After returning from the mainland, we had a few days off from school to take a trip of our own. Some of us went to Xi’an, and some of us stayed back in Hong Kong. I went to Xi’an as well, but I didn’t travel with the group. I actually went back to Xi’an not to be tourist but to visit my host family.

In 2006, when I studied a semester in Xi’an during my high school senior year, I stayed with a lovely family that I kept in touch with. I promised them I would come back and it took me four years to keep that promise.

I took the afternoon flight from the Hong Kong to Xi’an, and my host parents came to meet me at the airport. It was great seeing them and finally being able to use the Chinese that I have forgotten. They told me I have not changed a lot and they have not changed at all. As I walked into their home (my old home), it was as if I’d never left. The room where I spent my semester was as I left it four years back.

My host sister was so happy to see me despite the stress and lack of time she has due to her college entrance exams. We talked about what we should do for the couple days I was in Xi’an, and I had a great night’s sleep!