Living on the edge of a dessert plateau brings a lot of dirt into one’s life. Dirt in the air, dirt on the bus seats, dirt on the windows, dirt on the couch after someone has been sitting there, dirt in your hair, dirt on your face, dirt in your food if you’re not careful or if you don’t care.
It has lessoned during the spring months. There are bushes, trees and grass to stop much of the dirt blowing around. But dirt does seem to be an accepted part of everyday life in this part of western China.
It also seems, however, that people living here in this dry and dusty part of the country value color very much. Flowers are growing in varying colors. Bright and sometimes neon yellow or pink jackets can be seen for sale at many clothes markets. Colorful shoes are in sharp contrast to the white tennis shoes, black and brown leather shoes you would see back in Minnesota.
Umbrellas though, wow, umbrellas here hold a wonder and fascination for me! In fact, I almost look forward to the dreary rainy days. Not only do they stop the dirt from blowing around, but they immediately bring cheer to the whole city as bright, colorful umbrellas can be seen bobbing along the streets.