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Hezhou

HEZHOU is a town similar to Liuzhou. Nothing terribly special, about 2 million people, and a healthy population of tall building cranes. My in laws live in a small country “village” just outside the main city. A few minutes’ walk and you are deep inside farm fields.

Hezhou fields

Since my wife was still tired from our late night arrival, I set off on my own for a bit of a walk. I did have a slight feeling of reservation as I would be alone in a Communist country. Would the natives take kindly to me wandering around unsupervised?

A small shrine in the country

 

Early on I stopped to take some pictures of a corn field when two guys burst out of a house across the street and started yelling at me to come in and have lunch with them! Their invitation was counterbalanced by a snarling dog that also came out from their house. While the men appeared quite friendly, the dog was a courage sucker and I decided to continue on my way. The dog followed. Unnerved, I deployed my tripod and continued along. The dog followed me for a couple of minutes.

American! American!

 

Further along I ran into some children. I figure they had never seen a foreigner up close in their entire lives. They started asking me all these questions. I could answer a few, such as where I was from. The others I couldn’t understand. We parted, and then after a minute I heard “American! American! Wait!” The kids ran around the bend and indicated they wanted their photo taken. I did and they continued to follow me. I could see some sort of building across the fields and wanted to go there.  The kids parted again, but then I could hear more “American! American!” I could see them jumping up and down across the field. I took their picture again and finally they left.  Chinese children who have never seen a foreigner can often be very annoying when they follow you everywhere and you can hear them pointing you out to everyone. “White ghost,” they say, “Look, there is a white ghost.” These weren’t too bad.

Take our picture!

The building I saw was some sort of family urn depository. I took a few shots of the outside but then headed away from the area lest I be spotted by a farmer. Photographing the inside would be a huge offense, so I didn’t go inside.

The family urn depository

A family's urn depository

I headed back to town and then joined my family in the market.

Grandmother teaching the fine art of mushroom selection

Grandmother teaching the fine art of mushroom selection

 

More to come. . . .

Grandmother and baby

Grandmother and baby

Grandfather reading

Grandfather reading

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