An interesting anecdote: Last semester when I was writing my exams there was a bit about the fall season. The article made mention to people raking the leaves in their yard. In order to accommodate my Chinese students I knew that I had to change ‘raking’ to ‘sweeping.’
We are often woken by the early morning sounds of Mrs. Liu sweeping the leaves with a straw broom. It is a common sight in Kaifeng to see people such as this as they go about their daily business, keeping the streets clean. I appreciate these people… I only wish that they would wait until at least 8 AM to sweep outside of our windows.
Today I gave one of my favorite leaf sweeper/ground cleaner people a nice cool popsicle. He’s my favorite because no matter how hot or how cold it is he is always hanging out in front of our apartments. This job and this university is his life. He always greets me with a big smile, and although I can’t speak with him, I am almost one-hundred percent sure that he’s a really good person. I know that it’s hard to believe that such a wordless friendship can exist, but I think I could call this man my friend.