Where East Meets West – Part 1

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 | 0 comments

Where East Meets West – Part 1

The flight into our son’s province was a pleasant one. For this lady who hates to fly, that’s a big deal. This was partly because it was a short flight and a nice plane (all the Chinese airlines seemed to have really nice planes and served full meals regardless of how short your flight was).

But, the time also went by faster due to some strategic planning from friends and family. Knowing I don’t like to fly, they wrote me letters of encouragement and prayers for our journey and then sealed them in envelopes, only to be read once on a plane. Haha, they found a way to somewhat make me look forward to flying!

We landed in a small airport and met our translator who took us to our next hotel. We would have two days before meeting our son, so, we took the time to become familiar with the area.

Us with our translator Vicky…

The view of the city from our room…

We quickly found that no one spoke English. Actually, during our stay, we would meet only two that did: the translator our agency hired and an American who owned a nearby coffee shop. Accurately named “The American Coffee Shop,” we were told it was famous because an American owned it.

Our translator showed us how to use the underground walkways to get to nearby shops, a park and the local Walmart, which was also underground.

Under this park actually…

Here’s the entrance…

From the small entrance above, it looks like it would be small, but it was HUGE!

You may look at these images and wonder why our area was considered remote. With a population of 2.9 million, it’s HUGE comparatively to most US cities. But, it’s in south-central China and in a mountainous region. There are two ways to get here from Hong Kong: by train, nearly a 28 hour trip, or plane, about an hour but usually only one flight per day. Also, the surrounding area is said the second poorest in all of China (Tibet being the poorest). But, the city itself? Many travel to the city for business or have vacation apartments in the city due to the geographical beauty surrounding it, making it the 6th or 7th most expensive city to live in. Our hotel was beautiful and everything was decorated for the Christmas season.

On December 15th, we settled in for the night and prepared for the life-changing moment we’d been waiting for – December 16th, the day we would meet our son!

To Be Continued…

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