Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jianshui, Yunnan

After a  500 kilometer, 12-hour overnight bus ride, we arrived in Jianshui, "the old China" says Sun-Ling, "the real China" says John, leaving SE Asia solidly behind. 

Traditional Chinese architecture abounds, both new and old, in various states of splender and delapidation.Communist party slogans from bygone days are fading, but yet to disappear. Ancient wells draw people from the neighborhood, carrying drinking water, doing laundry, washing motorcycles....

Though they have seen a fair amount of tourists, people are genuine and hospitable, in pursuit  of prosperity, but not yet completelt converted to the new state religion - money.  Unfortunately, I have a hard time communicating with them - Mandarin is widely understood, but not spoken. School children exubrantly call out "hello" as we walkk by, none of the pathetic pleas for money, candy, pen... that were all too common in Laos.

Old ladies with bound feet scoot around with amazing swiftness.  I had thought my grandmother who was born in 1900 and passed away in 2000, was the last of the breed.

Jianshui, China
Jianshui, China

The local delicacy is grilled tofu, made by hand, eaten communally around the grill, where the proprietor keeps track of consumption with corn kernels.

Eating grilled tofu and potatoes with the locals.
Jianshui, China

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Glad to hear that Jianshui is still off the tourist circuit - I loved it there too. Great photo of the cafe!