What Woman sees… take VIII… Jingmen, Hubei

I have been sorting through some of my things beginning to pack to move, and  came across an old zip drive.

And much to my surprise, it was the long lost disk of my trip to my former home of Jingmen City, Hubei.

Hubei is a strange province in China, it has almost nine provinces surrounding it’s provincial boarder so that means it is really a bastard of a province. It’s own local “flare” has been integrated with all the rest of the them. The food here is the most delicious food on the planet in my opinion. It is one of the fish provinces and cray fish and crab parts of China, and even Mighty Mao praised Wuhan for the fish.

Try as you might, anywhere else you go in China, they try to make Hubei food, but it is just not the same.

They people here in Hubei are Han Chinese, and just like most of China, no internal building heat or air conditioning, it is a monsoon/sub-tropical climate where it looks like the pictures from about October to April. Very rarely you might get a sunny day in there!!! It is that wet-windy cold that chills your bones that no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get rid of it. But the summer is hot as hell, hot and humid and I cannot recall a dry day in six years. In the summer mornings, you can see the water droplets in the air.

I had a few hundred photos and I wanted to show you all because for six years that was my home and it tore my heart out when I left it. When my former school told me that they could no longer afford to employ a foreign teacher I cried like a little baby. And as soon as news spread that I was going to be looking for a job, all the schools in the city wanted me to come work for them.

I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t live in the city and work for a different school. I loved my bosses, I loved my fellow teachers, my teachers became my family, and my students were high school kids so they were hormonal time bombs. But I loved them for it.

So I left the city, and when I left, I cried almost the whole twenty hour train ride to Beijing.

Anyways, here is a selection of photos from around the city, some temples, parks, OH! And even one of my former students who opened up a “peasents restaurant”.

These restaurants are pretty famous in central China. They charge a lot more for the dishes because the food is usually home grown and hand made (so yes, be weary of chipped teeth from the flat bread), but the meat as you can see is grown there, the fish is freshly caught.

But it was amazing and fun!!! My former headmaster arranged for all my old teacher friends to meet us at this restaurant as a surprise and to see my former student doing what she has always dreamed of doing, and her family supporting her and knowing that she is chasing her dream because I helped her find her courage to stand up…

Well. I wept like a little baby when I walked into the room and everyone was there.

Now I know this is an adult style blog and I really shouldn’t have pictures of kids anywhere on the blog, but Red Bean is just so adorable!!! (the little girl in red dancing)

But here you have it folks, other pictures of China. I’ve shown you tons of Inner Mongolia, some of Beijing, but over the next few months, I’ll be sharing (as I come across them if I still have them, lots got ruined in the flood and most were hard copy as digital wasn’t around that much back then) more around China pictures with you all.

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~ by Woman on August 6, 2012.

10 Responses to “What Woman sees… take VIII… Jingmen, Hubei”

  1. Some great images there, Woman. You have a wonderful eye with the camera. :)

    • It is always easy to take great photos if you love the subject matter no matter your level of photographic talent darling!!!! I am glad you liked them!

  2. Incredible shots, my friend!
    I LOVED this one!

    • Just you wait Mister The Hook darling till I find the zip drives of my visits to Suzhou. I think I might just knock your socks off with those ones!!!

  3. Terrific stuff! I’d love to watch you in your own travel documentary like when Michael Palin did his Around the World and Pole to Pole and Full Circle and others.

    • I do not know who Michael Palin is… but I go to live and experience culture not just a travel/vacation/tour. I have never seen the point of that one!!! To live and spend time learning the local culture and traditions… that is the fun!

  4. I’m curious how you could live in such an isolated, semi-rural town for so long? It seems even the most idealistic expats (e.g., Peter Hessler) quickly escaped to Beijing after a couple of years in the Chinese heartland. The urban life does not appeal to you?

    • I’ve never liked the big city. I have always loved countryish living. Beijing is not really China. It’s lost msot of the Chinese character in my opinion.

      Before China I lived in Nunavut for a couple of years which was worse off than Jingmen… well… more people did speak English in Nunanvut though. So in some sense Jingmen was a step up than Northern Canada!!!!

      Besides… I am here to explore the culture and pass on knowledge. The bigger the city the harder it is to do what I am passionate about!

      Thank-you for the comment and thanks for swinging by!!!!

      • Points well taken. Well, you definitely seem to have the grit and the means to live in a place as grim as central China. Perhaps one day you could publish a book to pass on your unique experience – Hessler shunned anything related to sex in his book. Hope you have a more enjoyable experience in Africa.

        • There would be no point in writing a book about living in rural China. We have a saying… well many of us who have lived outside of the big cities here in China… go away for the weekend and the whole city changes.

          And that is very true. The China I knew while living in Hubei is no longer the China that remains.

          There are already quite a number of books about sex in China, but what I find hilarious about them and all the documentaries about sex in China… is that they are for cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Senzhen… and not the heart of China.

          It would be like comparing the whole country of United States to New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

          And it is just as you have said, why would you live in a place like that? Most people would never live outside the bigger cities because life there is a little more on the challenging side.

          Thank-you for your comments, and many thanks for returning to comment. You bring up many points as well, unfortunately, I am anything but normal or common.

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