Friday, June 11, 2010

~ Shantou-Jieyang (汕头-揭阳) - Day 2 (Part 2) ~

After lunch, we continue our journey....with the main purpose of our trip to Shantou - finding my father-in-law's relatives. Fil only have letters with an address written on it...he has never return to Shantou before and never seen them. Our tour guide based on the address to help us find the exact location.

It has been raining still, making it slightly more difficult for our guide to ask for directions. He has to get off the bus and check with the locals to direct us to another junction before we stop again to ask another person for further directions. This went on and off a couple of times.. and we finally located "炮台镇" and went further in to find "四村塘边乡". I can see the anxiety and excitement my father-in-law is feeling as we are getting nearer and nearer to our destination. He also joins our guide and went up and down the bus a couple times to ask if they happen to know the names of his relatives. After all, this is why we travelled all the way here from home.
Some snapshots which we took along the way.

After some twist and turn, we finally found the village! Next is locating the exact house since there are no house number.

We didn't see many people on the road since it was raining.. Our bus stopped by a house and our tour guide and fil went down to ask if they know our relatives by chance. We are really LUCKY that the first house that we stopped by knew who we are looking for and coincidentally, the house that we have been searching is just opposite the spot where we stopped! I cannot believe our LUCK!

Before arriving, we already suspected that it might be empty since the last letter indicates that our relatives have went to other province to work. Nevertheless, fil still wishes to see the house that they once stayed.
Old house - currently vacant

Through further conversation with the neighbours, father-in-law found out that his cousin (堂妹) still stay in the village and with the help of the friendly neighbours, we finally met up with her. :) She took us to her humble home and we also met up with her son and daughter-in-law.

The rain didn't stop and at times it gets heavier... we had our brollies with us but it would have been much easier to tour around the village if not for the weather.

We were later being directed to another house where they rear pigs! Father-in-law used to rear pigs during their kampung days in Punggol. Hubby has been helping out when he was a child at that time. I always hear my mil mention how Hubby helped the pigs to give birth to their little piglets back then. So this scene must have brought back some of their childhood memories.

We also heard from my fil's cousin that our grand-aunt is staying nearby (out of the village) and so we travelled down for another house visiting. I didn't followed them for the 2nd visit since Gladys doze off in the bus and it was difficult for me to carry her down in the rain and taking the umbrella along the way. Still, I heard they were warmly welcomed and most important of all completing and fulfilling my father-in-law's wish for this trip.

After a full day event, we are finally back at the hotel - 特美思酒店. It's so good to rest our aching body and legs and having a good bath after getting drenched in the rain.

We had a corner room and so it's very spacious. But comparing with Longhu hotel, the furnishing is slightly older.. especially so with the toilet tiles and bath tub. The lightings are also dimmer.

There are always a tea set in the hotels that we stayed so far. Packets of different chinese tea are also available for the guests.

There isn't any activities or places to go around our hotel.. and to make it worse, the rain got heavier. :( We are also on our own to settle our dinner. Nevertheless, the 10 of us venture out with our brollies and settled our dinner at a stall along the road. (大排挡).

Dinner wasn't fantastic and after having oyster omelet for 3 meals consecutively, I kinda got 'sick' with the over consumption of oysters. The fish wasn't really fresh either and the other dishes was a bit oily. Dinner was done fairly quick and we walked further down and found ourselves 'shopping' at the one and only supermarket nearby. (Seriously, there isn't any option for us.)

It is a 2 storey super mart where the 1st level is mostly food, wine and other products. We took the escalator up and found the clothing and toys section. There isn't much to see nor buy but we still manage to buy a set of clothing for Denver and Gladys. Before leaving, the kids even wanted some ice-cream! It's still raining heavily outside and so cold .. but they didn't mind. :)

The most tiring part to me for today is carrying Gladys all the way back to our hotel. Even though Gladys is holding the umbrella as I carry her, she keeps swaying the brolly and I ended up getting wet still. :( My hands and back are already aching and I'm so happy when we finally got back to the hotel!

All of us are so tired! Thanks to the RAIN!

Read on for Jieyang-Chaozhou - Day 3 (Part 1)

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