Book One Photographs : Villages in Central China

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In Class Suzhou C. 2012
Taken in Suzhou C. 2012 Click the photo to read a story from Suzhou

When my book ‘Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story’ was finally published, I began work on collating all the travel stories and interesting events from particular places (irrespective of when I was there) into a series of books that are part travelogue but which broaden the field of my life’s experiences in China – something that I could not do in the first book because it would have been too big. In Book One of those travel adventures, I talk about various places that I visited in and around Honghu City in Hubei Province which is where I worked through 2003 and 2004.

When I first began publishing articles about my life in China, I did so through my column in Magic City Morning Star News. I did a series of 26 articles about life in Honghu which have since been transferred to the old KingsCalendar website.

One of those stories is about the Village of Hengji, a place in which I sometimes stayed at Spring Festival or for a little while in Summer. The photographs today are mainly of that little 300 person village, but I have also included some shots of two other places.

There are in fact two articles at Kingscalendar in relation to Hengji, the second just contains Extra photographs Hengji Village

Other Photo Files in this Book One Series include:

Book One : Photographs from Tanggu Tianjin China
Book One Photographs: Honghu City Hubei Province Rivers and Canals
Book One Photographs from Chibi
Book One Photographs: Yichang and Three Gorges Dam in China

Hengji Village – Hong Hu City – Not far from Wugou and Fengkou
Hubei Province Central China


The photo was taken 13 years ago and I have only improved with age. Here I am sitting up on the rooftop balcony with some of the village in the background.


Top left is the same view as the photo above but top right photo is off to the side of my position and is 100 yards/meters away. Bottom left is looking straight ahead – on zoom lens – into the fields of the village located on the other side of the creek and bottom right is a view from the other side of the rooftop looking back into the village.


The house sits facing the roadway and beside the road there is a creek. It was from this creek that I once was unwittingly drinking unsterilized water. Top right frame is of local kids fishing (and some times pissing) on our side of the creek and bottom right is the farmer and his wife on the other side of the creek (They probably speak a different dialect over there)


Top left looks from the rooftop down to the road and top right we are standing on the road (which today is made of cement). Bottom right is of the farmer ferrying rape plant stalks across the great divide, and bottom left is taken up the road a bit at a different village (maybe) of kids playing on and fishing from a footbridge.


There is nothing more annoying for me than listening to politically correct big mouthed ideologues who look at white skin and say ‘You don’t know what it is like for someone to live in a foreign country!‘ BS I don’t!

The kids used to turn up repeatedly throughout the day just to look at the foreigner, touch him, feel the hair on his (the monkey’s) arms and generally just gawk. China has changed a lot over the years but there have been times when a foreigner in a small town or village would attract huge crowds. Sometimes people would be known to suddenly come upon you, look up at your face and just plain scream! I’m not joking!

And let’s not forget the time some people said ‘Last time foreigners were here they (Japanese) killed many people. Maybe we should kill this foreigner!’ (TRUE story)

Looking down on the peasants

While one should not look down on peasants, it’s a difficult thing NOT to do when you are on the roof (top left frame). Since I took these photographs, you cannot see me standing on the rooftop. Bottom left frame shows a tractor loaded up approaching the house from the direction of the main road and bottom right shows kids approaching from the opposite direction.

I woke up one morning and went outside looking for a tree and came upon the most beautiful sunrise. I ran back in and got my camera and took several shots, the best of which I published in my column at Magic City. Unfortunately in my haste, I saved the edited (smaller) version of the best picture and lost the opportunity to frame that glorious big photograph.


Such a sense of awe looking at the sun rise


Getting around the village

The little tykes loved to salute me and hang onto me and have their photographs taken with me. Top right – out in the fields. I actually joined in the harvesting one year. I wasn’t very good at it. Bottom left frame is a scene behind the house and bottom right is coming in from the fields on the other side of those houses in the left frame.



These are just some shots from Daishi. I went in Spring Festival 2006 to visit my former teaching coordinator Lawrence. The bottom right frame shows a boy with a hand over his face. That is $1 – a name my brother and I called him because that is what his Chinese name sounded like and we could never say his name correctly.


Jung Feng

One day I was out with Lawrence and the driver (don’t know where we had been) and he informed me that he needed to stop off to see someone on the way back to the school. This little village of Jung Feng seemed smaller than Henji (which way back then had 300 people in it).

Jung Feng _1795
Foreigners certainly look funny. Just everyone has to come and have a look, blow gum bubbles, and steal the foreigners keys.

I hope you have enjoyed these pictures and the accompanying comments.

While Book One of Stories of China has not yet been published, ‘Finding Myself in China : A Politically Incorrect Story’ has been published. It can only be purchased in PDF format. If you would like to know why this is so, You can read about the reasons in Holding Authors to Ransom – and – How much in royalties do book authors get paid?

Since Google limits visibility of all sites not actively involved with Google advertising, my book is not likely to become widely known without the help of readers. If you have already purchased a copy of my book you could assist me by writing about it on facebook or just sharing this page with your friends.

Thank you.

Recent Articles by R.P. BenDedek

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Articles at
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Author of
The King’s Calendar : The Secret of Qumran -and –
Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story

Author: R.P. BenDedek

R.P. BenDedek was born in 1953 and grew up in Brisbane Australia. From 2003 to 2017 he has been teaching in The People's Republic of China. Along with photographic stories from China he has been writing social and political commentaries since 2004. He was the temporary editor of Magic City Morning Star from 2009 - 2016 and currently has a column at He is the author of a chronological history of ancient Israel titled 'the King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' and author of 'Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story.' He is divorced; has 5 children and 16 grandchildren. He is a 4th generation Australian from a racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse family. He has no time for Sociopathic Ideologues or Useful Idiots.

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