8 days in China – Day 8: I left a piece of my heart in China

This is gonna be my last blog for this series 8 days in China. My last blog about Day 7 was written a week ago and I was dreading to end this series. Blogging about my trip to China gave me this feeling of being back in China in my dream; so ending my series on 8 days in China is like waking up abruptly in the middle of a good dream. I’m not quite ready to wake up and face the reality yet.
I’ve traveled to other countries before including China. It was my second time to China and I had to ask myself why I like China so much that l felt like I left a piece of my heart there.
My last day in China was not eventful but very memorable. On Day 7, I ended my blog after being dropped off at the train station. The family I had been tagging along during the trip looked at my train ticket and told me they would be taking the earlier train back to Kunming but I’d be taking much later train. For me it was not a problem at all since I was already at the train station. But they were worried for me and asked the twin brothers from our tour group what time their train was leaving. It turned out the twins would be leaving the same time as me; so the family asked the twins to take care of me. I was laughing inside though because the twins looked like high school students and I felt like “yeah right, what and how could they take care of me anyway?”
Here’s how they took care of me.
The train to Kunming was delayed. There was an announcement in both Chinese and English but there was no way I could understand the announcement. So one of the twins tried his best translating for me that the train was delayed. There were more announcements and an hour later our train finally arrived.
I thanked the twins and said goodbye. But they weren’t done yet; they checked my train ticket, took me to the sleeper car I was in, and found my sleeper. Again I thanked them and said my final good-bye as they were in different sleeper cars.
In the morning, I woke up around 6 but by the time we arrived to Kunming, it was around 8:30. As I was getting ready to get out, one of the twins came and told me that we arrived to Kunming and told me to follow him. I was surprised to see him and felt so touched at the same time. He didn’t have to come and get me. I don’t know what the other family asked them to help me, but they didn’t have to do anything to go out of their way to help me. They owed nothing to me. But they took care of me anyway.
The twin wondered how or where I would be going once we got out the train station. I told him a tour guide would be waiting for me outside. At the same time I saw someone waiting outside the train station with my name on a card and I told him I found my tour guide. I did thank him for one last time as he left to find his brother.
From the train station, the tour guide, 4 other passengers, and I walked to a near by restaurant to have breakfast. My schedule said we would still be going to a flower market in Kunming before they dropped us off at the airport. I called my tour operator to tell her I should be at the airport by 10:30 in the morning and it was already 9:30. I wouldn’t have time for the flower market. The tour operator said she would arrange something and hang up the phone. But I ended up on the same van as the group who would be going to the flower market; so I had to call my tour operator again. As soon as I hang up the phone, the van I was on stopped in the middle of a road, another van pulled over and the driver told me to get on the second van to take me to the airport. Come to think of it, that was a little crazy and almost like a kidnap. But, of course, it was me, I don’t usually question, and I’m such a trusting person. Or you might call me oblivious or naive. I got on the van with a bunch of other people. There were suitcases so it was enough for me that it looked like they were going to the airport. Yes, I got to the airport around 10:30.
By that time, I should feel like I had enough of China with some chaos coming to the airport and was ready to be back to Bangkok. But the truth was it didn’t bother me much that there was misunderstanding about coming to the airport. It was more of a mixed emotion.
I was frustrated of the language barrier but I also started to fall in love with China. There were times that I was annoyed by some people on how nosy and invasive of my personal space but at the same time they were very genuine and their intentions were to help me. Many times I felt intimidated by the way Chinese speak; they were too loud that it seemed like they were arguing about something. However, to my surprise, they were just passionately discussing about how good green tea was from that particular place. They also speak bluntly that it sounded rude but at the same time they were honest about it. It is also a complete opposite of the culture I grew up in and currently living in. In Myanmar and Thailand, people in general speak softly and if you raise your voice, people consider it rude. People often do not show their true feelings, so they might be smiling with their sugar coated words but inside they might want to eat you alive.
So just because Chinese culture is different, who am I to judge how they act. My own culture has so many flaws.
As I was sitting in the airport ready to be boarded, I realized that I have fallen in love with China and it was such a mixed feeling… almost like a love-hate relationship.
3 hours later, I got back home to Bangkok, and while sitting in my room, next thing I did was I grabbed my iPad and started checking top attractions in China. Yes, I need to go back to get a piece of my heart I left in China.


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2 Responses to 8 days in China – Day 8: I left a piece of my heart in China

  1. glowbeau says:

    Loved this post Zarni, I love how you talk about your love-hate relationship with China. I think i feel the same, there are so many things i don’t like about china but i still love it so much each time i go. the people, the food, the energy surprises and delights wherever i go in china


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