Ever since we showed up here, I’ve wondered what these guys think about while they fish (usually) alone all day. Turns out, they apparently aren’t thinking about much of anything – on purpose. They’re doing this for their health.
(Click either photo to see a bigger size. You can see our apartment in the second photo’s far left edge. We’re on the top corner of the building closest to the camera. The guy in the middle is Mr. Lu, our neighbourhood bike repairman.)
We had an awesome culture lecture about how to celebrate Chinese New Year from an older man who does calligraphy, and also teaches foreigners Chinese and Chinese English, among other things. Aside from providing a lot of enthusiasm and good information, he tried to teach us how to use a Chinese yo-yo.
He also talked about the old men who fish all day, and why they do it. He says it’s not about the fish; it’s about their health. When they fish, they just sit. They only look at and think about one thing: the floater in the water right in front of them, tuning out everything else. They try to clear their mind of all the worries of life. Traditional Chinese medical perspectives see more relationship between physical and emotional health, this de-stressing, non-worrying, mentally and emotionally calming experience is thought to improve their health and lengthen their life.
So, fishing is healthy.
You can see more ice-fishing photos here (now with slideshows!).