Haven’t been back since 2004

Going off to Xiamen in a few hours. I’m very excited since I haven’t been back there since 2004, which was my first trip to China. I’ll only be staying for a few days, so no worries with regard to what’s happening with my life and when I’m coming back. I shall be back….next week.

I was talking to my cousin on 人人网 a few hours ago and it made me realize that if I stay a bit longer, I could actually make it to the 10/1 National Holidays….but that would mean missing a lot of things planned for next week here in Manila. Nonetheless, I’m excited, to be sort-of going home. Xiamen has definitely changed in the 7 years I’ve not been back. Last night as I was going through Google Maps, I was a bit confused as to how the place actually looked, it looks a heck of a lot different from the last time I had seen it so it took a bit of adjusting to. Back in 2004, I didn’t really go around the city much, besides staying in my uncle’s apartment, going to SM, going downtown (for a bit) and going to Xiamen Univesity and Gulangyu, visiting JiMei University and some temple that apparently is pretty famous in Xiamen. A lot of what I remember about Xiamen is vague so this trip will definitely either bring back a lot of memories, or will be spent making new memories.

Also, since my last trip, my Mandarin and Hokkien has improved by leaps and bounds….so I’m excited to sort-of break the barrier when talking to my family there. One of my uncles from there has seen my improvement over the years since my dad would let me chat with him on the phone a few times. He used to have a hard time talking to me since he was used to speaking mostly Hokkien and back then, I had almost close to nil skills in 闽南语. Now, it’s much better. He still talks to me in Hokkien, though I can ask him to switch to Mandarin when his Hokkien starts getting too fast or too complicated for my basic level Hokkien.

This trip will definitely be 1) an eye-opener, 2) family reunion of sorts and 3) a possible look into my future. And yes, my Mandarin skills have probably rusted a little in the last 2 and a half months since I’ve been back…so hopefully that’ll work out okay. Besides that, I have my trustworthy Chinese dictionary to keep me company and to help me when the language barrier arises.

And of course, my copy of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin is coming with me. I’m already on p260 out of 708 so at I’ll at least have something to keep me company when there’s nothing to do or when I’ll be alone somewhere and would be too afraid to talk to the locals. Haha. Always have to have a back-up plan, or companion!


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