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.

Comments

Awesome analysis of the

Awesome analysis of the difference between being a tourist with narrow focus vs. being a visitor with broader perspective. I find much of China to be similar. When I was in Xi'An, it was easy to look at the walls, pagodas, and lights. But my favorite part was a street dedicated to calligraphy and textbook shops because the street was originally the road to an old confucian school.

Thanks for sharing!
Mr B

Hi! I am Marco, a student of SAS from 2006 to 2017. I was part of the Tactical trip, which was in Xizhou during May 2017. My family comes from Hong Kong. I have two twin sisters who are two years older than me. One of them, Charlotte K, is a Microcampus alumni. I love to read, learn and take risks, all of which I have done plentifully in Microcampus. I have had so much fun in Xizhou, especially as I improved myself and realised so much about rural China. What I have learned in Xizhou is truly unforgettable and important to me.