In a small snow covered village in the Shaanxi Province in central China an elderly man in his cabin sat at a small wooden table methodically pealing cloves of garlic. His fingers nails were covered in brown dirt from cutting wood and purple skin from the garlic.
On the crooked table there were two porcelain bowls, the first was filled with a steaming, spicy vegetable broth and the latter had four cloves of recently peeled garlic resting inside.
A small fire cracked away in the corner of the cabin, frost covered the windows and vapour poured out of the old man’s mouth as he breathed. The man in question had a small white moustache and a shaved bald head that was covered with wrinkles.
The man picked up a clove of garlic and chucked it into his mouth where he crunched it between his strong teeth. He picked up his warm bowl of broth and took a long slurp. He then placed the bowl back down and repeated the ritual until both bowls were totally empty.
The freezing wind rattled the frosted window pains while the old man shut his ancient eyes and rested.