My family came to Hong Kong and a few days later we flew to Fujian, China, and met up in Xiamen with some Filipino-Chinese family friends and their own children. Thus began the road trip in a minibus across the small and big towns of Fujian which our grandparents had left to go to the Philippines decades ago. (Very exotic food too. Harmless when drowned in chili sauce.)
First was Anhai, a small fishing village where my grandparents had lived. I saw the house built by the pesos my grandfather had sent from the Philippines, and the bed where my father was born and which he left when he was two years old.
Next we went to the mountain wilderness of the Shuyang township to see the tulous. A tulou is a type of residential architecture in Southern China with 700 years of history and special characteristics, such as the packed earth constantly maintaining room temperature through all seasons. People still do live there.
Some of the locals in the tulou.
This was what we were supposed to eat when we went to town to have lunch. It’s a baby warthog, freshly caught that morning, or so the cook claimed. (We skipped it and opted for the leg of a wild boar. I kid you not.)
Next was the upper-class city of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, where my mother’s folks came from.
Us down the luge in the bamboo park.
A very old and cranky panda who is the very one the Beijing Olympic panda logo is modeled after. He can’t walk down the carpet during the ceremony this August though, because he’s diagnosed with high blood pressure. No kid.
Shaolin monastery. There are only two in China, and this is one of them.
The Shaolin disciples watching a soap on TV. Their weapons are on the other side of the room. Quite seriously. I was careful not to be too intrusive as to suddenly find myself pole-axed later.
Tired and exhausted, our fathers check out a tiny eatery to see if it’s hygienic enough for dinner. (It didn’t quite pass.)
The next two days were spent in Gulangyu, which I’ve been before and have posted photos. The one below is a new photo, though, and it’s special because there’s a staircase between the walls of the house.
Afterwards the families separated and my family went to Macau, where we stayed in The Venetian casino and hotel, which is quite stunning, so I will let the photos speak for themselves through Thirteen Ways of Looking at Lampposts, in homage to Wallace Stevens. (Yes, that IS fake sky. Yes, it has three canals in the hotel and a lagoon outside. Where you can ride on a gondola with a singing gondolier. For a price I’m not too willing to pay, but it’s nice to see and hear them.)
(If you have reached this far, I am most impressed.) It’s not a lamppost, but the colonnade leading to the lobby.
And I brought Mom around downtown in Largo do Senado, the Ruins of St. Paul, and the Macau Museum. A shot of the Ruins from Rua de Sao Paulo.
Then she had a shampoo in a little salon and I went around, getting into more museums and manors, but I’m not gonna post them because I’m quite spent uploading all of these. =p But the trademark wanderlust’s shadow shot anyway:
Hail! My favorite photo of the entire trip. Everyone covering the light with their hands so they could see the 1948 inscribed on the facade of the building.
Good times. And a happy new year to everyone.