As I packed my bags for China I dreamt of rice fields. I'd stumbled across so many photos, eaten so much rice, but never actually seen a real live crop. When my brother told me that we'd be heading to rural China I knew that my chance was finally here. We ventured to Hubei province by air and then drove into its depths, ending up in Mengxi where we'd be making our home for the next week. More to come on Hubei and the town, but for now I want to start off my China recap with the fields.
While we were in Mengxi, we drove past the growing rice every day. I told my brother that my only request before we left was to go walk by the fields in person. I wanted to see them up close. I wanted to physically visit and spend time. Our last day in Mengxi my dream came true. We spent the afternoon walking around in muggy heat exploring the fields. Farmers worked away, water buffalo patiently waited tied to the ground. There were big drainage systems to fill and empty the plots with water. It didn't matter that we didn't own the land, we were welcome to wander the pastures.
To me those field represent a rustic and primitive way of life. People working the land. Going home to concrete building full of family members, and all eating one big dish. Comfort isn't something they find much of. What makes them happy are no bumps in the road. The same meal their whole lives, thriving crops, that's what they need to get by.
Extending for days, the rice fields were one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I will never ever forget the experience nor the culture they represent.