Monday, August 4, 2008

The "master" in the East and West

Meeting with the nomad's visual memory

We head to the restaurant where Ayin’s wife and daughter are waiting. It’s a Chinese restaurant, so we eat pretty much the same thing as we did in Xi’an or Beijing. Ayin says that dad is a master of photography and that he considers him his “master.” That’s all the Orient. In the West, we never speak of a “master”, but in the Orient they do. I am proud of my father and happy for him. Dad thanks him very humbly, but says to him that he also learns from looking at Ayin’s work. I often heard dad say this: “you must always open your eyes to other people’s work, even the younger ones to keep on learning, to renew your own way of seeing.” When we are finished eating, I ask if I can go to an Internet café. Ayin accompanies me to his boutique to do Internet while dad looks at his photographic work. But since Internet isn’t working, we end up going to an Internet café. I send mom my texts so that she can post them on the trip’s blog and I do my usual research. When I’m done, I join dad at Ayin’s boutique where he’s still looking at the photos. When he’s finished, we take our things, say goodbye to Ayin’s wife and daughter, and head back to our hotel. We thank Ayin for his hospitality. Tomorrow, he’ll pick us up at 5 am in front of the hotel. We go to the room. Dad, as he does every night, takes out all the batteries from the cameras and puts them on the charger as well as the cell phones and computers. He spends almost the entire night emptying and editing the pictures taken today. And then, he has to make plenty of phone calls for his work. Poor him, he has to do all this while I’m sleeping calmly.

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