I didn't come to China for glittering shopping malls and designer brands, real or faked. I came for tiled roofs, mosaic murals lining the canal, street markets, leafy neighborhood parks where old men exercise while waving swords or whips, tiny shops selling glimmering lengths of silk in rich jewel colors hanging from bamboo poles, pieces of white and green jade carved into amazing sculptures, wizened old peasant ladies with flowered blouses and gold teeth who seem to regard Life (and foreigners) as a cosmic joke. Boshan has all this, check, check, check and check.
After breakfast, it was back on the bus to visit another district and do some more filming. And not four hours later, we were sitting down to another banquet!
Although China's official retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men, meaning that I'm already past the retirement age, I've seen many street sweepers and gardeners at work who appear to be much older than that. Maybe working in traffic armed only with a day-glo vest and a homemade broom has turned their hair prematurely grey. This article explains that rural Chinese and people who work in the "informal" sector don't enjoy the pension benefits of urban white collar people.
More about why we were gallivanting about with a film crew soon.