A while ago we took bus 35, the only bus which runs from our little Chinese village to the nearby city of Liangxiang, in the opposite direction.
Away from Liangxiang.
Along the way we got off & discovered the most beautiful organic fruit farm.
Today we decided to take the bus again.
But ride it until it stops.
Or returns to our village.
After 30 minutes it stopped, of ambling along beautiful country roads & through picturesque little villages.
The conductor asking us to disembark.
Google Maps, with the helpmof a sturdy VPN, informed us that we were in ZuCun, or Zu Village.
The place didn’t look like much, but we’ve learnt that the most exquisite treasures are around the corner, if only we are willing to take a walk.
Life is often like this.
Somewhere the bus stops & then we have to get off & if we are willing to walk where we are, we might just experience something great.
In the streets of Zu Village, as in the streets of all the villages on the way, corn is spread to dry, workers carefully turning it & working it, so the corn may fall off the cob & dry in the sun.
Happy yellow greet us everywhere.
We get ice cream from the nearest shop.
Then we walk.
Past old Chinese homes.
A pond where old men are fishing.
Then a country road.
Fields of corn & cabbage & nuts & berries.
A river accompanying us & friendly locals greeting us, as we make our way.
We walk past a paper factory.
Then a dam & sluices.
More fruit trees.
More fields of vegetables
Probably we’ll never set foot in Zu Village again.
But we were here.
We saw the old man & his dog, making a vegetable garden on its sidewalks.
We spoke to the boy who waits for the bus, at the end of its line, to carefully wash & clean it, while driver & conductor enjoy a meal.
We sat in the shade of an old Willow Tree.
Greeted the old men as they waited for a fish to bite & spent a moment with a Mom and her toddler who wanted to take a picture with Maddi & Sophia.
It wasn’t a ‘wow’-moment.
It was a quiet one.
A needed one.
We need quiet moments along our way.
We can’t always be on the Great Wall or at the Forbidden City.
In fact, mostly, real life, I think, is lived along forgotten paths, near insignificant little villages, where few tourists make their way.