The Chinese winter vacation is one of my favourite Chinese holidays. It’s ‘low season’, which means travel tickets are reasonable, and there are fewer excitable tour groups or obnoxious selfie sticks flooding the popular tourist attractions. The only downside is that the weather can be quite brutal, plummeting to -12°c in many parts of the country (and even lower in the North). Many expats use this time to flee to warmer climates – Southern China or neighbouring south east asian countries, and the like – but I chose to stay and face the cold and revisit a place I have a lot of history with: Wúxī.
As my university semester drew to a close, and my impending return to London crept nearer, I knew I had to make full use of the opportunity to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. One of my oldest friends still lives in Wúxī, so I also had a place to crash, chin wag and reminisce about old times (throwing in some clubbing till the a.m. followed by nature strolls later that morning, cos we’re gangster like that).
Goodbye, for now…
Wúxī has such a firm place in my heart, being the place which encouraged some serious soul searching in the confines of my cosy little apartment (this might have involved dramatic sobbing in the shower), an intense yet short-lived romance, a few emotionally charged diary entries, Valentine’s evening spent alone in my favourite café buried deep in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and the courage to phase out redundant friendships.
I get some of the warmest feelings when I’m reminded of my time in Wúxī; it truly became a home away from home.