I miss home, Nan ning. I can’t believe it’s been over two years since I last visited it in 2004. It was amazing. Nanning is a very tiny city compared to Seattle, but it’s constantly growing. It seemed that the whole city was always bustling with constructions. I visited the child care center I went to from 4 to 6, saw my first teacher, Ms Lu. I was one of her first students and now she’s retired. As I stuck my head into one of the classrooms during lunch time, the teacher started telling them to say “hello” in English. They were so adorable. The smell of rice and veggie in their bowls was so distinct and exactly as I’ve always remembered.
I visited the apartments that my family stayed in at my mom’s work. They were so old and tiny. Then I walked over to my elementary school, which was one of the best in China. The whole school has changed so much, except I could still find the classroom that I studied in. The playground is no longer paved with concrete that we used to sweep up a cloud of dust every morning, and is now replaced with rubberized material.
There was tons of really yummy food in China but I lost weight walking around all the time. Dad took me to Guiling. I had my favorite Guiling soup noodles there. For only 2RMB, you get this huge bowl of rice noodles that would last you for the whole day. It’s garlicky and spicy.
Guiling is beautiful. It’s unique limestone mountains always left me in awe of the magnificent force of nature. We took a tour boat down the famous Li River. The scenery was gorgeous. There were lot so bamboo river rafts on the river. At one point, one of them got up really close to our boat and tried to sell fake jade to tourists. The river is actually even more beautiful when there aren’t so many tour boats. Then you can take pictures of the mountains with their reflections in the River.
After the big tour boat, we thought it’d be fun to ride on our own river raft. We rode dirt bikes to a little fishing village 15-20 miles out. The water was so clean and peaceful, it was a whole other world.
Our rafts were kind of funny, built with bamboo chairs and large beer umbrellas. We ran into a couple boats on the way filled with young people. One boat had all girls and it was all guys on the other. I couldn’t understand what they were singing exactly, but I could tell they were flirting each other with love songs.
And at night, we returned to the little town we started out. We had beer fish, chestnut chicken for dinner. The night market was filled with little souvenirs. My friend and I were just scheming up all kinds of ways we could sell these little things in America at 16 tiems of the price. My trip to my hometown ended in Guiling. Even though the weather was really hot and humid the whole time, I got used to it and missed it very much when it came to time for me to leave.