When I was in Beijing in 1998 one of the things which struck me most was the friendliness of the people, and their openness – and remember this was 18 years ago, long before today’s leaders were in place. I felt very able to walk around the streets and photograph with no problem at all, and was often invited to sit and talk to people (especially older people) who seemed desperate to practice English with me. On one such occasion I sat with a group of elderly men playing traditional instuments and singing Chinese opera just for the fun of it in one of Beijing’s many parks. This gentleman had a particularly strong voice, and talked to me for some time in broken English about the state of the world, which is always a favourite topic of older men.
This image was taken on my trusty Leica, and scanned from a colour transparency.