It usually doesn’t rain much in this part of the country – but today it definitely did:
We were hanging out in the hotel lobby writing postcards, having tea and reading books, while everyone outside was getting drenched:
And then it suddenly stopped – the sun came back out, and the wetness disappeared:
Just as I was standing outside taking watery pictures, I noticed this girl:
I had seen her go out of her way to help an old man get a taxi during the rainstorm. The girl and the old man didn’t seem to know each other, and I figured, maybe she just likes to help other people.
Then I noticed her bird:
She had found a little bird that didn’t seem to want to fly anymore:
So she talked to it and blew air on it, and moved her hand up and down for the little bird to flap its wings:
People were standing around watching, and I was right next to her taking pictures, but she didn’t seem to care.
Or maybe she didn’t notice.
In the German language “to have a bird” means being crazy.
When the little bird finally went airborne and disappeared into the shady crown of a tree, she stood there watching:
And I stood there too, knowing not what to think.
There seems to be this widely accepted notion that Chinese people have a tendency to be cruel towards animals.
This might seem true if we look at statistics. Or at internet videos. Or at dog meat festivals.
But is this a general issue, a problem that is rooted within Chinese culture? Or should we look at it within the context of the political brutalization that reached its peak during the “Cultural Revolution”?
The real question is: How do you expect a society to have an understanding of animal rights if there cannot even be an open discussion about the rights of human beings?
Whenever I think of the issue of animal abuse in China, this girl comes to mind. The way she was caring for a sparrow after it had almost been washed away by a colossal desert rain.
Of course it is sad that most people in China are probably not much like her.
But then who really is?
“Every time I come to China it’s the same thing: the sky gets dark and it starts to rain.”