In the streets of old Kashgar I met so many children, playful, joyful, running here and there, but not this little boy. I had some candy in my pocket that I offered him and he just stood there looking at me then down at his shoes, then at me again until he summoned the courage to extend his had for the sweet candy only to drop his eyes back again to his feet. He looked so innocent and fragile with his borrowed woman’s shoe that I almost reached out to hug him… but I did not. He walked slowly away down the alley to found the door to his house and disappear into it.
After many years of severe restrictions and quotas limiting work seeking migrations across provinces in China, in 2002 a new law was passed to allow migrant workers permanent residence in cities like Shanghai. They are then segregated into skilled and well off workers, or lower class workers with less pay and very modest living conditions.
This worker was so cute as I was photographing him hiding, smiling and being shy. In the end he held my hand and gave me a big smile, my reward for the day 🙂