So the first part of my Mid-Autumn Festival holidays didn’t really start like a holiday but more like a usual family visit.
Same as last year, my OH and I traveled to Yichang, Hubei to meet the family, after all, this festival is very much a family holiday. In the olden days you were supposed to spend the few days off with your loved ones, enjoying traditional food and playing games. These days it looks a bit different…As any traveler would have noticed, Chinese like to travel. Previously it was only within China but now that people have more disposable income, and by this I mean much much more, the newly-formed middle class prefers to travel abroad. I’m sure that anyone, who recently visited a more touristy place (most European capitals, South East Asia, Japan, South Korea and many more) easily noticed the hordes of Chinese tourists. And we all most definitely heard them!
Due to this recently developed phenomenon, many families spend the Mid-Autumn Festival separately, choosing instead to spent the Spring Festival together (or the other way round). As my OH is very family-oriented and my in-laws are strangely eager to see me again (professing how much they miss me and all) I had no choice but to travel to central Hubei for a few days and hope I wouldn’t be stuck in a room by myself while everyone else takes turns at playing majiang (happened too many times)for hours on end.
It may seem strange to mention the weather at this point but as soon as we got off the plane, we noticed how much more comfortable the air was. No humidity, gentle breeze-massive difference from muggy Guangzhou. The pleasant temperatures encouraged us to spend time outside, do a lot of walking and we even spent a bit of time on the banks of the Yangtze-always my favourite part of the trip there (I’m a hopeless romantic and as mundane and grey it is during the day, in the evening the river bank and nearby park turn into a gently glowing refuge for local couples. And a dancefloor for the ayis).
Going from a metropolis like Guangzhou to a Tier II city can be quite a shock. But a pleasant one, at least for me. I like the slower pace of life, a more relaxed atmosphere, and most importantly NO CROWDS. I must admit though, it’s great for a week or two but I couldn’t live there. Hardly any foreigners, no Western products…I know I sound pathetic as I am in China and shouldn’t expect those things but there is no point denying that they do matter to me and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.
The four days spent with my OH’s family and friends were better than anticipated. A few dinners out, a friends’ wedding (which made me realize just how huge ours was in comparison!) and only a couple of hours of majiang! Nothing to complain about this time:) We were leaving sad but also excited to explore the new places awaiting us.