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Honeymooners We travel, we see sights of awe. Home is where the heart is. My heart is with Briel.

One World One Dream!

CHINA | Saturday, 6 September 2008 | Views [1826]

No matter what people say, 1st impressions count. We arrived to Shanghai tired from a 19hr train ride with some vague instructions for a hostel and a Mandarin phrasebook. Not really enough considerirg we know that language would be a problem (sometimes we can be so silly)..

Thru the bustling crowds, our eager smiling faces seemed to welcome the locals to try to talk to us, try to help us and even welcome us to their home. I don't think it was us though. It seems a part of them to be curious and warm. They genuinely just wanted to talk to us. To know us. For us to know them.

Jiang or his English name he gave himself for our benefit "Tom" - we asked him which direction Nanjing Rd was. He pointed the way but was concerned we would get lost. "You can walk with me" he said. So we did chatting along the way. After finding the main road, we said thanks thinking it was the end. After learninq we actually wanted another side street, he went around asking where "Jingxi" was. It was not close but he walked us all the way to our hostel. Why - because he was excited to make friends with a foreinger.

Jiang is a senior high school student who was on his way to the library. After he took us all the way to our hostel. He noticed that it was expensive, he kindly offered us to stay with his family. We said no. But we accepted an invitation to dinner later in the evening. Jiang picked us up. We took bus 55 + 812 to his home. His parents waiting with warm smiles, green tea and slippers.

We learned to make dumplings (she had prepared SO much delicious traditional food)..We drank "Fire Water" 52% alcohol which had Briel wasted but the more he drank with the father the more he laughed and smiled.

We ate till our stomachs ached. I drank 1/2 bottle red wine to myself, chewed on garlic with my dumplings. We laughed, shared our lives as best as larguage could and was welcomed like family. We hope to see them again.

Both parents are teachers. He in physics, she in Chinese. Jiang dreams to be like dad. They live in the "Teachers Apartments" where it is quiet and pretty. They're from the Shen Dong province and hope to retire there. They graduated university in 1993 then moved to Shanghai to work and live.

This was the most memorable travel experience ever. We had so much fun being part of their family. We had many good people experiences already in China, but this was special. We left not wanting to go. It felt like we were leaving our family! They did want us to stay, as we had so much fun time flu away and we missed our bus home.

We left with presents of cake and dumplings, they walked us to the taxi, they talked to the driver for us and waved until we couldn't see them anymore.

We made them excited that we would go there, but they gave us something more precious than I can explain in words. The olympic slogan of "one world one dream" was really alive in this sweet, kind family.

We will never forget them. Please excuse any errors in spelling, my Pin Yin is not yet great!

Ciao for now.

Tags: china, people, shanghai

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