* Yes, that’s really what our tour was called.
In 1986 I went to China to see my grandmother with my mom. My grandma was 90 years old and it had been 38 years since we left China to Taiwan. When I was 2 years old she took care of me for a year at Xi-An (where the terra cota statues are). I was thrilled with joy to learn that she was alive after all the hardship happened in China. Thus, my mother and I did not wait and we went to see my bed-ridden yet very sharp grandma. I went there for about 2 weeks and then stopped at Taiwan for 3 days before I came back to S. California, which was my last trip to Taiwan but the first to China as an adult.
In order to keep company with Hope and Jeremy, our whole family planned this trip to go to Taiwan first, then to travel China about 2 weeks with them together. You have seen some of the pictures and read some of the stories while we were there (including the one that I howled like Tarzan in the wild).
Both China and Taiwan to me seem to be very foreign. Because I can’t not find the right place the easiest way. I don’t know too many people there at all. However, it didn’t take too long for me (us) getting used to the environment and learning the changing situations there. After all, I know the history, the background, the language (dialects), and traditional customs.
For our family, this is the first time for my wife (Wendy), my son (Eddo), my other son (Jeremy) to be in China. And even this is not the first time for Hope being there in China, she really does not know too much about places other than Bei-Jing. I had been to North (Bei-Jing, Shan-Xi), Manchuria (Harbin, Sheng-Yang), Yun-Nan (a beautiful province with many minority tribes), East (Hang-Zhou, Shang-Hai, etc.). But, China is a large country that there are many beautiful places with wonder sceneries and fascinating people too.
While at Huang-Shan, the colliers moved all the daily necessities from the foot of the mountain to the top by using two bamboo boards physically. At Wu-Zheng, boats are used as the main transportation means, so that everyone knows how to handle a boat (of course, now the younger generation leave town to live in the city and they probably drive a sedan now). At Wu-Yi mountain area, all women know how important life is about with tea drinking, while the girl does not tour guide to make some income, she will pick the tea stem from the leaves. Their life was very similar to their ancestors for hundred and maybe thousand years.
Han Chinese (which is the majority) are and have been agricultural for many years (or many dynasties), who are not aggressive to invade other people. But they treasure the land and will protect it with their life. When we went to visit the Hakka Mud Village Home, we felt so much for understanding the reason why they live together as a society.
Together, we spent 17 days with Hope and Jeremy (and with Eddo, 6 days). This trip has been a very rare opportunity for our family get-together. And I personally was very happy on this trip. After I got home and went to develop the pictures (over 1,000 of them), I have noticed that all the pictures I am in, I am with a smile. Some of you probably remember my crying with joy at Hope and Jeremy’s wedding. I blame the photographers catching me at “wrong time”. But on this trip, there simply were no “wrong time”. Even it has costed us some fortune for this trip, But I have to say, it definitely is worthy. And I wish there would be another one with my “children” soon.