On a morning walk in Changkou, I poked my head gingerly through these open doors, and was greeted by a tidy courtyard. Surrounded by traditional-looking houses, and some big sunflowers.
At first the courtyard seemed deserted. Soon an elderly lady emerged. I got ready to beat a hasty retreat but she seemed friendly. She actually invited us to look around when she found out that we were from Hong Kong and were helping out at the Jubilee School. Then her equally friendly hushand also emerged. And we chatted.
They have been living there for ages; their son works at a local construction site (I wonder whether it is the potato-processing factory being built near the Jubilee School); their grandchildren are in school (will they stay in town when they grow up?); ...
The houses were built in traditional styles, with tiled roofs supported by wooden beams, wooden framed windows (covered with plastic instead of paper), coal fired kangs (炕), ...
They came to the door to send us off when we bid them farewell.
Despite the skull cap, they are Hans. As evidenced by the pigs that they keep.
Not surprisingly, part of the pigs’ diet consists of dried potatoes.