Willem at the “We-have-it-all” shop

 

Already in 1999, I had something with windows. Aactually, it was long before that. My photos of people in their own homes and interiors come from that interest. Whenever I went for a walk I always looked through the windows of all houses that I passed by and when it was possible to see the back garden through the windows, I did!
Perhaps a bit cheeky, but photography is looking and the art of looking is to see and I see with my feelings, my heart.

 

Peking Duck, snake, dried insects, beef tripe and green eggs

In China, the bigger cities, I couldn´t resist looking through shop windows whenever I felt like doing so. The glass was not always clean, nor were the shops.
In one of those shops they sold almost any food, from Peking duck to snake, dried insects, beef tripe and green eggs, to name some of the merchandise. I wouldn´t be surprised if they also had dog on the menu. I took my time to look around.
I come from a family of butchers and you had to invest at least a couple of hundred thousand euros before you would be allowed to sell meat out of a ultra-modern refrigerated counter. In China it is quite different. They had a hat on to avoid hair and dandruff in the food, a reasonable clean white coat and even a pair of black gloves. Appearance is all that matters, isn’t it?

 

A kind word brings money in the till

One of the first things I was taught in my early years as a clerk : “A kind word brings money in the till.”
I couldn´t recognize that in any Chinese seller and I watched them. They did their jobs like robots, no emotion, nothing. Whatever the customer ordered was wrapped in and then it was leaning back again, looking through the window.
Once I went into a candy store, the sales lady was sleeping, head on the counter. “That´s quite normal over here” my sister–in-law, with whom I made the trip, told me, “get used to it. There is absolutely no interest in what they are doing, they have to be there, paid almost nothing. All government shops.”

 

Whether anybody comes or not, who cares?

Anyhow, that food store must have been another government shop, and then you don’t clean windows. You wear the mandatory hygienic uniform, appearance is all there is, and you wait. Whether your countrymen come or not, who cares?
It must be the climate, food and everything stays longer fresh, it seems.