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Living Amongst The Frozen Moments In Time

As summer approaches the fields begin their constant change.

Many nights as I ride, around me are farmers ploughing fields by hand or beast. This night as I rode I felt a surge of excitement at how lucky I was to really be here. I grew up - hhhmmm, maybe the wrong choice of words! Others would beg to differ if I use the words 'grew up in a sentence about myself!

Ok, when I was younger I watched so many documentaries and read so many books with beautiful photos of Asia.

Around me tonight there was so much going on and in each direction I turned my head was a real life version of a picture or documentary from my past. I kicked myself for not bringing my camera as I wanted to capture this evening, this feeling and share it with the world. There was so much color and so many picturesque moments of farmers clad in the distinct 'Asian' garments and performing normal daily things that we all know in the West as 'Asian'. Of course we all do the same things but one way is Eastern and the other is Western.

Some thoughts are hard to put into words without making a generalisation.

Though it has become normal for me now, this night life was jumping at me trying to tell me NOT to take it all for granted and maybe never to allow it to become 'too normal'. It's hard to comprehend how such a vision could become so normal.

Picture an elderly woman carrying two wooden buckets of water using a bamboo shoulder stick. She is walking along a dirt track and on either side of her are fields. In these fields are women with traditional cone shaped bamboo hats on either picking tiny tomatos or planting rice.

In the tomato fields you can't see most of the women but you can see their hats poking above the green blanket of tomato plants. As I rode I could hear them yelling 'HELLOWWWW' at me but all I could see was a little bamboo hat. The rice fields are like muddy ponds. Some of them have the male farmer walking behind his beast or some other crazy machine from yesteryear readying it for its next crop.

Other rice fields have the women walking barefoot through mud that is nearing their knees.

In their hands are rice plants or shoots (I have no idea of the correct term). As they walk they throw the shoots into the mud like a dart. Where it lands it stays sticking half in and half out. As they walk along they leave trails of rice plants that end in a perfect line. This then creates the beautiful pictures you can see in my travelogue entries along with those we see in our travel brochures back home. It takes so much work to farm rice. So much time goes into planting it. Lisa will never leave rice uneaten.

Her parents are farmers and she can never waste what takes so much time and effort to create.

The photo I have attached is of the little street corner where I wait for Lisa. It was a photo I was actually going to delete but when I really looked at it it made me stop for awhile and really. In it you can of course see Lisa, but shes not the reason I attached the photo.

It's the little things going on around me. It's the little baskets that are used for carrying almost everything here in rural China.

Much of the time I have to dodge and weave my way through the main street. You can also see them on either side of motor bikes. They are all sitting upon the famous bamboo pole. It's crazy that things such as this can become normal. It's so old, it's so basic and it's now so normal.

So normal that to live without it would feel strange and take quite a bit to get used to.

You can also see the motorbike taxis that are all over Asia. Here they are called, um, just say Summer Jay but say it quickly (Summajay). I think of them as a Tuk Tuk. Two RMB a ride anywhere in town. So thats 25 cents!

I was captivated by pictures such as these throughout my childhood.

It was these moments captured and frozen in time that opened my hearts yearning to travel these lands. I was again awed six years ago when I first placed foot upon the huge Asian continent and made my way through its lush fields. For most this is how we picture Asia.

For me over a year ago I chose to change my life completely to make it my home.

I now eat at the market place with these same farmers and teach their children. I share a beer with them as they relax after a hard days work. I have been invited to countless of their family homes to share the food they raise and grow in the fields outside their warm doorstep. Some choose the city to teach in, I choose the small dusty, yet warm township that is surrounded by the 'real' moments in time that I was captivated by as a child.

This has become my life and a normal day.

Oh it pulls the heart strings doesn't it!

Beers N Noodles toya....shane

The famous bamboo poles

The famous bamboo poles

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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