Village life in pictures
This is my hometown. I lived here for close to 16 years before heading to the college in Beijing in 1981. My mom and many of my childhood friends love this place, as they have been living here all their lives. To them, this is the best place in the world. Some of them even tried to convince me to move back to here permanently. It sounds like they each have the intrusive right to tell me where and how I should live my life, ha ha.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Today I’d like to share more pictures about the life in this village.
Water, and water:
Am I complaining about this village again? I know I should stay positive. A week ago, I went to my friend’s place in the town, and finally took a shower. The town is 7 miles away. When was the last time I took a shower? I don’t remember it. It must be 3 or 4 weeks ago.
My friend told me to go to her place whenever I need a shower, but I don’t like to bother her that often. How much difference does it make if I take a shower weekly, or every 2, 3 or even 4 weeks?
This centralized well does need protections, as the whole village depends on it. But how to protect it? The simple fence and door/lock won’t do much trick.
Last Friday, the water for the whole village stopped for almost 24 hours. Probably some pipes were broken due to the chilly weather. My family had to think about how to use less water, and let the water in the clay pot last longer. We were not sure when the water would be back. In the worse scenario, we would have to use the hand-pump well as a temporary backup.
As you can see, running water is still an issue here.
Since there is no running water, the in-door toilet is out of the question. It’s horrible to go to the outside, at the temperature around 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees in Celsius), with the chilly wind blowing. But it has been this way for thousands of years.
Winter room heating:
This is the stove at my mom’s place. Only one room is heated, and I have to share the room with my mom in the winter. Privacy? What is privacy?
Sometimes I’m worried about the carbon monoxide, as there is no CO detector here. But it has been this way for many years, and it seems the local people don’t worry about it. CO was not a concern to me either when I was growing up here.
This stove is also used for cooking. Last week, I was chatting with my college buddies about this stove. They said: “Helen, roast some sweet potato on the stove.” I tried, and it tasted pretty well. Thank you, my friends, you enriched my exile life.
There are other ways to do cooking as well: using electricity, the gas container, or the traditional wind blower and the huge pot.
There is a small electric wind blower hidden behind the red box. The manual wind blower is used as an alternative, or as a backup during the power outage.
Traffic here is not good, and is a mix of chaos and order. In the town, there are only a few traffic lights. My friend has about one year driving experience, and never wears the safety belt. But she handled this mess very well. I’m getting freaking nervous when sitting in a car or a bus.
I hope those pictures give you a glimpse about the life in this village. The other day, GYM of Gen Y Money said she liked to see more pictures about this village. She inspired me to explore and record it. Thank you, GYM.