The Fangjiahetou Village: Old Houses with Wisteria

The Fangjiahetou village is one of my favorite ones. Due to its long history and simple, honorable folk custom, a voice is always echoing in my mind wanting me to pay a visit there. Visiting these old villages is neither for seeing old friends nor for knowing more people.

At Qingming festival, or tomb-sweeping day, this year, easy rain cleared the winding paved paths, and I, with a camera in my hand, was wandering without a clear purpose. On the rainy day, everything was foggy in a sombre hue. I walked into a path and passed an old house with its door wide open and the voices of the owners going with the wind. Suddenly, I noticed the wisteria blossoming on the patio, unable to resist the temptation of stepping inside.

Noticing the appearance of an unexpected visitor, an old lady stepped out to check. After several greetings, we became familiar as if I was a long-lost friend.

She told me that the wisteria was transplanted from the mountain and that at this time of the year, the wisteria blossomed. Her father-in-law was the owner of a company in Shanghai, but unfortunately, he passed away at sixty due to illness. The money left for them was merely for building such a house here. The whole place was about 240 square yards, and it had two floors with 7 rooms each. It was one of the grand houses in the village.

Standing there for decades, most houses made of wood are well-preserved due to the careful protection of the later generations. Every year when the wisteria blossoms, its smell attracts many insects. Finishing with the pollen, they would build a family by dig a hole in the wooden house. To preserve the house, the couple has to try their best catching those insects.

The lady gave a handful of seeds for the wisteria, which could sprout in the soil after a night in water. I thanked her and stepped out of her yard, figuring that the rain had already stopped.