You’ve seen it before on other pictures (things falling apart):
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.
“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:
(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:
Breathing the fresh air of the plateau (~2000m):
Then I ran into another friendly person:
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:
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:
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:
“Please don’t go for no.1 or no.2 here! 请不要在此大小便!”