Drying Tea, Pickling Cabbage

Tea dries, tulou

Cabbage, mud bricks

Grieving for Anthony Shadid, who died apparently of catastrophic asthma, covering the Syrian resistance, as always by giving voice to those otherwise unheard (“we write small to say something big” — quotes the Times op-ed). Our friendship began in Cairo ’91 or ’92; my best memories center on rookie days in NYC, Upper West and Brooklyn; Anthony terrifying me swimming in humongous waves off Jones Beach after a hurricane blew out to sea…loving his first Jewish chicken soup, Shabbat at my sister’s (“What do you call this?”).

Chess in tulou


The humanity of his reporting–so rightly praised by Pulitzer juries, readers, editors, colleagues. I tell all my students one of his great questions, useful almost always in interviews: “How so?”

Then you listen.

Hakka woman, pickling

A reporter who listens that well is practicing an art, fulfilling a godly obligation, in possession of a precious gift of compassion–and making a heavy choice, making sacrifices, to be in a position to listen for so long, so carefully.

Cabbage on wall


A very simple photo journal on drying plants in southern China, Fujian province, at clusters of tulou, “roundhouses,” a few hours from wealthy city Xiamen. The famous tulou (“too-low”) are dried-mud, multistory apartments 100s of years old. It’s tea- and cabbage-drying season. The Hakka, a minority group, pickle cabbage. They also sell China’s famous oolong tea.

Carrying tea

Harvesting greens


Tea-drying basket


Tulou exterior


Tulou cluster


Tulou central courtyard


Tourists overlook tulou


Ethan exits tulou


Road beside tulou

3 comments on “Drying Tea, Pickling Cabbage

  1. mikstidbits says:

    wow i love the photography!

    Like

  2. […] Drying Tea, Pickling Cabbage (coplansinchina.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. […] people are what we miss in war stories, with notable exceptions like Anthony Shadid‘s incredibly rich and profound coverage from inside Iraq.  The people, their culture, the […]

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