An all-day bike ride along the Erhai lake, winding past vibrant farm fields of rich green and florescent yellow canola. Those crops are beautiful to look at when passing by, but many calloused hands must produce and maintain them each day.
Learning about new people groups in each location we traveled to. Naxi, Bai, Yi and Hani are a few of the minorities that give southwestern China a different flavor than mainland. How did I not realize the vast diversity of people living within China’s boarders?
Stooped, elderly folks giving toothless grins from beneath straw hats and youth using various modes of transportation to scoot along a path at dusk. A tiny girl in pigtails steers her miniature car down the path with clear determination. Each one of these people, young and old, have a story to tell. What is it?
Roosters crowing outside our Dali guest house, causing a bit of frustration in the wee hours of the morning. I pull up the covers and dip back into sporadic sleep. Which is worse, an obnoxious alarm clock or a rooster who doesn’t know what time it is?
Haggling for shoes with a young shop owner in the active tangle of Lijiang shops. I shave thirty yuan off the original price with my marginal bargaining skills and ask her where she comes from, “Ni lai zi nali?” The girl confirms that she’s from Lijiang. Appreciating my question, she offers me some of the local flavored meat she’s snacking on and I gladly accept.
Watching the sun come up in the Tiger Leaping Gorge and being overwhelmed by yet another gorgeous mountain range. You too can pay a very low price to stay at an establishment with such an incredible view! As long as you’re willing to hike.
Surveying a snow-covered stupa on a Shangri-La mountain while cold wind whips around wildly, tugging at scattered mantra flags. Buddhism’s influence is various and far-reaching.
These are just a few of the memories that have settled into the corners of mind after weeks of travel. I’m reminded that my perspective of the world can be so limited. Glimpses into faces and places very different from my own are what I consider to be eye-opening privileges for growth. Thank you for broadening my perspective a bit, Yunnan.