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You’ve seen it before on other pictures (things falling apart):

slogan about daughters

Here in China, there’s much writing on the wall.

This particular one reads: “daughters also carry on the family line. 女儿也是传后人。” – advising potential parents that a daughter will continue the family lineage just as well as a son. The problem: according to Confucian tradition, a man’s lineage ranks among his highest values – and can only be continued through the birth of a son.

This, combined with the One-Child Policy of 1979 and modern ultrasound diagnostics now widely available, might lead to a potential massive gender imbalance in the decades to come.


slogan about university exam bonuses

“农村独生子女二女户子女高考加10分” – this one seems a bit complicated, I’m not sure if I got it right: in the countryside, if a mother of a single child (boy or girl) has only one sister herself, her child will get a bonus 10 points added to his or her score in the university exams.


I got a bit lost today, until some farmers showed me the right way:


Then I just followed the pretty red pylons:


After about an hour of walking I found out who had made them this pretty red:


Hundreds upon hundreds of pylons…

There was lots of talk and laughter as soon as I set my bag down to take a rest:

group photo

(I got some paint on the behind of my pants as I found out later.)

I stayed for a very enjoyable cookie break and then got on my way again, awing at spectacular landscapes:

green lake

Breathing the fresh air of the plateau (~2000m):


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Then I ran into another friendly person:

Zhang Enlai and me

Zhang Enlai 张恩来, English teacher at a middle school in Lanzhou, is also a big fan of the outdoors and spontaneously stopped for a chat.

Even though walking pretty much sucks right now because of my foot problems, but getting to know all these kind people really cheers me up every time my head wants to hang low again.

I crossed a bridge, and that’s where I found the paws:


Not just one, but seven.


And then, just another half hour down the road:

dog farm

Ha, this must be a place where they breed meat dogs to put in their hot pot later! (definition of hurt) I thought and suddenly felt like a spy or at least some kind of investigative journalist, taking pictures of evil-doers doing what evil-doers do: evil!

Then, after my 007-Woodward-frenzy had died down a bit, I figured I might as well ask the people who worked there.

I wouldn’t have guessed it: they were breeding Tibetan Mastiffs:


Now I haven’t checked up to confirm on this, but the guy who was watching the place told me that a pure-bred male can weigh up to 200 pounds and will sell for approximately 700RMB. Isn’t that just unbelievable?

And they would use a place like this to breed a bunch of dogs that each can pretty much devour a wolf and cost more than a mid-size car? I wondered.

I asked the guy about the paws I had seen on the bridge before, but he also didn’t know what that might have been all about.

The rest of the way was just gorgeous:

green water

It’s a bit like clouds seen from an airplane – I always want to touch them, because they look so nice and soft.

This sapphire water just looked too tasty, I wanted to go down and drink it all…

Well, I didn’t.

I was happy enough just to get to a place with a hotel and a restaurant, for I hadn’t eaten all day:


And there it was, another writing on the wall:

no peeing or pooping

“Please don’t go for no.1 or no.2 here! 请不要在此大小便!”

  • Hermann

    Einhundertzwölftausenddreihunderteinundvierzig rote Pöle, einhundzwölftausenddreihundzweiundvierzig rote Pöle, einhunderzwölftausenddreihundertdreizund…auch Scheiße, Leoparden-Pfoten…eine Leopardenpfote, zwei Leopardenpfoten, drei….au Scheiße. Mastiffs. Ein Mastiff….


  • Barry

    Wie war das noch gleich: Hasenpfoten sind Glückbringer.

    Man musst Du glücklich sein, dass Du gleich 7 davon liegen lässt.
    Ich vermute mal Dein Glück liegt in der Erwartung neuer Schuhe.

    Und diese geniale Landschaft wieder, irre.

    Geniese Deine problematischen Schuhe, bald gibts Ersatz.


  • Sonja

    Hab mal geschaut: Für so nen drei Monate alten Köter gibts im Internet Angebote für 38000, aber auch schon ab 19000元. Ob reinrassig oder nicht – keine Ahnung. Wundert mich also nicht, wenn die da versuchen nen Geschäft mit zu machen. Verdient man bestimmt mehr als mit den Hunden zum Essen. Aber klar, die Hunde, die du so nicht los wirst, kannst du immer noch in den Wok werfen. Die Hunde, die auf dem Markt aushingen, sahen allerdings auch ganz anders aus als die, die du da photographiert hast. Die hatten irgendwie mehr Ähnlichkeit mit den Hunden, welche man da tagtäglich auf der Straße hat rumrennen sehen. Seltsamerweise konnte man auch nur im Winter Hunde beim Fleischer kaufen. Hast Du ne Ahnung warum?


  • andy

    …7 Manta's fuhren über eine Brücke im Kampf gegen einen kühnen Samurai!
    Wahnsinns Canyon auf Foto 7!!!
    Zhang Enlai scheint ein sehr interessanter, liebenswerter Mensch zu sein (zumindest strahlen seine Augen, sein Mund & seine Haltung dies aus), wenn es so ist, dann ist's schade, wenn man solche Menschen nur so kurz flasht und nicht die Chance hat, sie näher kennen zu lernen.
    Schön für mich, Dich etwas mehr kennen zu lernen.


  • jule

    wow, was für eine wundervolle landschaft!!!


  • Christoph

    Hermann: Du hast vergessen: 1564stes Stechen im Fuß, 1565stes Stechen im Fuß, 1566stes St…
    Barry: Also im Moment fühle ich mich eher vom Pech verfolgt, aber das kann ja nur besser werden!
    Sonja: Nur im Winter Hundefleisch? Hm… Soll ich hier mal wen fragen?
    andy: Ja, der Herr Zhang war wirklich sehr nett. Vielleicht trifft man ihn ja wieder!
    jule: DAS habe ich auch gedacht. Erhebend!


  • ataraxia

    No, you got it wrong(ouch!).
    Let's try it in English(too difficult for me):
    In the countryside, if a family has only one child or has two(and only two) children who are both girls, then the family's child(or children) will get a bonus 10 points.
    独生子女二女户—> 独生子女户和二女户
    The "Confucian tradition, a man’s lineage ranks among his highest values – and can only be continued through the birth of a son" explains much why one-child or two-girls family has such bonus(and a bunch of others).

    Well, this one is so political, revealing at least four major problems of the Chinese society: one-child policy, education inequality, gender imbalance and household registration certificates hurting mobility.

    BTW: The lake is sooo beautiful and I am so afraid of DOGS…


  • Christoph

    Yeah, I think I got 二女户子女 a bit mixed up…


  • Wei

    Great explanation, Ataraxia. I didn’t work it out but I think you got it right. Thanks.


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