Cloudy weather isn’t necessarily pretty, but it’s good to get work done:
The same goes for walking: clouds = good.
I noticed so many donkeys everywhere:
Dear four-legged friends: some might say that horses are more stylish than you (with your long ears), but I still like you best!
I walked past a small countryside temple, and luckily, the gate was open:
According to local custom, ten pairs of incense sticks are aligned and lit on one end, thus burning for a consecutive 24 hours.
I wanted to make my way up to one of the strange fortresses I had seen on the way:
Some farmers had been trying to tell me what this was all about, but I really couldn’t make any sense of their local dialect, so I just pretended to understand and followed the pointed finger:
And there it was, a crude earthen fortress with lots of empty space inside:
Later that night, some dudes in a restaurant let me in on the story: after the fall of the Qing-dynasty, when the country was undergoing an epoch of chaos, the farmers in the area were being constantly terrorized by local warlords and bandit hordes. So they hurriedly erected these fortifications on the highest points in the hills, thus having a safe haven to fall back to in case of an attack.
Cool, I thought, history can be so in-your-face sometimes, much different from the things on display in museums or exhibitions, let alone book pages.
The settlement I was staying at had the feel of a Sergio Leone movie:
Okay, there were of course no cowboys, but they did have a pair of donkeys next to the room I was staying in.
Then the kids appeared:
I found this little guy’s hat enjoyable, so I took a picture, and then, one after the other…
…more and more kids magically appeared:
Later that evening, we had a wonderful time; me and maybe 30 little kids, sitting under the light-bulb on the kang in my room, and looking at pictures and videos on my computer.
There were many Oh’s and Ah’s and lots of laughter.