Posts Tagged ‘family’

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our last day in Shanghai was spent with some distant family members in a small village outside of Shanghai, called Feng Jin Zheng.  It was small and very different from Shanghai, but I really enjoyed the village because the air was so fresh and clean.  Also, the scenery was beautiful~! I really loved everything about the village.

We met my uncle’s brother and his wife- we went on a boat ride throughout the village since there was water everywhere (similar to Venice).  But the water was dirty- it was very green and people were cleaning their mops in the water… yuck.

Ya so it was nice to meet them for the first time.  We went shopping in the area afterwards and I got 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of pants.  I ate frog because I thought it was chicken… but I realized that it was frog because when I flipped the meat over, it had legs……

Then we went to my Aunt’s house where we saw the dog again!  The dog was adorable, it posed for pictures and all… so cute!  Later that night, we had our last dinner before we left with the entire family.  The wine and milk drink they served was delicious!  The food was good as well, of course. 😉 

The next morning… we departed for New York. 😦

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

We arrived back in Shanghai the next day and gave my cousin, who came to pick us up, a little surprise!  (My dad was in a wheelchair!)  Yup, they inquired about his situation and I mean yes it is unfortunate what happened to him, but hey, if you’re going to injure yourself, THAT is the way to injure yourself. 😉  First, we put our stuff down back at my aunt and uncle’s place and we went to Cheng Huang Miao- a famous shopping district in Shanghai.  We ate lunch and had mostly “xiao long bao.”  Again, it was a lot of food, but it was GOOD food.  I bought a pair of pants and my sister bought some collared shirts to wear to med school, ya know, to complete the professional look. 🙂  My mom also got a teapot made out of clay and for my sister and I each a framed cutout of our name and picture (cartoon of course). 

After that, we went to Pudong, since my family lives in Puxi.  We walked along the Huang Pu Jiang and saw the Oriental Pearl Tower- it looks mad short now that I’m taller.  And……… we had dinner at the lovely Banana Leaf- good Thai (?) food.  I thoroughly enjoyed EVERYTHING on the table haha. 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our second day in Beijing started with a trip to the Tiananmen Square.  We had to wheel my father around in a wheelchair so that he could see the wonderful sights as well.  There were A LOT of people there that day- mostly Chinese tourists from other parts of China.  It was also very windy… Finally, I was able to see for myself what the Tiananmen Square looked like.  I had always seen pictures of the place in my textbooks and stuff, but never with my own eyes.  It was a great sight- and very cool to see Mao’s picture hahah.

While were there, we also wanted to see Mao’s preserved body.  The line was super long and it was a hassle to get in because they required your passport and there was a dress code and all.  Because I was wearing flip-flops, I could not go in. 😦  So, my sister and my mom went in instead.  I waited with my father at the Square.  When they finally came back (after a super long wait), they said that it wasn’t much… in fact, they didn’t even get to take a good look because the guards pushed them along.  XP

For lunch, we had some dumplings (Northern China is known for their “man tou” and dumplings).  We ordered a variety of dumplings and some other stuff.  I really liked the dumpling with the shrimp and cucumber filling… and the “pi-dong” was really good too. ^_^

Then my mom, my sister, and I all went to perm our hair.  It was a pretty fancy place… my sister had some nice stylists and her noob was pretty cool I guess- since she held some good convos with my sister.  BUT, I got a complete noob- he wasted so much time doing stuff to my hair only to take it apart and call the “lao shi,” or teacher, over and re-do everything.  So, I’m going to keep referring to him as noob. lol- he seriously was a NOOB.  And our whole time together was awkward- he started off washing my hair and water splashed in my eye.  >.<  Then when I had to go back to my seat, I completely missed the fact that there was a 1 level step to get down and almost fell.  Later on he did try to hold a decent conversation with me, but I didn’t really get what he was saying- rather, the “lao shi” was a little more comprehensible.  Yea… that was my noob- small eyes, not comprehensible… and uh slightly awkward- good times.

