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Published: April 30th 2012
We discovered a new phrase these last few days.
“A tree is a tree, a flower is a flower.” I think Cao Li coined the phrase but she is not so sure how she stumbled upon it. I have no idea what it means, but somehow I feel it could be the answer to an infinite number of questions.
I woke up to the sound of birds chirping their morning call. Our innkeeper kept birds in small cages in the courtyard.
We are ready for our homeward leg. Cao Li will fly to Shenzhen from Shanghai, Sin back to Portugal, Ying Chu and Lao Liu back to Chengdu to await their next assignment. For me, China is my home now. I have come away from this odyssey with an understanding that there is so much more to China than the chaotic showpiece I live in. I am saddened to find my car door has been keyed last night by reckless passers by. It is not so much the cost and time it will take to repair the damage. There are people in all every country who may find pleasure in dishing out pain. I feel a little betrayed
that it had to happen to me in a country I want so dearly to love. I don’t take this as a true reflection of China, or even Asia. It’s the first time I have experienced a car of mine being keyed in 23 years of being in Asia. Bygones.
We hit Hongcun for the very last time. It looks more picturesque today. Perhaps as today is our last day, we just only want to see the beauty. Budding artists, sketchbooks in hand, dot the lakeside. Teenagers want pictures taken with us. We oblige, as we have done many times during this trip. A kind reminder that we are guests in this foreign land.
We are heading home now, having almost clocked 10,000km. As I reflect back I think to myself, maybe I am home.
I am beginning to understand now.
A tree is a tree, a flower is a flower.
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