Back in the US
After a day of flying, we finally landed in Grand Rapids late at night. Things were quite difference here: a vacant airport with one bus station. In China, airports and train stations are always crowded. Transportation from the airport to the city is quite convenient; metros rush under the ground, and buses as well as taxis lining up out front. My Schenkel dad came to the airport to pick us up. We had a nice ride on the familiar red pick-up truck. By the way, people barely see pick-up trucks in China, especially in the cities. A special license is needed for pick-up driving. I went back to my apartment, unpacked most of my suitcase, and washed up for bed. We have much more space here than in our Chinese home, especially in the bathroom–the double sinks and the separated rooms for shower and toilet seemed to be a luxury. Also, the tap water is drinkable again. I went to bed at 2am, and I woke up around 5. The neighborhood was quite, deadly but peacefully. Five o’clock is when cities in China wakes up. An old Chinese Christian hymn goes like this, “China’s morning at 5 o’clock, sounds of praying comes along.” In deed, 5 o’clock is when my dad always wakes up and pray. At 5 o’clock, I could see through my windows and find students walking to school; I could see an elder lady riding a bike with a front basket, probably to the farmer’s market; rosters would be making the morning calls; kids would yell to the breakfast vender across the fenced street to make an order. The sense of community is quite different in China. In China, I always see what my neighbors are doing, but I don’t usually get to talk to them. But in the U.S., I don’t see my neighbors often, but when we run into each other, we talk about what we’ve been busy with.