How is the weather where you are,it is scorching here low to middle 30's,but a lot worse around Shanghai where people are doing videos of themselves cooking bacon on the pavement, we watched one earlier today ha-ha. I have just been out to fix a new reg plate on my new scooter it took about 15 minutes and I was drenched and nearly fainting with the heat.You have to have a certain reg plate and ID to get petrol for a motorbike or scooter here in Beijing and I didn't have it, but now everything is fine.
The French family whose son I was teaching have now moved to another area of China called Cong Qin which is a shame for us as we had become good friends, although they have already asked us to fly down and stay with them so that is something to look forward to.And as they were going they gave me the lovely large yellow scooter they had ( the one I have just mentioned ) it's a beauty, very powerful, I ride around thinking I'm Dennis Hopper in Easy rider haha although the name I have given it doesn't fit the image ( Daffy as in yellow daffodil). I am thinking of doing my bike test when I go home and getting myself a bike I really enjoy the freedom of it, I had forgotten what it felt like.
There is another boy I have been teaching for nearly a year now and his mother always sits with him I joke with her saying she is getting two lessons for the price of one as she joins in the lessons all the time,she is a very nice person with a very happy personality and already speaks very good English.The other day one of the words was homesick I asked her did she know it and she said yes,so I said give me an example and she said " I left home to go and study at college and at first I was very homesick but then I met my boyfriend and after we "made love" I was no longer homesick" ha-ha. What she meant of course was after I "fell in love" I was no longer homesick so I then had to explain the difference to her.
A travel magazine has just been in touch with me from Thailand asking for permission to use one of my photos for their September publication I have said yes as long as they publish my website address and acknowledge me as the photographer,thats a good start I hope. I have done a few close ups lately which I have posted on flickr and here on my website.
As you know I quite often visit old villages around Beijing to take photos especially the ones that are derelict or nearly deserted and I have always felt a lot of sympathy for the remaining villagers and felt they are being forcibly removed which is true although I knew they were compensated for it.I hadn't realized how much till Jun and I where riding through one near to where we live and we stopped to talk to this old guy.I was asking things like how many people are left in the village ,do you have somewhere to go to,do you still work the land etc. He said he was a retired taxi driver and they had lived on this land for a few generations although they don't own it, no one in the villages owns their land it has always belonged to the Gov,t ,they are give the equal in area space of their home and land around it which means he has been offered 4 new built apartments worth 800,000 pounds he could live in one and rent out the other three or sell them. So I of course said well that sounds very good to me considering you didn't own the land to start with so what's the problem? He then said no it's not enough I want more, to put this in context each of the apartments is worth 200,000 pounds that's the equivalent of Juns salary for 30 years,and he doesn,t think its enough. Welcome to the new Capitalist/Communist China