Happiness is where you find it
I stood on the riverbank of the Nujiang River in awe of the muddy currents and whirlpools flowing south along a gorge in Yunnan province.
We had stopped at the small town of Pihe halfway up a mountain. A young woman was selling apricots from a basket.
I took a look. She seemed to understand my interest. "Try one."
I replied, "I have a number of friends with me."
"Then take a few."
"Are you selling them?" I asked.
"Yes. 5 yuan a catty. You will probably get two dozen," the woman replied.
"You have a good voice and speak good Mandarin, " I said.
"I belong to one of the ethnic minority groups. I only went to primary school," she said with a smile.
What a friendly and unreserved woman, I thought to myself.
Upon hearing the story about the fruit seller's education, one of my fellow travellers paid five yuan for some of the apricots. And a second professor did the same.
The next day I learned accidentally from that professor that the apricot seller had returned the five yuan, saying the bag of apricots was a gift.
Life is hard for local people like our apricot seller. Transportation along the swirling river is not very convenient.
But statistics suggest that the happiness index for the area is very high.
This article was originally published in Chinese in the United Daily News (8 September, 2015).
21 September, 2015