How can I not conclude this year’s A-Z challenge without a post about my hometown? Especially since I have been explaining where I am from to several people just last week alone.
The conversation went like this:
“What part of China are you from?”
“What is the place called?”
*Crickets chirping* “Where is that?”
Me: “About 90 minutes from Hong Kong?” P.S. I don’t know why I always say this sentence like a question. It just came out this way.
The other night, I found myself improvising my usual answer with this sweet lady from the Philippines. “Do you know Sun Yat-sen?” I asked her.
“He’s this great revolutionary leader in China who took down the Chinese monarchy?” I’m not very good at Chinese history but based on the movies I’ve watched with my mom, who was a history teacher in China, I had a pretty idea of who Sun Yat-sen was. Besides, I visited his home and museum when I was in China. So I continued, rubbing my chin as I spoke while pulling notes from my memory. “I think he attended school in Hawaii or Japan?” The lady stared at me, her face even more blank than before. “Anyway, I’m from the same place as him.”
We smiled and parted, she – back to the kitchen, me – back to the table slamming my palm on my forehead. What a bonehead!
Anyway, Zhongshan is a mix of new and old. Much of the older buildings still exist like the picture above. One of the units in the building on the right housed me and my parents during the first few days after I was born. I didn’t remember it at all until my aunt took me there one day. The large government building in the first picture is also a pretty old building. I mean, I passed by it almost every day when I was a kid in China.
After going to my hometown for two years in a row, I learned to tell the old from the new. The new buildings are typically less than 10 years old and they are pretty stylish in design. Oh and let’s don’t forget to mention the new buildings are much more livable than the old buildings. Sometimes, wandering through the back streets at night, I wondered how people can manage to survive in those buildings with no bathroom nor showers.
You can check out more scenery around my hometown of Zhongshan by clicking here…
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