” – “Do you really drink that much milk in Germany?” – “You are so tall – are you still growing?” – “Isn’t walking very boring?” – “Don’t you miss home?”

Children are awesome – and you know what? – most of them speak better Mandarin than the people I’ve dealt with in the administration.

We also talked about the problem with littering – “Mรผll” in German:


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As this generation is growing up, things will get better. They must!

Anywho, walking was a lot nicer without the burden of a grudge to bear:


I enjoyed some more of the rosรฉ blossoms:


And I had fun with Huanhuan ๆฌขๆฌข the dumb dog with eyes awry:

red bells

Sat down and had some cookies here:


And took another picture of the leaders of the new school:

red jackets

Having hope for the future is always better than being mad at the present.

This is the courtyard of the hotel I’m staying at tonight:


…and here’s my suite:


I don’t know why, but I somehow really like this picture.

Looks so…lost.

  • Steven

    Just because of those Nice Ordinary Common people, the authority can be that ignorance !
    (If you find this one – case of sensitive, delete it !)


  • Hermann

    hi, habe jetzt deine Resie bis zum 22. Januar zurück verfolgt und hab mich gewundert, how the fuck did you come to listen to hermans hermits on january 4th. I mean, hermans hermits rather belongs to the rock heritage of my age, not yours, though I hated him anyway.


  • jule

    huhu! so endlich wieder up to date, dieser zivilisationsstress….
    die kids in dem video sind ja süß! wenn man es nicht besser wüsste würde man meinen sie versuchen eine schafherde nachzumachen… ๐Ÿ™‚
    und kannst du den niedlichen hund direkt mal einpacken und hier vorbei bringen? ist das so ne art chinesischer mops??


  • Christoph

    Steven: ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Hermann: Hey, "No Milk Today" is a catchy song after all!
    jule: Hehe, das Hundevieh ist gut, oder? Total überzüchtet glaube ich…


  • Alfredo

    Thank you for this site! I came across it from Google Earth, I read some of your diary pages, and I have now started reading from the beginning. I have been visiting China for the past 17 years (although I never got to stay as long as you did, and my Chinese is very limited), and your reports feel very "real" to me – the next best thing to being there. Please keep going!


  • Christoph

    I feel very honored that you value this site so much, thank you!


  • Maggie

    Actually as a native Chinese, I haven't travelled so north or west. Thanks for the great pictures and words.


  • Maggie

    By the way, the pictures of spring you have been taking make me sooo homesick. The city I am working at is always in summer. My hometown is in south of China but with distinct seasons.


  • Achille

    Fantastic diaries, splendid photos.
    Just like Maggie said, as native Chinese, we've not travelled so far .
    what a pity, even shame!

    Actually, I have some German friends working in my town–Hefei,Anhui.
    German people are awesome.Although they tend to make critiques of
    my contury and people, I like to talk with these guys.Coz I think these
    critics are instrutive.


  • Martin T.

    Das Bild – ziemlich "verloren". Stümmt, ürgendwie…..


  • Barb

    Wonderful photo of you and the children. What a trip you are on! Christoph, you make me laugh and your insightfulness is refreshing.


  • Christoph

    Maggie: You definitely have to go there, it's so beautiful!
    Achille: We can learn through reflection and self-reflection, right? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Martin T.: …
    Barb: It's all about the children I think!


  • Josie Ella

    Photographs of the children and you are my favorites. Beautiful innocent fresh happy faces.


  • Robert



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