I haven’t thought of Guangzhou in ages. But when I found this old photo a few weeks ago, it all came back.
Back during the height of Good Chinese Wife, “Cai” returned to China for a few months to renew his passport and Hong Kong visa. I visited him in Wuhan and Hidden River for a week one month, then the following month my parents and I met him in Guangzhou.
This is a photo from that weekend.
I’d been warned by friends in Hong Kong that Guangzhou was a scary place. Even just arriving at the Guangzhou train station, they said, would be a harrowing experience. So I’d stayed away until Cai suggested meeting there for a weekend.
Guangzhou had a new train station by the time we met there in December 1996. And it wasn’t scary at all. I also found the old shopfront architecture to be charming (in this photo) and loved the old quaintness of Shamian Island, where we stayed at the White Swan Hotel (which I knew from countless ads on Hong Kong television).
The only other time I was in Guangzhou was after we disembarked a night train from Wuhan on our way back to Hong Kong.