[07-08/16] Zhongshan, Guangdong is where I spent most of my childhood and where the majority of my extended family lives. Seeing it as my second home, I make the effort to visit there at least once every couple of years when spring or summer break rolls around. During my month of travelling in Asia this summer, I went back for about 2 weeks- the second and last of my trip.
Zhongshan was my second destination, after my solo trip in Taipei, Taiwan. I flew into Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, where my uncle and grandpa came to pick me up. The freeway drive back to our home in Zhongshan was about 2 hours long.
Unlike the other cities I visited where I planned my itinerary for every day, Zhongshan was very much a staycation. It was a lot of family bonding, (online) shopping, delicious meals in between my family’s work shifts, visiting relatives, and simply doing ordinary day-to-day things with my little cousin.
Dimsum all day everyday
I am proud to say that dimsum originated from my province! Well, technically my parents’ province.. but the point is, who doesn’t love dimsum right?
Grandpa Rae certainly does! He routinely picks me up almost every morning and takes me to a different dimsum restaurant each time. It’s not just the food, but also the culture and valuable family time that I really appreciate about going “yumcha“.
My newly discovered favourite dimsum restaurant! Completely vegetarian/ vegan friendly!
Fun fact: my first and last meals in Zhongshan were at dimsum restaurants. Yes, dimsum isn’t just for breakfast, but also for brunch and even dinner!
… and of course other delicious eats too!
I’m very sorry if you’re reading this post on an empty stomach.. /:
Typhoon.. and more.
During my last week in Zhongshan, there was a typhoon warning. Typhoon Nida was predicted to hit directly at Zhongshan, but an hour before, it changed routes. However, the precursors and consequences were gloomy, stormy days, and skyrocketing produce prices.
Thankfully, the food delivery system in China is A+, so we didn’t have to worry about our empty fridges and stomachs.
Did I mention, we also experienced the aftershocks of the earthquake in Guangxi, our neighbouring province? To be honestly, I didn’t feel much of it, I just saw updates of nearby relatives and family friends on Wechat.
We live in a very small town in Zhongshan; it’s such a small place that the lady at the local steamed rice noodle roll (拉布粉) store knew the specific orders for everyone in my family and recognized right away that I’m a foreigner.
There really isn’t much to see in town, but the one reason I go back every year is of course, to see my family
Although Grandma Rae didn’t have the chance to, Grandpa Rae was able to travel to Vancouver this past May. However, for Jiujiu and Aunt Gina with their tight work schedules and Harry (my baby cousin, who’s not so much a baby anymore) with his school, international travelling isn’t an option at this moment. I always look forward to spending time with them, and I am thankful that I’m able to do so.
A few outings.
I did manage to go out a few times with my family on weekends and weeknights when they were off work.
I really treasured the limited time we had together, even just doing ordinary things like watching movies, shopping and going karaoke.
Visited Harry’s upcoming senior high campus! Does it even make sense that his gym is literally the size of my high school though.. ==
Until next time..
Entering university, I’m unsure of when I’ll have the chance to visit Zhongshan again. But this was the best way possible to wrap up my grad trip; a relaxing, comfortable time with my family.. and very cozy indeed as we take shelter from the unfortunate weather.
I learned many things from this trip as well, but that shall be a post for another time.
I guess I’ll conclude my summer travel series with a genuine xiexie (thank you) to everyone I met and reunited with as well as the support from my family and friends back home. And with all my heart, I thank God for piecing together and guiding me on this lovely, memorable trip.
I was initially hesitant to make the visit to Zhongshan. My heart was still aching in grief and sorrow from Grandma Rae’s passing and this was a place so full and alive with memories of her; of every moment I ever got to spend with her. But throughout my visit, God has really given me the courage I needed, and leaning on Him, I was able to put on a smile everyday I stayed in Zhongshan. For the strength I received, I thank Him sincerely.