The old man had wrinkled skin that was weather-beaten from years spent working in the fields and seemingly possessed no teeth. “I’ve been sitting in the same spot, every day, for the last 10 years,” he said, through my translator. He told us about his 10 children. They had all moved to the city, lured by the promises of modern life. Too old now to work the land and with no children to take up his tools, he simply sits. “It is a good place to meet tourists and pose for photographs—to make money.”

The man lives in Dongchuan, part of what is known as the “Red Lands” – home to some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s perhaps no surprise that he can make money posing for photos in front of it, but still, I couldn’t help but admire his adaptability in the face of such change and upheaval.

8 mins reading time
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