Publié le par chrislzh

That was one of the scariest rides home of my life last night. Well, that's probably an exaggeration. And actually, it was fine once we got onto something approaching a road.

It started with us piling the corn onto the back of the bengbengche. When the tray was filled up, the remaining corn was put into sacks and put on top. Then when the two seats in the front were taken, the remaining people were piled on top of the corn. So that's how I got to be sitting on top of a pile of corn on a vehicle whose stability I never had much faith in.

Leaving the corn field was ok. But then we had to drive down a series of ruts, bumps and potholes between the fields, some of which were clearly designed to tip corn-laden bengbengche into the various ditches, holes, and whatever else that lined the 'path'. But fortunately we made it, intact, with me still perched on top of the corn hanging on for grim life, to the road. This was only a small, backroad, though, and it led us under the railway line, across the construction site which will apparently become a replacement for the current highway, up to State Highway 110.

Which meant, of course, that we had to cross State Highway 110. Cross? More like run the gauntlet of speeding, overloaded trucks with drivers more likely to be asleep than awake. I hope they hurry up and finish the new highway and then force all the trucks to use it, 'cos crossing the current highway can be a nightmare even at the best of times.

Well, we got across the highway safe and sound, and back on to the farm tracks safe from the trucks. These tracks were much more level, though, and I had no fear of being tipped into the leftovers of somebody's harvest with a ton or two of corn falling on top of me.

So how did I get to be on this pile of corn in the first place? Well, one of the annoying things about life up here is that I'm almost never allowed to help out. I spend most mornings up here drinking tea and watching DVDs, and most afternoons and evenings drinking beer and watching DVDs or TV. Some days I'll wander up the mountains for a bit of exercise and to get away from it all. I am allowed, and sometimes drafted into, helping out with a few small tasks, mostly around the house, like loading, unloading or repairing the bengbengche, rounding up escaped sheep, little things like that, but usually when I offer to help, I'm told to sit down, shut up, and stay at home and amuse myself. Which is how I often wind up drinking a crate of beer in only two or three days. Anyway, yesterday afternoon, despite having been sick for three days (Day 1: bad cold, no apetite; Days 2 and 3: la duzi, even less apetite) I really wanted to get out of the house and so I insisted on going along and helping harvest the corn. So I did.

The inevitable result, though, of going out to do manual labour despite having eaten very little for three days was that I started to run out of energy before the work was even finished. But I'd taken some food along with me for precisely that reason, and I managed to keep going and help out in little ways until the bengbengche was loaded and I was piled on top. And by the time we rattled up to the courtyard gate I'd recovered enough to help unload.

So it was good to finally be allowed to help out with the harvest, more than just the usual helping unload the bengbengche. Of course, lzh has banned me from helping again this morning, and I am under orders to just stay home and rest. Rest from what, I don't know, but never mind.

Publié dans chrislzh

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