Day 12: Analysis of Xizhou
If any future Microcampus students are reading: Rethink what a "rural village" is.
You may expect a rural village to be covered with farm fields and nature all around, and with shops and houses pretty rare. Something like this. Xizhou is much more developed than you think, and parts of it (especially at the entrance of town) look much, much more urban. Soil, and even plants, are infrequent, as Xizhou is incredibly dry. Streets are narrow and often filled with motorbikes and cars parked by the sides. Art sellers and clothing shops open on every street. There are coffee shops, electronic stores, and large villas, often split between multiple families.
Yet, if you know where to look, you see traces of the old. Dilapidating, crumbling walls that contain the remnants of paint and plaster. Elders, sticking to their traditional crafts of embroidery and woodworking. A morning market, filled with fruit and tea sellers. This is the ghost of a poorer, isolated town, dead for only a few decades. This is what tourists skim by, even though it could easily keep you busy for weeks on end. Xizhou is an amazing place.