Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you
These pictures were taken during my first Walk About in Tianyang. I fell in love with the town upon arrival. It's maybe a little dirty or dusty for some, maybe a little too small for others, but me, I love it!
Tianyang is built along the one main road in town. It's also the road that takes you from Nanning to Kunming with Baise being only one hours bus ride...that is if the bus leaves straight away. Usually, it doesn't. As with most forms of transport in China with more than two seats, it won't move until it's full.
So Baise, it's about a 2 hour bus ride away!
The main road is a heap of fun to cross especially after a big night at the Market Place with friends. Use the towns only set of traffic lights I hear you say. I would, if I wanted to die! No, traffic lights in Tianyang only tell the little things that are going straight to stop. The bigger things like trucks and buses, the things that would really hurt just keep going. Also, in China, anything turning has the right away.
So, I take my chances crossing the road and doging anything that moves that hasn't been cooked!
You'll be able to tell the towns main square in the photos...it's big, it's concrete and it's boring to look at. It begins at the main road and goes way back to the lake in the photos. On the other side of the main road from the square is the towns Market Place. It's the hive of activity and a heap of fun. My little school is accross from where the square meets the lake, so I'm right in the middle of things.
A heap of fun when the KTV's booming, especially when there are about 4 of them within the 40 second walk to the square and the main road.
Behind the lake are the tomato fields or farms. Infact, the entire area is made up of farms. Like I said, the town is built along the main road and only one street back from the main road is farm land. Where I am is the only real built up area, but it only goes back about 4 streets before you hit farm land. Anyhow, behind the Lake is BBQ Street. At night time it is filled with beer guzzling males and beautiful tea and water drinking females. The one thing they share in common is what goes on the BBQ. Anything goes on the BBQ in Tianyang. I've eaten things from Pigs Eyes to Frogs to Throaty bits from who knows what.
BBQ Street is a heap of fun....if you dare.
I spend my lunch times and weekends walking around the towns farm lands. I love the way the fields change every few months. One month rice, next month or two tomatoes followed by corn in some and water melons in others. Oh yeah, I'm writing this on the 11th September 2005 but the photos were taken back in February/March so I'll just add it here.
The people, the people are poor. Some aren't ofcourse but mostly they are farmers. I earn in one month, probably more than most would earn in a year. Sounds heartless yes, but if you compare it to Australian money, you couldn't live on it at home! There are some cars ofcourse but most are passing through. Most people ride bikes and electric scooters. Most farmers cart their goods to the market on three wheeler bikes.
The farmers with less money use a push/pull cart.
It always jolts my heart to see both men and women struggling to push a full cart along the road, usually in little plastic flip flops. I've added a photo of this common sight on our roads, it's become pretty much the norm for me now which I'm unsure if that is a sad fact, but it's reality. Sometimes I'll climb onboard and get a ride just to make them giggle and laugh. On one or two occassions I've had them on the carts and me struggling to ride, push or pull the cart along. Like all countries, life is very VERY hard for the farmers here and financially non rewarding.
They are farmers, will always be farmers and most of the time their kids will be farmers.
But I'm happy to say, I've spent alot of time with the farming families. Whilst out walking I'm invited in for a beer or dinner. They, like in most countries, they are some of the most unselfish and giving people you will ever hope to meet. They have sweet bugger all but would give you what ever they have of the world. They have dirt floors, one barelight globe, bare wiring, holes in their shabby walls, a little black and white TV and radio, usually no DVD and never a house phone. They usually don't have a toilet, it's either a little bit of the animal pod with trees grown around it or mate, it's in with the pigs you go.
But they always have a smile, good cheer and an open plate for you and each other.
Alot of my students are from farming families. They are smart, funny and very hardworking especially out of school and on weekends. Where they find the time to actually go to school I have no idea. How they do their homework I have no idea. One of my students parents runs a food stall at the market place just down from where I sit. I see her working until 11:00 to 12:00 alot of nights serving food, washing dishes etc and she is only 10 years old. She tries so hard and gets so frustrated. She is so tired, she drops off to sleep in class as do other students. I try to sit with her on her work breaks and we go through her English books. I've noticed when I'm around her mother allows her as much time as i'm willing to spend with her. Like all the kids in my area, they don't have much at all but they are still happy.
I guess this goes for most kids in their situation.
That is my Tianyang, and why I love it so much. It may be one of those towns that most pass on through but I'm glad I stopped and stayed.
Beers N Noodles Toya...shane