I was the only one that had never visited my parents’ home country before. My dad wasn’t able to take time off from work- therefore, it was decided that I would be accompanying my mother to China. Papers were signed, I received my passport in the mail, I temporarily took Independent Study at school for a week. Before I knew it, it was the Friday the two of us were leaving to the airport two hours away in San Francisco.
The plane was enormous. This was the very first time I had ever boarded an airplane and I was extremely nervous and excited. We were on Singapore Airlines, and it was lovely- although I don’t have any other experiences to compare!
When the plane touched down in Hong Kong 15 hours later, I met my aunt for the first time. She is a lovely woman, very kind. My uncle is ill so he’s stopped working, and she is able to single-handily support her family.
On the next day, my mom and I took a bus to mainland China, and then to Guongdong, to my parents old home. It was used by my uncle when he had work in the city, so he had kept it up. It was also my first time being in close contact with a smoker- so many people smoked in China, and it made me realize just how strict the smoking laws back home in California are. The next day, we drove down to the farmlands to my father’s home.
Relatives I had never met before came with us to honor my ancestor’s graves , and set off firecrackers; the kind that have red tubes attached to a long string like a bunch of grapes. Everybody burned some incense and prayed. Then, we trekked down the hill. There were lots of chickens running about the farmland as well.
My mom and uncle socialized while I wandered about scaring chickens and trying to get close enough to pet a baby chick. The three of us went home late afternoon.
The next few days passed rather quickly- I got sick and slept most of a day away, but when I was better my mom allowed me to go on a little shopping spree while she purchased gifts for people back home. We also went to dinner with my mom’s niece, who had since grown up with a husband and son.
Our week in Guongdong was over. My mom and I took the bus back down to Hong Kong. My aunt (and her sons) took us out to Ocean Park where we strolled through aquariums and displays.
Unfortunately, the pandas were sleeping when we were there, but the dolphin show made up for that. There was even a goldfish display, which was actually rather interesting what with all the different species of goldfish Ocean Park had. Inside the aquarium, a shark actually passed by six inches away from me! It was incredibly exciting.
However, the trip to Ocean Park concluded my trip to China. My mother and I boarded an airplane the next day, and it was a thirteen hour flight back home. I started school the day after we arrived home, so I was sleepy and somewhat moody but I had enjoyed myself immensely.
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