Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Hefei, my old stomping grounds

Hefei is the little known capital of Anhui Province where my parents were on the faculty of China Science and Technology University. Up until my sister, brother, and I started elementary school in Shanghai, we got shuttled backed and forth between Hefei and Shanghai. As a little kid, I intuited that Hefei was far inferior to Shanghai.

In the ensuing forty years I found little reason to return. Part of the impetus that prompted this visit was my only remaining great aunt had moved to Hefei a couple of years ago. Alas, I arrived to find that she died the day before. While I could not fault her for leaving this world after 94 years, nonetheless it was difficult for me to accept her departure.

The weather did not look on my visit favorably either as it rained over half of the time.

Upon this brief visit, I discovered:

1. I am older in age than ALL of the buildings on the university campus, nevertheless the campus looks shabby.
2. My old world was even smaller than I expected. I had known that going from our old apartment to my kindergarten seemed like miles must be greatly exaggerated. Now, reality shows it is more like steps.
3. The older part of the city is rundown and crowded, the new part pretentious and impractical.

Whew, am I glad to be out of there, then and now!

We took the high speed train from Hangzhou to Hefei.
Hefei, China

And enjoyed some noodles and bing (bread) after settling in to our hotel.
Hefei, China

Hefei, China

I can't resist taking photos of "loaded" recycling carts.
Hefei, China

Sun-Ling at the gates of her old kindergarten.
Hefei, China

The old university "swimming pool".
Hefei, China

The old university gate.
Hefei, China

John making new friends on campus.
Hefei, China

Making "hand-pulled" noodles.
Hefei, China

And the finished product; our noodle soup.
Hefei, China

This snack is kinda like a potato burrito. Have two and it's a meal. ;-)
Hefei, China

Hefei had much more street food than Shanghai or Hangzhou. We picked up these steamed buns as a snack before visiting the Anhui Provincial Museum on a foggy then rainy day.
Hefei, China

Hefei, China

The museum, in the newer section of town to the south, was worth a visit. We especially liked the exhibit on prehistoric Anhui. Here's a shot of the lobby.
Hefei, China

Some prehistoric pottery balls (bottom row).
Hefei, China

After the museum we headed to the downtown pedestrian street and adjacent park but the rain soon drove us back to the hotel.
Hefei, China


Liz said...

Sun Ling,
I am so sorry to hear of the timing of your Aunt's death! Thinking of you.

Sun-Ling said...

Hey Liz, good to hear from you! We are finally back in the free world, specifically, California. I didn't write very much while we were in China, as internet is slow to start with, and becomes molasses with tunneling, when I am already preoccupied with visiting and research :(

Kathy said...

Welcome back!

So sorry about your great aunt - that was terrible timing.

At least the food looks good - if you like noodles and dumplings.

Crash Eddy said...

We add our condolences to you, S-L, on the untimely death of your great aunt. Sorry you did not see her alive. 94 is a long life, we hope she was not ill.

Back to California? The way you two travel in such whirl-wind fashion, you may think you just left. Welcome back to the USA. We await your return to NC.