After that, we headed down to “Wang Fu Jing,” or the Beijing Night Market.  Lots of people were crammed there (obv.) and so we had to watch out for pick-pocketing people.  My mom bought my sister and I “Bing Tang Hu Lu” which was pretty good.  And then we had some corn from the night market… my dad ate some weird “creature” thing- not really sure what it was… and my mom had a bowl of noodles.  We bought some Beijing snacks and called it a night.  Our “train” back to Shanghai was that night so we had to get to the station- it was time to part with our good ol’ Beijing driver who took care of us during our whole trip in Beijing.  Even at the station, he accompanied my father everywhere and bought a ticket to get into the boarding area to help my father on and fold the wheelchair.  He was such a sweet guy, my family was really lucky to have met such a good person during our time in Beijing. 🙂

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

I felt my heart pumping with excitement as I arrived in Shanghai.  We passed through Customs/ Border Patrol fairly well.  The longest part was waiting in line… but it was all good.  In fact, 浦東 Pudong International Airport was very beautiful.  The last time I came to Shanghai, we arrived in 上海虹橋國際機場 Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (I don’t even really remember the airport all that well).  But Pudong is the newest airport so it is more modern. 

After passing Border Patrol, we were finally ready to find familiar faces in the pick-up area.  And what do you know… my mom instantly saw my aunt in the crowd of faces.  I didn’t see my aunt until we looped around the crowd to meet everyone.  And. uh. my aunt definitely seemed different.  I didn’t recognize her.  While she talked with my mom for a little bit, there were 2 other people who came as well- a woman and a man.  Quite honestly, I didn’t recognize either of them.  But I quickly found out that the woman was my cousin, 清清 Qing Qing.  In 18 years, it was the first time that I met her.  And the man?  Well, it took awhile to figure out who he was.  My sister and I originally thought he was our other cousin, Sun Po. We were like: ((O.O))- that’s… our… cousin… now?  My mom kept telling us that Sun Po changed drastically, so we expected him to look significantly different, unrecognizable.  But then we figured it couldn’t be Sun Po- there was no resemblance whatsoever.  He didn’t say much either, so I suggested that he might have been a random creeper with the wrong crowd of people or something.  But then my mom started talking to him.  AHA.  It was then that I realized… he was my aunt and uncle’s personal driver, 小王 Xiao Wang!  Apparently, he aged like everyone else!  He became a little wider and stubbier…

Driving to Puxi from Pudong was a long ride.  But I took in the sight of the night skyline of Shanghai.  It was absolutely breathtaking… Shanghai changed so much.  It looked like Manhattan at night.

About an hour or so later, we arrived at my aunt, my mother’s younger sister, and her husband’s home.  My aunt preferred that I call her “Mom”- so I did.  And I called my uncle, her husband, 姨夫 Yifu.  So anyway, we arrived at their 1st of 2 homes.  This was the old apartment that we stayed at last time we were in Shanghai.  My maternal grandmother, 外婆 Wai Po, also lives with them.  So while my mom and my Wai Po visited the old place, my sister, dad, and I talked with my aunt, Yifu, Qing Qing, and … the dog, 小寶寶.  Yea, my aunt and uncle bought a dog… it’s white, fluffy, and quite cute.  The dog was shy though- a little antisocial if you ask me.  My aunt and uncle explained that they don’t take their dog out very much so it’s not used to being around a bunch of people. 

After that little shananigan, we left to go to the place that were going to stay at, my 2nd uncle and his wife’s place.  I called my 2nd uncle 小舅舅 Xiao Jiu Jiu and his wife, my aunt, 小舅媽 Xiao Jiu Ma.  And my cousin Qing Qing is their daughter.  When we arrived at their apartment, we also met Qing Qing’s husband, 小陳 Xiao Chen.  I didn’t know that he was her husband at first.  Again, I assumed that he was my cousin, Sun Po.  Guess not. lol.  But it was informal to call him Xiao Chen, so I referred to him as 表姊夫 Biao Jie Fu.  All these connections and names were already throwing me in a doozy.  Later on, you’ll see that there are a lot of other connections.  With that said, my Xiao Jiu Ma prepared dinner for us and even cooked turtle for my mom and dad.  My sister and I were disgusted that turtle could be a meal so we passed on that.  But apparently turtle is a very special dish and it is prized among the Chinese.  Still, not my thing to eat turtle.  =.=

After such a long day, I was prepared to sleep.  I slept on the floor, but I was okay with that- I like sleeping on floors hahaha~  I needed some time to absorb all the people I met because there were more to come the next day.  Aishh…

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Growing Up

It’s weird to think that 13 years ago, I just began kindergarden.  Now, I am 17 going on 18 and heading off to college in the fall.  Time really does fly.

