For the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a granny sitting on a little plastic stool in the grass outside my building. Seeing grannies sitting on stools watching the world go by is a farly common sight in China, especially out on the streets and lanes. What’s struck me as a bit odd is her location all by herself under a tree, in this quite upscale high-rise housing development. Well, nevermind, if granny wants to go sit outside, she can sit outside. The weather’s been halfway decent recently, so it kind of makes sense. Also, maybe her daughter-in-law is driving her crazy and she goes out to get some peace and quiet!
Yesterday morning, as I was leaving my building I saw her standing in the parking lot, stool in hand. Heading out for a morning sit, I thought. Then I noticed something very odd. About 10 feet from her, right next to the big black Lexus, I spotted a chicken!! Yup! A chicken. Now, that in itself is odd enough, but closer observation revealed that said chicken had a pink plastic string around its foot, and the other end was firmly in granny’s hand. She was out taking a chicken for a walk! Keep in mind this is one of the more upscale housing developments on the west side of Beijing, and folks around here like to at least give the appearance of being rich, sophisticated city folk. Not granny. Her chicken needed to go for a walk, and if that meant dodging Cadillac SUV’s and Buicks, so be it!
You can take peasant out of the countryside, but you can’t take the countryside out of a peasant!