Hi, blog. I’ve been away for a long, long time. Well, now I’m back from China! And this was me for the first 24 hours:
Pretty much. I don’t think I stopped crying on and off until at least three hours into the flight. Hot mess with lots of feelings, that is me. I don’t think my sister even knew what to do, except try to make me laugh by mimicking my ugly crying face.
So, yeah. I was in Shanghai, China for two weeks (May 29 to June 12) with my sister. It was a family-filled, food-filled, wedding-filled two weeks, and I loved every minute of it.
Almost all of my extended family live in Shanghai, so every trip to China is special. I hadn’t gone for just over two years, and my sister for three, and this was the first time either of us has been to China without a parent. I think being able to be a part of that familial community as individuals was important for both of us and made it a unique experience.
Not to mention, I’ve always found it difficult growing up in the U.S. without my extended family. I used to feel intensely jealous of my friends who were close with their cousins or aunts and uncles. I still do sometimes around the holidays. I know my relatives are still my family, but it gets hard to remember that with so much distance between us. Being able to be close with my family for a few weeks was really meaningful, but made leaving really hard (and tearful).
This time around, we spent the majority of our time with my mom’s side of our family since the wedding was on that side of the family.
The only family members I didn’t get to see this time around were my stepcousin and her husband and my cousin and his girlfriend, both on my dad’s side of the family.
On the flight to Shanghai, my sister asked me, “What’s the first thing you want to eat when we get there?” I said, “Shengjian baozi,” and she said, “Me too.” Our aunt (who we stayed with) had the same thing in mind! Shengjian baozi galore! These are my favorite and I couldn’t get enough, especially since they’re something you can’t (at least I can’t) find in the U.S.
I indulged in some other old favorites too!
I tried some new-to-me foods too!
Not pictured: chicken kidneys, which I was just eh on.
Oh, how I love authentic Chinese food.
My cousin got married on June 10th and my sister and I were bridesmaids!
Not a lot of time was spent doing wedding prep (about a day or so in all), but the day of the wedding was exhausting. We were go-go-go from 7 am until midnight or so. We had so much fun observing all of the Chinese customs though! I’ve only been to one wedding in the U.S. before so I don’t have much to compare it to, but as far as I know, it was vastly different.
It meant so much to me that my cousin chose my sister and I to be her two bridesmaids though. We’ve always been the closest with her of our six cousins so it was really fun to be a part of her special day.
All in all, a great trip. I already miss my relatives and can’t wait to go back.