Visiting Home: Taiyuan, China

This post is long overdue but hey better late than never right?

During the month of July, I had the privilege to take a 10 day trip to TaiYuan, China, my hometown, the place I was born to visit my family, especially my 91 year old grandma. 

Prior to the trip, I was finishing up my master’s degree and taking a comprehensive test the day I left for China. Thankfully and spoiler alert I passed as I found out 2 weeks later. With the school stress behind me after taking that four test in the morning, I caught a flight back to SoCal to have a quick dinner with my parents before leaving for LAX for a 1:45AM flight. Pretty thankful for the 1:45AM flight because I knocked out for about 10 out of the 12 hours of the flight. Upon landing in Beijing, my dad and I ran through the Beijing International Airport to catch our connecting flight to Taiyuan at approximately 6:00AM.

It was a whirlwind of travel adventures but finally my cousin picked us up from the airport and drove us home. The really cool and challenging part of my trip was that I stayed with my Aunt and Grandma in a village. There were local small farmers around the neighborhood, a man who owned cows and sheep down the street, a steamed bun baker right next door and some bomb dim sum shop a few doors down. Also they shut our water off everyday at 10PM, so I had to literally scoop water out of a bucket to brush my teeth every night. Nevertheless, I had a very enjoyable experience staying there. 

The quaint view I woke up to every morning. 
The village I stayed in. 

A glimpse of the FengHe river.

Me and my father sneaking photos in. 
The night lights were to die for. 

Rainbow colors!
While we went sightseeing in the transformative city and visited historic mansions, my favorite things were not the tourism but learning about who I came from. I spent so much time learning about my badass grandma and wild but loving Aunt. 

This is my grandma. I call her Nai Nai. She is 91 years old and she loves eating, especially meat. Her favorite breakfast items are little dim sums. She can easily eat 10 of them. Nai Nai also has a loving heart and loves to hold my hand knowing that I’m sitting next to her because she has bad eyes. Despite being pretty fragile and old, she is strong and loves to hear music and even claps along to the worship music she listens to every morning. Grandma used to be a great cook, making dumplings, buns and pies all from scratch. She also knows how to sass someone into speechlessness, without directly offending them. Apparently, she also says a lot of cuss words, though I don’t actually know what they are in Chinese. Grandma has experienced World War II and running away from the Japanese. She raised her 3 kids as a single mom on low income but still has such a healthier body right now. Grandma is an inspirational and strong woman to me. 

This next lady is my Aunt. I call her GuGu. GuGu reminds me of myself a lot. A bit crazy, wild, sometimes dumbfounded and sometimes lacking control to hold her tongue. Yet she is spontaneous and loves to go on adventures, where she will pose with the most dramatic poses. GuGu wakes up every morning at 5 AM to deliver newspapers on her motor scooter, where she also drives ferociously. Every morning, she would start her day listening to a podcast on a sermon and praising the Lord. Her love for God and dedication is inspiring and shines through her so easily. My Aunt is actually a grandma herself and has so many to take care of in her life, my grandma, her children, her husband, her grandchild, her brothers and her work and church friends, yet she somehow still finds so much joy in her everyday. Despite her busy lifestyle, she always took my needs as priorities and gave me her full attention while I stayed there. My Aunt is a brave woman, not scared of very many things. I admire her loving character, wild and crazy manners and her brave heart. 

A Chinese food court at night. 
My little second cousin.
What farming in the Chinese countryside looks like. 

Visited an ancient Chinese Mansion. 

Traditional Chinese Views

Chinese agriculture!

A crazy Lucy spotted. 

Traditional Chinese characters. 

Taiyuan has a wet and humid climate. The lush mountains had killer views. 

I also had to climb about 2000 feet to get to this spot.  Also please ignore my shoes. 

Loving the mountain skyline. 

Thank you westerners for building your brick walled houses. 
I grew up with these women vaguely in my memories but this trip allowed me to learn so much about them and my other family members in so many ways. I appreciate having them in my life and it was such a blessing to spend so much quality time with them before starting a new chapter in my life. 


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Hi there, welcome to Lucy and the Wilderness. I'm Lucy, the author, photographer and designer behind this blog.I hope you have a fantastic time here exploring my blog. Feel free to leave me a comment and have a beautiful day!

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