Peter Hessler: Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip

09 October 2019

Once I went to the village alone, and while writing at my desk I had the sensation that I was being watched. I turned around and almost yelped — a man was standing in the middle of the room. He was one of the neighbors, a white-haired man in his sixties; his cloth shoes hadn’t made a sound when he entered. He was smiling softly, with the blank-eyed expression of somebody watching television — he hardly blinked when I turned around. That was the saving grace of Chinese staring: people never glanced away in embarrassment when you caught them looking, and it was hard not to respect such open curiosity.

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