Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sunset over Yuanyang


As soon as I stepped off the bus in Xinjie, there was a rather hyper man asking, "Jacky's? Jacky's?" He was a minivan driver for hire, and he took me the 25 kilometers to where I was staying at Jacky's Guesthouse in Duoyishu. 

Along the way, he pulled over suddenly and motioned for me to get out and take pictures.  I snapped a few and then hopped back in and we were off again.  We stopped again briefly at another overlook, and at the third one, a large deck overlooking the valley, he hauled out a big camera and tripod of his own.  He kept trying to explain something to me; I got the point from his pantomime that we were going to wait here for sunset.   After about the fourth time he repeated what he was saying, I realized he was trying to say "sunset" in English, but mangling it so badly that I thought he was saying something in Chinese. English wasn't his strong point...using my limited Chinese, I learned that his name is Xiao Ma Ge, and he is a local of the Hani minority.  

As we watched the sun sink lower, he kept up his excitement and saying "piaoliang!", which means beautiful.  It seemed a bit much for a local who must have seen similar scenes many times, but from his demeanor I gather that he's a rather excitable person in general. 

Watching the same scene for half an hour might get boring, but the clouds were rolling swiftly through the valley, and trees and mountains drifted in and out of view in an ever-changing scene.  A hilltop with tall pines became an island in the clouds, and made me think of castle turrets rising out of the fog. Maybe I'll write a story...

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