(China’s Coal: Part 6)
On our first drive-by, the situation appears to be a bust. The one man that we had a connection to is already down in the mine for his shift, so I decide to park it for an hour and wait for the shift change. I figure I can get a few photos of miners coming and going. We park by the office where the miners come to change into their work clothes. I ask the first miner I see if I can take his picture. He agrees and my driver chats with him a bit. Within a couple of minutes, word spreads that a Westerner is hanging around and I find myself surrounded by 20 to 30 people, my back to the taxi. Without a translator, I get a bit unnerved.
The miners at the shift change smile and wave. The driver, Susan, and I mill around, walk up to the entrance to the mine shaft and check out the transit system. A group of dusty faces comes off shift and before the next heads in we are run off by a supervisor. We watch the rest of the change from outside a fence.