Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Just up the road from a Muslim butcher shop, across from a noodle stall popular with school kids, is a barbershop with one chair facing a cloudy mirror. On some days there are bags of rice piled up outside, but the barber never comes out to collar customers. Nor, in fact, have I ever seen anyone getting a haircut there. The barber sits on a stool and plays the erhu all day. Not needing a haircut or rice, I often stand outside and listen, imagine a different life – wind rippling the surface of a glacial lake, tea caravans snaking over mountain passes – as he pushes and pulls the horsehair bow between the strings.

winter afternoon
the Jade Green Mountains
behind me

by Bob Lucky
Hangzhou, China

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