Having once lived in China for 11 years, I still travel there frequently. This post is from my trip to China in May 2010. View more stories from that trip and other China trips here.
My Grandma has lived in the same gated retirement community for more than a decade. There are 5 low-rise apartments in the community. Grandma lives in building 3, second floor, first unit – unit 321. As a child, I always found humor in the convenience of that apartment number.
When I attended elementary school in China, my parents both worked late into the evenings. Every day after school, I would walk to my Grandparents’ place, eat dinner with them, and do my homework there. Then, my father would come pick me up just before 8pm. This was my after school routine for many years, like clockwork.
I have a lot of childhood memories at my Grandma’s house: riding my bike in the courtyard, doing my homework on the sewing machine, and telling jokes with the gatekeeper.
Even after 9 years, I still have vivid recollections of this home. But the place is smaller than I remembered, and dimmer. Everything and everyone seem a lot smaller, now that I’m bigger. The apartment is undergoing renovations for the first time since it was built 20 years ago. It’s out with the old furniture and old windows, and in with the new tiles and new technology.
I took these photos as a last memory of this home, as I remembered it. A lot of the appliances and kitchen utensils in this place are older than me; Grandma is stuck in more traditional times. This was how people lived here, 10 years ago.
Going to a different city in a few days; updates later this week.