LIJIANG, CHINA: “NAXI LIFE”

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Rooftops of Lijiang

Beautiful early morning view from my hostel’s 3rd floor.

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Small Square, Early Morning.

I love to get up early and explore places with the feeling of being virtually alone. Fortunately, I got that feeling this morning. This is a small square that by the afternoon, was overrun by tour groups with flag-waving guides.

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Water Wheels

‘Water Wheels,’ divide the ‘Old Town’ from the ‘New Town.’

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Early morning shot of a canal on the ‘New Town’ side.

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Chairman Mao. In a square near the business district. Taller than a mountain.

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‘Old Town’ Scenery

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My hangout for coffee and Tibetan beef momo dumplings. LAMU’S HOUSE OF TIBET. Tibetan Beef Momo Dumplings. Delicious!

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Smells Like Dead Spirits

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Bridge connecting two important trade streets back in the day. When they used to travel via horse carts…‘New Town’ Waterway

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Samurai Doggy & Girl

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Naxi woman

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Boy Praying

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The Naxi created a written language over 1000 years ago using an amazing system of pictographs. The ONLY hieroglyphic language still in use.

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Three wells that people still use for drinking and washing clothes.

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Three Friends in a Cafe

Lijiang has been the base of the Naxi minority for the last 1400 years. Naxi women wear blue blouses and trousers covered by a blue or black apron. The traditional cape apparently symbolizes the heavens.

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“I was lost for about two and a half hours in the windy, maze-like streets of Old Town…and came upon one of the coolest places ever — providing me with one of the coolest moments in my life...I happened upon this little door…it said ‘bar,’ but…it was just one room, dark room, with a voice that said (i couldn’t see anyone) ‘come in.’ I said ‘no, thanks’ and walked away…but ended up returning due to the intrigue…one room with a couch and pillows….”

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So, this is it. My dream dwelling. He just lies on the couch and listens to music…So, from the doorway, you can see the whole room. There’s no bar, really. He just hangs out here to relax during the day then has jam/drinking sessions with his friends every night…

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This is my favorite aspect of the room. A small stage with a chair and amplifier…a solitary black and white photo on the brick wall of hands strumming a guitar…a mini-horse’s saddle (?), half-drunk liquor bottles….just love it!

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Sorry for the blur — it was so dark in there, but I hate using a flash, distorts the color too much…so, this is him. We didn’t exchange names, he didn’t speak much English…see his guitar and the Bob Marley pic. We’d try to speak a little, then he would just recline and listen to his Chinese rock music…

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As I walked in, the beer shelf was to my right. There were only two kinds of beer, 1 Chinese and 1 Budweiser. I opted for the Chinese and then asked how much. He said ‘no money. free.’ And that’s how my afternoon with this cool guy began…

Lijiang, China. June 2009

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