Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thoughts about my China Trip (1 year after)

I can't believe it's been a year since my trip to China last summer. It seemed like a couple years ago that I went. So much has happened in just a year! This summer is nothing compared to last summer (but still somewhat eventful).

Anyway, I thought I'd give you my thoughts on China one year after coming back. But, first, I'd like to re-share some pictures of the trip with you guys. I warn you. It's a lot. I wish I could share more but it would be just too much. I'll post the links of the posts I wrote about my China trip a week or two after I had come back.

 The Great Wall of China

my drink after the hike up the Great Wall
In one of the towers of the Great Wall of China. The stairway is so narrow and steep. I don't know how soldiers were able to move quickly!

Tiananmen Square

In the airplane, on the way to China.
At a garden. It started raining! 

This was the street food. I think it's mainly for the entertainment for foreigners. 
This was in front of the Mao Zedong sculpture. 

 Part of my Dad's Village in Taishan (台山)
In Taishanese, the city is pronounced hoisan. In Cantonese, it's pronounced toisan. Taishan is the Mandarin pronunciation.


 Hong Kong

And, my favorite:
Wang Leehom! =) I love his music! 

So, that was a brief, VERY brief picture overview of my trip to China last year with my family. It was a month long trip.  Sorry with bombarding you guys with a lot of pictures. I warned you though! I wish I could post more pictures but I think that would be too much. 

The trip to China is probably once in a lifetime experience. I got to see where my parents grew up. The feeling was just overwhelming and it's hard to explain. I really enjoyed the peace of mind I had when I was there. I was thinking things like, "This is where my roots are. I must never forget it." When I have children, I would bring them back to the village too (somehow). I still occasionally talk to one person from the village online. I don't know what will happen in the future to the village, since the young people are moving out to the cities. But, I hope that it will still be there. It's amazing how they inscribed ,into a wall, the name of almost every single person that had lived there since hundreds of years ago. They even have a mural with pictures of couples that had lived there (well, from when cameras existed). 

I can say it was a very humbling experience for me. When I wasn't in my parents hometown, my parents did most of the talking because my Mandarin wasn't that good. I learned a lot and had a great time. But, the culture and environment is very different. In the big places such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, you will see that they look a bit more industrialized and Westernized. However, even in those parts, there will be parts where it's underdeveloped. 

You will learn to accept a lower standard of living. Forget the air conditioning and good toilets. The weather is humid and most of the toilets are still holes in the ground. There will be places with air conditioning but most use fans. It's humid there and rains at the most unexpected times. My family was taking a walk one afternoon and it was sunny. One minute after, it was pouring rain. 5 minutes later, it was sunny again. 5 minutes later, it rained. After that, it remained sunny and hot the rest of the day. I got too many mosquito bites in China. I remember on the Northern China tour, there were two families from California that we met. They had children around my age and one family lives in the same city as us. The other lives in San Fran. We all got along and they were all nice (and all Chinese). I mention this because one of them sprayed mosquito repellent on them everyday. Yet, they were the ones that received the most mosquito bites! 

I did have fun climbing (walking) on the Great Wall of China. There was just so much to take in. But, it was fun and educational. I learned a lot on the trip and met relatives I've never met before. 

I hate to say this but I'm scared that as future generations come, there will be less connection the heritage and culture they came from. I hear that after the 4th or 5th generation, they are basically Americanized. In my heart, it's important to know your heritage and culture and to know where your roots are. 

I really don't know what else to say about the trip. It was just a wonderful experience and made realize how lucky I am and how lucky Americans are. You won't believe some of the living conditions I saw in China (I've only seen those conditions in documentaries until seeing it in China). Yes, there were some extraordinary conditions too, that were better than American standards. 

Here's the link the first post I wrote about my trip to China. From there, you'll be able to find the rest of my 5..6 posts I wrote. I apologize for my writing, spelling and grammar on those posts. I guess I felt a little jet lagged. My body also had to adjust to a new time zone.  

China Trip Part 1 (continue on from there to see other posts I wrote about my China trip)

Do you have any questions about my trip to China? Ask away. I'll be happy to answer your questions. 

Have you ever traveled out of the country? If so, how was it like?
Did your perspective on things change after traveling out of the country? If you haven't traveled out of the country, do you think your perspective on life will change if you do travel? 

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