This will probably be my most opened and personal post I have written so far...This is not for my family, friends or all the people that I have met and been to inquisitive about my background. This is for me and me alone!
However, I hope that this will make it clearer for people to understand and respect the personal life of others. Accept that even if you are curious about someone's life, they should not have to explain or talk about it to you if they do not feel comfortable doing it. For some people this might be an obvious thing to do or not to do, but that is not how most people think.
So this is the story of my three days back in Wuhan, China, the ending of my five weeks journey around Asia and the city where everything started for me.
The first day 23 of July, I woke up in a great mood and had finally gotten a good night sleep. The host that I was staying with was a really nice guy, he even gave me the bedroom while he stayed on the couch and help me to find my way around the city. Together we pinpointed on my map some places to see and visit and he helped me to download some apps that would make it easier for me to know which bus or transportation to get. I got to borrow a bus card and then he drove me to the bus stop and showed me which one I should take to get into the centre.
My tour around the city began in the Hubu Alley, where I bought a traditional Wuhan breakfast dish called doupi which I ate while walking by all the different street food places.
My walk took me around a nice street area which was, without me knowing at the time, very close to my orphanage. I continued walking towards the river where I took a ferry to get to the other side called Hankou. In that area I walked along the streets filled with different shops and restaurants till I arrived at the Wuhan Art museum. Unfortunately at that time the museum was closed but I could still see and appreciate it from the outside. I continued around an area that was suggested to me, till it got me to the Yangtze River and on the ferry to go back to Wuchang area. The view and the sunset was really amazing from there.
Across on the other side I succeeded to find the bus that took me to my host's apartment and had a quick shower before we would go and eat some dinner together. After a nice meal, eating like the traditional Chinese way by sharing everything we went to a cinema close to the apartment. That was the first time I had ever seen a Chinese movie with real people in it and luckily it had English subtitles so I could actually understand what I was watching.
When the movie ended he drove us to the lake close by and at midnight we sat and saw the beauty of the lake while listening to some smoothing music before we went back home.
Day two, 24 of July. Learning from my mistake the day before I didn't really have the urge to go out and explore the city when it was over 37° outside. Even so, I got up pretty early and spent my time reading "Eat, Pray, Love", enthralling seeing as I was doing my own journey and search for myself.
When my host woke up a bit later, he asked if I wanted to have lunch with his family. With my reply he called his mother who was occupied at the moment and could meet us. Not long after that his father called instead and asked if we wanted to join him and his friends for lunch. Even if I would not be able to have much of a conversation, the proposal sounded interesting and nice. Off we went and met his father and friends for lunch and had a lot of different kind of dishes to eat from. I tried to listen and get a idea of what they might were talking about without any huge success. Both my host and his father urged me to eat more and more and when his father asked me a question in Chinese, all eyes were on me. When they got my approval smoke from around the table started and the resounding of heated discussions and laughers continued.
When full and finished we left the restaurant and went back home and had an after lunch nap. A few hours later, a friend of his came over and while they were practicing and playing the guitar on the floor, I sat on the couch listening to the nice melodies and draw in my notebook. After the music session and his friend had left we sat down and I got to see and taste the traditional way of making Chinese tea. We had several cups of tea and ate different kind of nuts and seeds while watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Neither of us had seen the movie before but both of us liked it and discussed some of the places the character in the movie visited.
Little later than regular dinner time we went out to a restaurant and had some traditional Chinese noodle soup, that tasted so much better than the noodle soups on the Trans Siberian railway. After our dinner he drove us to the closest metro station where we took the train to get to the Hankou area. There we started walking around in the most local areas before we unlocked two bikes with the app on our phones. A bit unsure of riding a bicycle in the unfamiliar city I did not do it the day before, so this would be another first thing I did on this visit. We went around in the Hankou area for one and a half hours, stopped at various places where I could take some pictures or get something to drink and ended up by the Yangtze River. There we rested for a little while, listening to music and enjoying the night view. At that time the public transportation had stopped running so we took a cab to where the scooter was parked, a longer way then needed so I could se a nicer scenery from one of the bridges and then went back home.
Day three, 25 of July, my final day and the most important part of this visit. Having a few nervous thoughts about this day I woke up quite early and started the day with a shower to relax my mind. Not sure if that worked but at least it managed too cool me down from the heat of the city. A bit after nine in the morning we waited for the phone call that would tell us to get down. Luckily they had my host's phone number so they could call him when the call to me failed. We went down and got picked up by the agency that drove us to the orphanage.
I talked to my host several days earlier about my visit to Wuhan and the orphanage and was asked if he could accompany me during this visit. The feeling of not having to do it alone made contact the agency to ask if that would be possible.
So there I was, in the car with a driver, a guide and my host, on our way to the place I spent some of my time before going to my family in Sweden. Not really sure what this visit would do for me or make me feel I listened to the information given by the guide and tried to stay calm. Upon our arrival I got to know that the orphanage had around 600 children in various ages and was the oldest and biggest in the Hubei province. We had a tour around one building that was finished building 1998. This was not the place I stayed at but the information given was interesting and some what heartbreaking when hearing the reason for why the special needs children had ended up there. We went into different classrooms where we were met by sweet and smiling children that said hello and waved with great energy at us. After the tour we walked into an office where I was showed all the documents and legal papers about me and the adoption. Some information I already had from earlier and some were new. A bit comical that I learned some information about my family that my parents have not told me about their parents. The documents did not however contain any information about my past before my arrival at the orphanage. My name, age and birth family was unknown, since I was found abandoned and was brought to the police and in turn ended up at the orphanage. Doctors estimated my birthday and the orphanage director gave me the name " Wei Xiang Yu". I got to know that usually kids gets the same surname as the director Lee, but for whatever reason I was special and was given the surname Wei. The whole meaning of my Chinese name is apparently "brave bird". I read through all the documents, there were not that many and took pictures of every page, even the once written in Chinese.
Unfortunately I could not go in but they showed me the building from where I was living during my stay there, from the outside it looked very pretty.
Afterwards there would have been a lunch included for me but I decided to sign a paper that said that I wanted to cancel it. Instead they drove us to my host's family apartment where we were welcomed with an astounding lunch. This time as well they all urged me to eat, which I tried my best to do until I was so stuffed and could barely move. Every vegetable was from their own rooftop garden and you could taste that the food was really cooked with a lot of love.
Back to the apartment after the fantastic lunch with his family we took an after lunch nap. I did not actually realise it until I woke up. When we both were awake we had some afternoon Chinese tea before we went out to have some dinner. This time he got me to try another traditional dish that was really god but was usually eaten in the morning. Nice and stuffed we continued the evening to the eastern lake where he said that there would be a party. I was not really sure what to expect but was happily surprised. In a park by the lake we sat together with a lot of other people and listened to different people performing songs, poetry and playing music on various instruments. We sat there until a bit after eleven, even my host played and sang a few times before it was late enough for the guards not to care and we went around the lake on the scooter. I really enjoy seeing big city's during the night, when it is really dark but a few street lights and buildings brightens everything up. We ended up by the lakeside again, but this time I played some Swedish music by Ted Gärdestad and I could sing when nobody knew if I sang good or bad.
My journey has really been interesting and for the most parts fun and thanks to my awesome camera I succeeded to take a picture with my new friend in Wuhan!