Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend trip to Zhongshan

Back from a trip to my hometown in China. I pretty much stopped working at 5:30pm on Friday and left for the bus station. I bought one of the last tickets on the 6:30pm bus. I thought I managed to go through the lines at customs pretty fast but I think I was one of the last people on the bus. I really don't like traveling at night. Everything seems more confusing. On the way back, I made it through customs and was at the bus stop before the bus even arrived.

The rest of the bus ride went by pretty fast. I slept for part of the way. My mom and uncle picked me up at the bus station and took me back to my grandparent's house. My dad was drunk on the couch after a night out with his friends. We gave up any plans that involved him the next morning. haha. Saturday morning, my mom, brother, and I went to eat breakfast and then walked around town. We went back to our old house, visited my uncle's store, visited my mom's old house, and bought some snacks for me to bring back to share at the office.

The whole family converged at my grandparents house in the afternoon and we all went for a big family dinner. I guess it's really rare these days to have everyone present at a dinner. I know that my family hasn't gone back together in about 10 years. We've always gone back separately. I guess I can visit more often now, now that I live much closer. But I really don't know what I would do other than chat with my grandparents and uncle and aunt. I don't really have anyone to meet up. Maybe friends from a long time ago that I haven't really kept in touch with?

We all met up from dim sum on Sunday morning again. I guess it's not uncommon that people move away from home for school, work, etc. But these days, it seems like people can move really far away. I don't know if it ever occurred to my parents that once they immigrated away from their homeland that their kids will grow up not really knowing their homeland. Our family has lived in that city for so many generations and years that it seems like we should have more stake and claim to the place. But whenever I go back, I don't know my way around and there's not that much holding me there. This time was definitely better because I have much more confidence in my Cantonese skills. All the other times, I felt like I was just being dragged around by my parents. I feel like there are things in that city, like our empty condo, waiting for me. I wonder if I ever will go back and claim them.

I've also been reading Please Look After Mom. It's a book about a family in Korea where all the grown up kids have moved away from their village and are living in the city, namely Seoul. Their elderly mom came to visit them in Seoul and went missing. The story is told from several different perspectives. I haven't finished the book yet but it's mostly been about how the children and husband realize how much central the mom was to the family. She took care of them and raised them even thought their family was always short on money. Some of the book is written in the 2nd person perspective. I'm not sure I've ever read a book in using the 2nd person perspective. It's very interesting and very appropriate for this book. Waiting to see how it ends. I hope it's a happy ending. 

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