I remember my 5-year-old self getting picked up by a mini bus in front of my house.  With my “Little Mermaid” backpack and tamagotchi in hand, I headed off to kindergarden.  Life was pretty easy back then.  In school, the most effort I had to exert was making sure I cut shapes out correctly and not get glue on my clothes.  One time, I recall myself taking off my dress in the middle of the rug area during playtime.  Of course I had a t-shirt and shorts underneath… but then my teacher saw my dress stuck around my head and came over and pulled it down for me.  Haha~ And in first grade, I loved Lincoln Logs and reading time from the principal.  School days were filled with coloring activities and playtime.

Fast forward to today, and here I am filling out scholarship and honors college applications, working on homework from my AP classes, and preparing to leave home.  Life has really changed… I have really changed.  Thinking about my elementary days has made me realize how much I have changed.  I’ve made different friends, I’ve developed physically, and I’ve matured mentally.  I am a different person.

Now, you’re probably curious as to how this came up in my thoughts.  Well, yesterday on the bus, I was contemplating what scholarships I am applying for.  One of the scholarships is from my elementary school and during the Senior Awards Night later on in June, my elementary school principal will be there.  And so I started thinking about how much I’ve matured from a 5-year-old to an 18-year-old.

It amazes me how much time can pass in such little time.  This June, I will graduate high school and move onto the next stage of my life: adulthood.  In fact, I may be going as far as California (I am from New York).  So much change is happening and in a really short time.  It won’t surprise me that another 10 or so years will pass and I will be married with kids!  😉

Though some of this change has been positive and some negative, I really look forward to more change, hopefully for the better.  In essence, I’m excited… excited for California, my future, my hopes, my dreams.

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Family is a very important aspect of my life.  I’ve realized this concept in its entirety yesterday.  My mom, dad, and sister are the three most important people in my life.  What would I do without one of them?

Up until now, I’ve heard all that crap about cherishing your family and stuff because you won’t be able to get them back after they are gone and blah blah blah… But I never actually THOUGHT about all of that until recently.

Every day, every minute, every second that I spend with my family members is important because what will happen if an “accident” happens one day and I lose one of them… I’d regret…  I’d regret not being nice enough to them, not listening to them, not talking enough to them.  Regret… that’d be all I feel.  And it’s the worst feeling a person can experience.  Regret is not even something that we can just “move on from.”  People always say that they live with no regrets… they just move on and try to improve their future.  That’s a lie because no one can just “clear” their mind of such things.  Memories stay with you forever, even if you try to escape them.

Regret, such a powerful word, an emotion we cannot avoid or surpass.  Despite the fact that sometimes we fight with the people we love most, we cannot live as if they’ll always be there the next time we decide to finally talk to them.  We must treasure those we love… hold onto them like there’s no tomorrow.  It’s the only way to keep those that we love by our side and get the most out of life.

Unfortunately, death is inevitable.  It’ll come after our loved ones soon enough, and that is the terrifying aspect of “death” himself.

I once heard someone ask, “Would you rather live a fun and exciting, but short life, or a monotonous but long life?”  I didn’t quite take in the question then… I simply overlooked the question…  But now, I’ve realized the meaning in this question.  It has dawned on me that there is nothing good about a fun, exciting life.  Sure, you get to live your life to its fullest, but what’s the point if you have to leave this world so quickly…  Is it really worth it?  To me, a monotonous life appears to be more meaningful….  Sure, there is none of that fun and drama, but there’s nothing wrong with taking your time to view the beauties of life.  A simple, slow moving, and long life.  Isn’t that ideal for someone to spend the rest of their life with the people they love the most?

My only wish is to live a long, happy life.  Even if it’s simple and boring I don’t mind.  I’d rather live simply with the most natural lifestyle a person can live.  Being surrounded by the people I love and living healthy is all I’m worried about.  Simple… Simplicity is the key to happiness.

Will my wish be granted?

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