Elderly Man

One of the most interesting times in China can sometimes be the most simplest.  I and a friend were walking in the countryside when we came upon the elderly man in this photo.  He was very intent on cutting strips of bamboo into lengths from a nearby forest of bamboo.  He was using a meat cleaver to cut the strips into very neat and straight strips.   Through my Chinese friend in translating for me we found that he was making strips of bamboo for his daughter and son to take to the market and sell them for making bamboo products.
Many families often have 3 generations living under the same roof and each one contributes to the welfare of the whole family.  The elderly often take care of the grandchildren or some other chore that may bring some extra money to the family.  Earlier I wrote  about the elderly lady who was selling peanuts if you check back in the blog.  After a nice conversation with him, he finally said that I was only the 2nd white person he has ever seen.  So of course I wanted to know who and when was the first.  He never looked up but said,  “A naked lady swimming in the near by river…many years ago”.    I could only laugh and told my friend that I must be a great disappointment to him.   Some of my most memorable moments in China are these encounters with the local people.  They have always been very open, friendly and hospitable often welcoming me into their simple homes for a cup of tea.  In 25 years of travel throughout China I have had many of these moments that make good memories and some lessons learned as well.
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