... somewhere in the ancient city of Pingyao
Although back home for 2 weeks now, I am still thinking and dreaming about the days in China. I am looking through the pictures and it all seems so surreal, almost as if I flip through a book of fairy tales, as if I watch a historical movie...
Well, in a way Pingyao comes as close as it can be to just that: a place that is still the way it was one hundred + years ago, completely untouched by modern times. The city of Pingyao is the only Chinese city with an intact city wall hundreds of years old, with over 3,000 courtyard houses, numerous Buddhist temples miraculously saved from the red army's vandalism attacks, and also the birthplace of a national draft banking system formed in the 19th century. Pingyao is where the home of the Qiao family is, the only "common" people who's life style was as close to Chinese royalty's as it can get! The Qiao's Compound is the location where Jhang Yamou's Raise the Red Lanterns was filmed. We spent a good day walking through its ancient streets, the wall, the temples, the markets. We met some very friendly locals and one not so keen to form a friendship rooster!
Well, knowing my interest in roosters or at least in their form, shape and ego(!) (as subjects for my paintings), you will understand why I insisted in following him around his courtyard's favorite spots; although not welcomed by him -there were times I felt threatened...-, I did manage to photograph him in different poses of interest, annoyance, persuasion and attack: what a success!!!