Zhujiajiao is said to be the best “water town” in the Shanghai environs. The name means “Zhu family estate” and it is at least 1,000 years old. In the Yangtze River delta, canals are ubiquitous and every village is split by at least one, spanned by bridges and boats. Such old towns are now meccas for day trippers from the city, and are overrun with visitors and vendors. In Zhujiajiao, I wandered up the canal, getting away from town, and found a man on a skiff casting a wonderful fine mesh net on long poles, moving like some orchestra conductor stuck in adagio.
The grace of the image belies the difficulty of its capture. As he floated downstream, I had to follow on the opposite shore, climbing fences, jumping ditches and avoiding mayhem. At some point I may have stepped on a chicken. And of course I had to anticipate the right background. Eventually it all became perfect. (Price Schedule B)