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I Extended My Family in Shanghai

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I never have been one who likes to bother people I know while traveling to their place. I shy away from asking to stay at their place, to pick me up from the airport and other whatnot. No, it’s not because I am the descendent of Emily Post, it’s just I don’t like unimportant people asking me for similar favors. Sometime back a girl who went to my high school English class messaged me on Facebook, asking whether I could accommodate her and her whole family (she mentioned a two digit number) while they came for a holiday. What? Who are you again? What?? We last spoke like ten years ago, and that was to practice our English. I ignored her message. Moreover, I like to keep my personal space personal.

Personal space = happiness / Personal space > kindness.

So I didn’t expect anything when I reached Shanghai, waiting for us to be picked up by Yin’s papa. It changed shortly after I met him. I told Yin earlier that I would need a local SIM card to message my overly-worried-all the time parents that I reached China, safe and sound, accepted among a billion of them. A few minutes after meeting Papa Yin and an untranslated conversation between father and daughter, I was given a brand new SIM card and a public transport card, both with balance. I offered to pay back (I might not be Emily post, but I do have a little mannerHe refused.

Shanghai Apartment

I wanted to hug and thank him for being so kind to us, but I didn’t know whether it’s an acceptable norm in China. Also, I hadn’t showered for almost 24 hours. So yeah, maybe no hug, I thanked him profusely. In the car, there were boxes of cakes and cold drinks; apparently he bought it before coming to pick us up. How thoughtful! When he dropped me and Vi, he insisted for us to take it with us. We did and had it for breakfast the next morning.

When I went to Beijing. Yin and Papa Yin came to pick and dropped me off on the train station AND they came again to pick me from the train station when I came back from Beijing. I could totally do it by myself, I think, but he insisted on doing it. And for whom? Me?? Yes, I am Yin’s friend, but I was just a stranger to him, no?!
On my last day in Shanghai, Papa and Mama Yin invited me for lunch. I accepted it of course! I would love to meet Mama Yin for the first time. That and the home cooked food.

Home cooked food = LOVE.

After a short bus ride away from the AirBnB apartment I was staying, I reached their place. It was a lovely apartment. We hung out at Yin’s bedroom. I love seeing my friends’ bedrooms (It’s normal right?) I love seeing their knickknacks, it’s like seeing them more wholly. She had a whale soft toy on her bed! Hahaha.. Not a teddy nor something girly, but a whale. It made a lot of sense though, she majored in Aquaculture (how cool is that?!). Then we spent a good hour looking through Yin’s baby pictures. Totally gem you guys! I have shared it with the other two besties ever since and it has been brightening many Mondays for us. I would love to share it here, but then she would kill me and I don’t want my friend to be charged with second degree murder (Law and Order is playing in the background). Her travel pictures were enlarged, printed and displayed all over her room by her parents. Parents love.

Shanghai Home Cooked Meal

And then it was lunch time. Honestly, even though I love all the food I had been eating every day in Shanghai, it was by far the best meal I have had in my entire time in China. We ate like a family, something I miss back home. Her parents kept bringing food from the kitchen and adding it to my plate. I was too ecstatic to say no. It was a lovely afternoon of what, ten? Twelve course meal. The picture above shows the first of three parts, I stopped taking pictures because I was too busy eating. It was heart warming. In my heart it felt like I have a new extended family.

Thank you Papa, Mama and little Yin. I felt so welcomed in Shanghai because of you. Thanks for sharing sweet memories with me.

Now it’s your turn, have you guys visited your friends’ place in their home country before? How was it? — I am linking up for Travel Tuesday with Tina, Bonnie and Melanie. Thanks for reading.

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  • This is such a wonderful and heart-warming story! I was taken in as a ‘stray’ by one of my colleagues and her friends. While I was living/working in China I started off staying in a hotel. One of my colleagues hated that idea and brought me home with her and I never left!

  • Aww that’s such a sweet story! Sounds like you have met a truly wonderful family!

  • This is such a great story. It’s nice when people welcome you into their home!

  • Oh, how wonderful. I don’t have any friends overseas, but we have stayed with some of my boyfriend’s friends in the past. It’s incredible how friendly people can be. It makes such a big difference when you’re in a strange country.

  • That sounds really nice of them indeed! I’m also like you, I don’t like to ask anyone’s favor because a) I might not be able to return it b) I don’t want to be anyone’s burden! That being said, if that means I can eat local homemade food, I’d go for it! I love Chinese food, especially the authentic one!

  • Oh, I love this!! To be taken care of and invited in as part of the family is an amazing treat! I would have been eating it up (no pun intended, ok, maybe a little)!! The food and the experience! So awesome!!

    • Foreign Geek

      Thanks Tina, I feel the same as well 🙂 I am lucky to get to meet kind hearted people.

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  • Rima Sagala

    now I want to hug Papa Yin already. awww. that’s sooo awesome!

    • Foreign Geek

      Iyaaaa.. He was super nice 🙂 The kindness of strangers filled me with awe.

  • Oh that food …looks so amazing! Makes me wish I had some for lunch today. 😉 Thank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday!

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