After I left Happy's house, I went to another student's home; her English name is Sally. I was nervous before visiting Happy, because we hadn't been close before, I didn't feel that way about visiting Sally, as we were already good friends. (I did get much closer to Happy through the course of my visit with her.)
Sally's home is in a tiny fishing/salt-farming village called Pinghai (平海，Level or Peaceful Sea), located on an inlet of the ocean.
"Wait," you might say, "I thought salt was bad for most crops. How does one farm salt?"
I'm glad you asked. :-P
Now, I'm no expert or anything, but this is what Sally told me, and it seems to make sense. Since they're close to the ocean, their water is salty anyway. So they take that water and cover the ground shallowly--say about 6-8 inches at the most. Then they let the water evaporate, taking care that the salt stay in a very thin layer (that's what the big stone rolling pin is for). They collect it into piles somehow (I was there over a national holiday, so I didn't actually see anyone at work), and cover it with a tarp (see the striped one in the picture?) until they can sell it.
The other people in her hometown are mostly fisherpeople, and they are very protective of "their" waters, as you can see.
Sally kept apologizing that there was nothing to do there, but I loved it. It was beautiful, and even the everyday activities were interesting to me.
She did take me a few places, though. This is near the neighboring village, Gangkou, at the National Sea Turtle reserve. Because a normal China map doesn't have such tiny towns on it, I did some investigation on Google Earth. If you are curious, this is located on the peninsula at 22 degrees 32 minutes North, 114 degrees 53 minutes East. By the way, that was a real turtle at some point. I'm pretty sure that they preserved the corpse with tar, which is why it looks so...shiny.
We didn't see any turtles that weren't in captivity--I don't think it's the right time of year--but the best thing about this place was the beach:
(Some friendly little local girls, who were very excited to speak to their first foreigner.)
The ancient tree of Pinghai.
Me eating snails.
I also went back to Shenzhen with Sally; Shenzhen is where she has found a job, so she's living there now (with her sister), in a tiny one-room apartment. We spent our last day off at an amusement park, but since that's the first of two I've been to here, I'll save those pictures for my next post.
My last picture is for fans of Firefly/Serenity. If you're not a fan: move along, nothing to see here.
Remember! You can click on any photo to see more at my Picasa Web Album. This trip, especially, had lots of beautiful pictures.