Things I learned in Fu Yanhui's village outside of Pingsu, Jilin province:
1. Corn is corn is corn is corn and looks just like the states that grow corn, only China divides the fields differently, less efficiently.
2. Baijiu with the 6 am morning meal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu). Johnny Cash never sang about that.
3. The Village Wedding. A 6 day hoopla of which I participated in the last and most important two, or so i think.
4. Forms of transportation used: walking (mainly up large hills), motorcycle, three wheeled cart, bus, cab, standing ticket train(where you have no seat and must stand), train. The only form we didn't use that was available was donkey driven cart, because that is for getting produce to market.
5. Corn. Did I mention corn. Corn. Corn.
6. Meat & potatoes with almost every meal. I felt like I was back in Michigan.
7. The Kang. A kang is a bed heated by the fire you use to cook food. The kang-bed runs the length of the bedroom/living room. The whole family sleeps on the kang. It is the center of activity. Mahjong is played on the kang. Pai is played on the kang. When sleeping on the kang, you face the wall. No one could tell me why, but that's how you do it.
8. A beautiful week with no computers and sparse cell phone coverage.
9. I'm sad to be in Beijing. I now think I understand James Merill's poem about wasting your life.
10. Kulturny is a trap. Bourgeoisie is a trap. "Middle Class" is a trap.
11. Only the impoverished and enslaved understand their condition, and they work despite the fact.