Over the weekend I found the journal I wrote from my first trip to China almost 26 years ago to the date! My mom’s good friend, my English teacher, and the leader of this trip gave me the journal and wrote this somewhat chilling inscription. My how things would change after this trip!
There was very little in the day to day entries that jarred my memory. I did forget all this time that my dad drove a bunch of us to O’Hare so early that morning of June 14, 1988 (almost a year to the date before Tiananmen).
But what surprised me was the detail in which I recorded things. For instance, I kept a list of every single purchase I made in those sixteen days. Here’s page two of this list. I converted the Chinese yuan into US dollars. (Back then we used FEC currency, not RMB!) And looking at these prices, I can see that China was not cheap back then.
And I wrote a detailed list of cities we visited, including the departure and arrival times of the flights or train trips!
And here’s my list of accommodations. I actually checked them to show they were confirmed. (How I missed my calling as a travel agent!)
My dad made sure I had a list of Chinese numbers, which is kind of cool because I started Mandarin class a year after he wrote these for me.
And my mom wrote her shopping list (including something for my aunt’s father) on this page. I have to say that I love traveling with a shopping list for other people.
I’m so glad I found this diary in an old bookshelf I left behind in my last home. I’ll take better care of it from now on.