Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Room With A View

So what was the aim of the hawkers at the foot of Ping'An village? What was their strategy for parting you from your hard-earned cash?

These middle-aged women, for twenty kuai, will carry your luggage from the bus depot to wherever in the village you are staying. Their mode of transport? Bamboo baskets strapped onto their backs.

For our stubborn part, we opted to roll our bags up the paved hillside ourselves. This elicited two reactions. Among the villagers, it prompted several of them to follow us, waiting for that moment (which never came) when we would tire and give in to their pleadings. Among the Chinese tourists descending out of the village, it was audible wahs! These exclamations of amazement made us think that we must be performing some herculean task, in carting our own luggage up the path.

But there we were, like ten minutes later, at the first building in the village, no worse for wear. I stuck my head in and asked, you fangjian ma? "Do you have any rooms?" You, came the affirmative reply. Little did we know at that moment, that not only would we be getting a room located smack dab in the middle of the rice terraces (see the accompanying photos taken from our window). We would also be having, over the next three days, one of the more moving interpersonal experiences of our entire lives...

~Steve

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