Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Michael's uncle picked us up in Kaili last night, and drove us to Duyun, Michael's home town. Michael's mother is a really good cook, so she pretty much cooks for the whole tribe.

In Guizhou, the typical kitchen dining room configuration is a coal fired cook stove in the kitchen with a flat top that serves as a table. I have said before that one of the main myths of China is that the South China is warmer in the winter. It is warmer outside, but not inside. Hot water radiators are standard north of the river, but in South China you rarely see them. So people in South China generally wear the same winter clothes inside as they do outside.

But that cook stove you see in the picture is a furnace. I had a sweatshirt on, but I had to take it off, because it was too hot. I wouldn't go so far as to say that homes in Guizhou are warm in the winter, but the cook stove which forms the family center really makes a difference.

Michael's father is a driver. His uncle works for the railroad, and actually goes to Guiyang during the week and comes home on weekends. So we are having Chinese New Year at Michael's uncle's place, which is where we are both staying. Duyun is a pretty typical river town, with the hills of the city along both sides of the river. Lots of hills in Guizhou. But not much sun. In Guizhou they have a saying, "No three miles without a mountain, no three days without rain, and no three coins in any pocket."

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