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Friday, October 24, 2014

Baisha Village, Yunnan, China

When you make a two week trip to a country the size of China, it is very hard to figure out what exactly you are going to love and when you are going to wish that you had skipped.  I made many very traditional choices for my first trip, but choosing to travel to Yunnan was off the typical script and I am very happy that I made that choice.

A number of reasons why.  The first is that the region still has a number of towns that are not sky scrapers shadowing what used to be traditional life (although the occasional shopper wearing a mask, which is reminiscent of people living in highly dense communities where  illness can spread like wild fire, and not on the wide streets of this village that lacked even cars).  It was a relief to see this part of China.

Another is that the food culture of the country is so different from mine that I wanted to see more and more of what was different, and these villages afford that kind of window shopping.  The abundance of food is the first thing that struck me.  Not all of it fresh, but the culture of preserving food (rather than wasting it) is very appealing to me.  The amount of food that is grown in western countries that is never eater--either it rots in the field, or doesn't get sold, or gets thrown away by the consumer--is about half of food grown.  The front end of that problem seems less likely in China.  So much dried food everywhere and so much fun to ogle at.

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