What does “ABC” stand for? American Born Chinese. In 12 hours, this ABC will be traveling back to the motherland China for 17 days. I will be on a flight to Shanghai with my dad and sister. Back to the roots. Genetically, my grandparents and their ancestors and so on (or so I know) are all from China. Maybe Mongolia if we’re going to root back to Genghis Kahn. I watched a documentary recently, apparently 1/200 people living today have his blood though those numbers vary. My parent’s were born in Taiwan after my grandparents escaped China in the 40s when Mao ze Dong took over and kicked Chiang kai Shek & his KMT party out. It was leave or be massacred.
I’m quite excited to visit the homeland. I have been to Taiwan & Hong Kong a handful of times (if you consider it China). A decade ago, I visited Beijing and really wasn’t into it. I climbed a miniscule portion of the great wall, visited the forbidden city, saw some operas, and got some massages. I realized that at different ages, different stages in our lives, we appreciate places differently. When we went, it was in December, the heart of winter, fuhh-reeezing cold below 0 temperature. And back in hormonal high-school days, none of us were ever satisfied no matter what we did. So this will be a fresh new trip.
Many American Born Chinese My Generation have moved to China
We will land in Shanghai for 2 nights. Meeting up my dear Chinese-American friends Albert & Victoria. They are also American born Chinese who are now expats in China who found better, more promising careers in Shanghai. It’s been a common trend for many to move to China or other Asian and Middle-Eastern countries during the American recession. Comrades of my generation, and even my parents generation going back to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China for better career opportunities.
We will hang in Shanghai to see the nightline, and tour the city by day. On the 4th day, we will be en route to Fu-Zhou in southern China (next to Guang-zhou) where my dad’s parents are from. We have some family friends who will take us around. And then en route to Yunnan where I am most excited about. Yunnan is in southwest China, bordering Burma, Vietnam & Lao’s, a boat ride away from Thailand. The most diverse of the China states, Yunnan has over 40 different ethnic groups & religions that live amongst each other peacefully. We will lounge our way from the capital of Kunming, Dali, to Li-jiang.
If we have time, we may go all the way up to China’s Utopia aka the “real” Shangri-La. Is this the “real Shangri-La” that James Hilton had written about in Lost Horizons back in the 30’s? To many, it may as well have been all a fiction. “Shangri-la” or “paradise” is where you make of it. But in the case of China, it’s somewhere in the northwest bordering Pakistan. So I will decide for myself when I arrive if that is my paradise.
After a week in Yunnan, our itinerary is open. Open to X’ian, or Cheng-du. Or ending our trip at the beaches of Qing Dao (in Shan-dong, northern eastern China where my mom’s parents are from). Coincidentally, the Qing Dao Beer festival will be happening while we are there. Compareable to a Chinese version of Octoberfest. That could be a fun or absolute terrifying claustrophic experience.
I’m off to exploring part of my root. And replenish that wanderlust that needs to jet-set far too often. Bon Voyage!