Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guilin Journal Day 17 Yangshuo Homes and People Part 3

Welcome to the first post of our China trip for 2011! In the last 2 posts, we rented some bikes and explored some farmlands and various housing construction in Yangshuo. Today we venture deeper into the village and take a closer look at the villagers and their homes.

Down the street amongst the residences of ochre monochrome, some roads were quite narrow, adequate only for single lane traffic.
Pictured below the smallest path we came across.
I much prefer them spaced further apart, walls on all sides exposed to natural light. The little white house has a compact front yard filled with all kinds of vegetables and construction materials.
The majority of homes were on smaller plots, not all have gardens, some have wells like this fair sized adobe. Can you see it on the right hiding under the wooden cover with a bucket on top?
Its neighbor boasted a bigger front lot, one of the largest in the area, most of it was used to dry grain under the warm afternoon sun.
Some owners had protective brick fences, we peeked into a few of them as we went past, the one below was similar to many others. A typical courtyard, it contained hanging laundry, a bench and a few other daily household items.
We began to notice the couplets on the doorway. Chinese calligraphy in gold ink on red paper, they looked brand new, a bright contrast to its primitive environment.
Another duilian graced a different entrance, the paper had already faded but the message remained auspicious: May there be many prosperous and successful business dealings, may peace accompany all travels.

On a different note, the building appeared recently constructed, the bricks that lined the bottom part of the wall looked modern. The ones on the top portion were a rich brown color and had a smooth surface, unlike the older buildings.
More newer homes, the one below stood on its own with no garden and no grain sunning under the sky. Three stories high with a smart white front it came complete with rooftop solar water heater.
A few houses away, another new development at four stories high. The top three floors came with air conditioners, we counted six in total!
The vehicles by the homes caught my attention, this 3 wheeler had a canopy made of fabric, I don't think these are legal in Canada.
A motorcycle parked out front, the back of the rack proudly displayed the number 88, pronounced ba ba in Mandarin. An excellent number in Chinese culture, it symbolized good luck and fortune.
We came to this structure decorated with painted outlines. Was this a newly built kindergarten or daycare?
We rode on and saw the other side where colors had been filled in, cartoon characters happily danced along the wall under the shining sun.
A moon bridge! Until now I have only seen it in pictures, it looked ancient, a lovely compliment to its setting.
Above us loud joyful voices could be heard, a construction worker on the bamboo scaffolding was visiting with one of his comrades on the ground.
Additional merry sounds ahead, a family was playing some kind of card game. It was so intense we hung around for a few minutes before they noticed us, then went right back to the activity with more yelling as we cycled on.
By the trees, a group of women chatted away, one of them had her child in a baby carrier called a mei tai.
Back in the residential area, a lady with the blue baskets called out her merchandise while walking along. I did not understand what she said nor could I see the goods but I knew it was food because...
...this grandma replied to her call. Squatted down by a pan of water, she was busy plucking off the feathers from the chicken. It has been ages since I saw poultry cleaned this way, the last time was at a wet market in Singapore 19 years ago.
Another grandmother, seen here walking hand in hand with her grandson on the street. She took slow little steps, how old do you think she is?
Yet another grandparent walking his granddaughter home down a small dirt road, as they strolled on so did we, the China adventure continues next week!

3 comments:

  1. Not legal in Canada? That fabulous little motor vehicle shouldn't be legal anywhere, for safety reasons, but I would love one. It looks like a magic vehicle in a story.

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  2. Hi P.K.: It sure has a magical quality about it, it would make me feel 20 years younger driving it!

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  3. wow....your photos are gorgeous. We were in China in the late fall. Seeing your photos has brought back all the wonderful memories again. Thanks for sharing!

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