Metropolis and Family gathering
After our stay at my godmother and fathers place in Kunshan we took the train to Shanghai and stayed there for a couple of days. Arrived in Shanghai we felt directly that it´s quite hectic and chaotic. Maybe we are discriminated from Japan, everything was so clean, tidy and disciplined. In China everything seems to be the opposite…you need a lot of patience, nerves and assertiveness.
Unfortunately the weather in Shanghai was not on our side, it was raining very heavy and our motivation to explore the city was not that high. But we managed to visit some places like the Nanjing Road, the Bund and Tianzifang at the French Concession. The city is really a metropole, interesting for people who love to go shopping, like the hipster and fashionable lifestyle.
We also made a day trip to Suchou to visit an aunt of Mery. Mery never met this aunt before, she is the eldest sister of Mery’s father. Mery got the contact information through her sister from Indonesia. Her aunt invited us to visit her at her home in Suchou where we went. When we arrived at her apartment we were warm welcomed, she was so happy to see us and also very excited, we of course as well. It was a very emotional meeting, she told us about her life, we were so curious and wanted to know a lot about her and Mery´s family. With 79 years she is very fit and lively, smiles a lot and make jokes, a very cheerful person, in spite of her past. She was born in Indonesia, same as Mery´s father. With the age of 16 her father send her and 2 brothers and sisters to China. It was a terrible boat trip from Indonesia to China, it took more than 10 days in the lower deck. She never had the chance to see her father again after her moving to China. Only her mother went twice to China to visit her 3 children. For Mery and for me it is somehow unimaginable nowadays to live in a foreign country as a child without parents. When she arrived in China she received support from the government, they could visited school and university. At the university she learned English and worked as a teacher in the middle school. Her husband also studied English and worked as a professor in the university. Mery and I were very surprised that she could speak English perfectly. Our nice meeting was also funny because we spoke 3 different languages: Mandarin, Teochew (dialect from south China where our ancestors came from) and English. We never had the chance to meet her husband, he died last year in 2015. When we were at her apartment she had visit from a friend from south China where our ancestors came from. In the evening she wanted to invite us for a dinner. When we talked about our world travel for a whole year, she wanted directly to give us money because we do not earn money during our trip, she had sympathy for us. For us absolutely inconceivable, we never met before in our life and she wanted to give us directly money, unbelievable this woman, so lovely. By the way, we of course didn´t take it.
When it was time to say goodbye we all said that it would be nice if we could meet again in future, hopefully it works one day. We were very happy to meet her and Mery knows now much more about her father´s family side.