A Suzhou Garden
into this: one of the famous gardens of Suzhou.
The gardens used to belong to high-ranking civil servants (the main way to get ahead in old imperial China) and were really a maze of small courtyards connected by corridors
They lead between ponds filled with fish
and Bonsai-tree filled courtyards,
and instrumentalists on verandas,
on stepping stones
or carefully-tiled paths
to a room where a opera singer sang a slow song about, I suspect, being trapped in a beautiful house, her feet too mutilated to walk, and that a prison is still a prison even if is surrounded by the most beautiful garden in the world,
while this little girl and I listened, both of us fascinated by the painted face and the human doll who moved with ratchet-speed - or a clock wound down.