It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but October has seriously been a whirlwind so far. And now I can’t believe it’s already the end of the month. So let’s hurry and re-cap September!
August 25 – September 12: Shanghai, China
September started on the happiest note with a trip to the new Shanghai Disneyland with my cousin!!
September 1 is the first day of school in China. And so it’s also the first day of reduced Disneyland ticket prices. We jumped on this and went.
It was amazing! Disneyland is never a bad idea. Something about Disneyland makes you feel so happy and carefree, even if you must wait in line in the heat for an hour. Shanghai’s park is done superbly with really fun state-of-the-art rides (you actually ride motorcycle-position for the Tron ride!). We spent an entire day in the park and got to go on most of the rides, some of them even multiple times.
After Disneyland, we took a weekend trip to Wuhu to visit my dad’s side of the family. My paternal grandma is already over 90 years old, so any visits are extremely rare now. It was nice to see my family there again and get away from the city big for a bit.
Afterwards, we headed back to Shanghai. We didn’t have any other real plans, but I had the best time. We ate at new places, wandered the shops, hung out with her friends, and talked and talked every night. It’s so fun to have a cousin about the same age, who lives in one of best cities in the world.
However, living in the mega giant, glittering city of Shanghai means some serious trade offs.
Now, as a traveler, I consider myself to have a pretty high level of adaptability. Tiny rooms, alleyway building, no wardrobe, shower over the toilet… all no problem. But this stay in Shanghai seriously tested my limit.
First off, my cousin lives in a cramped studio unit. We spent over 2 weeks together in her little room, sharing a bed. Definitely can’t say it was 5-star living standards, but we had a blast. This was actually no problem.
Now, I love my cousin, and no offense, but her rental is a dump. Her old building means that the bathroom has a cockroach problem. And if you know me, you know I’m TERRIFIED of them – my worst fear! At night, I’d use the bathroom practically frozen with fear, on the lookout for roaches while listening to mice squeak in the hallway. There was a time I opened the door, saw a big roach, screamed, ran out and decided I’d rather sleep with a full bladder.
After a few sightings, I quickly learned to hold my pee at night. Eventually, with a combination of spraying twice a day and the practice of self-dehydration, I managed to find a way to cope.
I tell ya, this really pushed the boundaries of my tolerance.
But still, despite the accommodation issues, I was having so much fun with my cousin that I didn’t want to leave. I even extended my stay by a few days. I loved the glitz and freedom of living in Shanghai. Maybe I am a big city girl after all. :P
But then it was time to make my way to grandma. I boarded the high speed train and went up north to:
September 12 – October 4: Beijing
It always makes me so happy to come to Beijing. Over the past couple of years, my grandma’s cozy apartment in Beijing has been more of a home to me than anywhere else. It’s so nice to know that there’s a place in the world where I’m welcomed any time.
I quickly settled into the usual Beijing routine of eat, work, nap, eat, and repeat. And then my mom came on the 23rd! It’s been exactly a year since I last saw her. And now, things got a lot more exciting.
Almost everyday, I would accompany my mom to outings with different groups of friends, like a little shadow. I got to eat at a lot of different restaurants. But my favorite is always going to the dumplings eatery with my Auntie Qizheng. Every time I’m in Beijing, it’s a must that we go for a meal of dumplings here.
October 1 is China National Day. My mom and I went with a couple of her friends to check out the decoration at Tiananmen Square. They put up a huuuuge flower basket for the occasion.
China takes their National Day pretty seriously. Almost everyone gets the entire week off of work. We all went over to stay at my aunt and uncle’s place for these days. I love holidays and weekends spent at their place.
I played with their animals.
We spent the days playing mahjong (which I’m kinda awesome at :P. And yes, sometimes I’m like 80).
And had family gatherings and outings.
These last few days of family time felt too short. Before I knew it, I was packing up again and being dropped off at the airport. But this time, I was flying back to Los Angeles! I was sad to cut short the family time and time with my mom, but at the same time, excited to go back.
What’s going on in October
Well, since it’s already the end of the month, we’ll just wait for the October re-cap. But it’s been fun being back in LA. It’s been exactly 2 years since I’ve been back to the U.S., and I’ll just say that it’s a bit of a sticker shock :P. But I’ve been loving seeing my friends again. This next re-cap will probably come really soon, so I’ll talk to you more then!