Journalism Versus Backbreaking Work : Chengdu Diary Hard Work on Qingcheng Mountain
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Journalism Versus Backbreaking Work

We've all had days of feeling like work is just too hard.

Today was one of them for me.

A few of the interviews we were hoping to do fell through. I left my apartment only briefly, to go buy a Coke because I needed the caffeine.

Then, looking for something to blog about, I came across these photos I took on a visit to nearby Qingcheng Mountain the other weekend.

And I suddenly felt sheepish for feeling so sorry for myself.

A mountain porter carries corrugated sheet metal up Qingcheng Mountain. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

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Andrea Hsu, NPR

That day, we saw a bunch of these porters carrying construction materials up the mountain.

I didn't get a chance to ask this man (above) how much he makes, but another guy carrying a sack of cement mix in a basket on his back told me he earns 110 yuan a day (about $16), for two 3-mile trips up to a spot where a guesthouse is being built.

Earlier, I saw these guys carrying sacks of cement mix up the mountain. They'd finished for the day and were heading home. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

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Andrea Hsu, NPR

I saw that same guy with a few other porters after they were done for the day. They were bounding down the mountain so fast I couldn't get to them in time to snap a good photo.