It was another birthday but given this week’s events, I wasn’t in a celebratory mood. In fact, all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed, binge watch Better Things (love this show!) and eat chocolate. But we needed to do something and getting out of the city was the next best thing.
In search of handmade wicker crafts, we took Driver Don out for the day to go to a little village in Jimo city about 2 hours from Qingdao. Sounds sorta random to journey this far out to see something you can find in any store or market. But it felt more like going back in time, and a racing against time, to a witness a dying art form (sadly enough). From the highway we took a dirt road to get to town, got lost, then took another dirt road the opposite direction to tumble upon this humble farm village that peeked out behind the fields like a curious child playing hide and seek.
Once we arrived, it was the solace we all needed. Pure tranquility and a visit back to an honest way of life.
This little village was surprisingly vibrant and colorful. Many of these villages in China have a …well…industrialized and conventional look about them. But this village had a soft spoken energy about it. Dynamic yet modest.
From where we parked, we still walked through the fields and the cabbage patch to get to the crafts.
And then we arrived to this little… “Umm…Don what is this exactly?”
“Please go inside,” Don replies.
“Uh…Shenme?? Why is my in-slow-motion day dream being abruptly interrupted with a movie circa 1990 [that destroyed my innocence and all faith in man-kind] ringing in my head? Are those the cries of Clarise I hear? or her ill-fated lambs? If we agree to your persuasive, yet menacing request to ‘go inside’, can we come back out? You know what, I’m gonna take a step back and use the birthday card. Really, you first. I insist.”
The brave one. See you on the other side, Jo!
But what we saw inside was beyond our expectation.
A small, dark cellar that was built to keep the wicker cool and moist so it stays pliable.
Handmade in China. A modern-day oxymoron.
Imagine the stories these hands could tell.
It takes him a full day to make this grain sifter, endlessly sitting and bending forward on this rickety stool. Just from writing this post on my cushy kitchen chair, my back is hurts. Now that’s achingly embarrassing.
Time to head home for lunch…
while we went shopping out of their storage closet!
Thank you ladies for a lovely birthday. And thank you Renee Dustman for lending me your beautiful photos! You just have this knack for catching the moment.
So now how to get there? I can only recommend you call Driver Don to take you on a day trip there. It was worth it.