For breakfast on the 2nd day, we decided to walk towards the Luohu railway station as there wasn’t any “char chan teng” (HK style cafes ) near the hotel. We finally found one descent looking one but when we saw the menu we found the prices were sky rocket high, I mean it was like higher than HK standard cafe prices! What a rip off! The food was not great and portion was small too! It was like RMB22 for a breakfast set of fried sausage/ham (actually it was luncheon meat lor) with a slice of toast and a hot drink. Rip off max right???
Then we had to use the toilet as we were going off on a bus ride back to my ancestor’s village, which was actually about half and hour – 45 minutes away from Shenzhen but since we were not sure of the transportation we though it was better to use the toilet first. The cafe didn’t have its own toilet so we had to use the complex toilet which was not only a squatting toilet but with a open wastebasket filled with unwrapped used sanitary napkins staring up at you. It was quite bad as I just had my breakfast and I nearly threw up ok!
Then we went around looking for the bus to the town nearest to my ancestor village and we finally found one after asking around. The bus was the mini bus equivalent to those van buses in HK. It cost RMB15 per person and no concession fare for children and senior citizen! Blek!
Upon reaching the main stop at the nearest town we were amazed with the development there. Tall and modern buildings everywhere but I always remember what a friend said before, China has world class infrastructure but no class citizens! Which was sadly true… We rushed inside a sparkling new shopping centre right opposite as we wanted to buy some gifts to visit our remaining relatives there and also use the toilet! We need to go so often due to the cold weather I suppose! This time the toilets were much cleaner as there was a cleaner inside constantly wiping the floor. Me and sis in law got carried away in the supermarket so my brother had to come in to get us to hurry up.
We saw a taxi and we showed him our family tree book (which I thought had the full address but it was only the village name!) and the cab driver was also an immigrant from northern China so he was not very sure of where it was! We went rounding for a while and stopped to ask around but there were no locals around! Then finally we found the village and we stopped there to ask. Finally we found a group of women who spoke our native tongue, which was Hakka and they also bore the same sirname! Then the lady began to study our family tree book trying to identify who she knows and she even made a phone call to ask a relative. She told us basically the whole village also bear the same sirname! Then her husband took a peek and recognised one of the names my dad had circled. Hallelujah!!
Then the lady quickly led the way to that person’s house and it was just a stone’s throw away. She pressed the bell and a guy looked out the window and she shouted that we were Msian relatives trying to locate his father. He quickly came down the stairs and we also went and we met halfway up the stairs. They were such warm people and just welcomed us in their house just like that! Then the father came and he said he went to my house before. I couldn’t recognise him as that was more than 10 years ago. In ranking, he was my “cousin” and he is 84 years old! His 60 year old son addressed me as “Qu Qu” (Aunty) and I really couldn’t take it lor! They were such hospitable people.
It was about noon time and they asked if we have eaten lunch but we haven’t the time since we were looking around for the place. They quickly offered to cook for us! We told them no but they insisted. It was like in half an hour they whipped out lunch for us complete with soup! See photos below.
I’ve never tasted a yummier chicken that that one! The stuffed oysters were “humungous” and tasted so good that I ate a few pieces! I never liked oysters but this one was really good.
Majong is the main activity in the village
After lunch we had tea and chat for a while before they took us to the ancestors’ house. The ancestors lived together in a walled community with 4 main doors. All the Liew family lived there and we actually went in where exactly my paternal grandfather lived. It is now being rented to the immigrants from Northern China and they were kind enough to allow us to go in.
View of the ancestor houses
One of the 4 doors, notice the wooden bars, those are actually used to lock the doors
Entering the Liew “Chi Tong” ( temple for ancestors)
The money from the rental of the houses goes to maintain the temple and pays for the yearly CNY banquet of “pun choi” (similar to the one I had earlier on) to the whole community there.
My new found relatives (actually not really as my dad discovered them when he went back in search of his roots back in 1994 or 95) then offered to drive us to the Windows of the World theme park. It was quite out of the way as they have to drive us out to Shenzhen city again. On top of that he wasn’t too sure of the roads as they hardly go out of their village! We were so embarrassed and felt so bad…
Photos of Windows of the World in the next post! Stay tuned!