Welcome to Cupertino

So Megan, our Scottish girl, thought it would be a good idea to bring some sticky, moisturizing face masks to the long bus trip to Hongkeng (not kong) and hand them out to us. The best part of the journey were the faces of the Chinese people who were boarding the bus at every stop.

Honkeng is a remote little village that gives you an idea of what it was like to live in the countryside a few decades ago. We were staying in a beautiful, old, wooden three-story building with a lovely inner courtyard.

There are not that many ancient buildings in China since they‘re made of wood and most cases. If you’re not taking good care of them for a few years, they’re gone forever. The people who live here are mainly able to do so because of the visitors who spend a night or two amongst them in their old house. The village is supposed to be very popular with Chinese visitors during the Chinese New Year celebrations, but while we were here, we had the area for ourselves.

The round Hakka building which looks like a 100-year-old version of the main building of Apple’s new Cupertino campus was build to house a large number of people while protecting them from wild tigers and other animals as well as robberies.

The outside is unspectacular, but the inside is beautiful. In the old days, it housed up to 200 people. Today, 40 still live inside. The others have moved to the cities.

In the old days, every Chinese village would pick their biggest tree as a meeting point where the village’s oldest people would gather every day to offer their sageness to the residents and smooth down differences between them. When we walked past this village’s chosen tree, there was only one old man. Thinking back, I regret not staying with him for a bit to get some life advice. He did scream something at us in Chinese. Maybe we all took a pass on some genuinely enlightening wisdom. (Could also have been something like “Get off my lawn! All of you!”)

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