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Monday, May 13, 2019

A Special Return in China

About two weeks ago I arrived in a city I had explored a number of years ago. I was eager to return not only to see what had and hadn't changed and learn more about life there, but also because the city holds a special connection to this blog and my blogging experience. Relevant to the connection, there was one place in particular I especially wanted to seek out. Off the top of my head, I only had a vague sense of its location relative to the hotel where I had stayed long ago. I worried that if I couldn't find it, I might not even be able to be sure whether that was do due to an incomplete search or the location being significantly transformed. Cities can change quickly in China, and it had been a while.

After checking into my hotel, one in a different part of the city than the one I had stayed at during my previous visit, I set out that evening to walk around. I didn't look at a map, just let my wandering instincts take over, and wasn't intent on finding the special location that night. Nevertheless, after almost 40 minutes I was surprised and excited when I saw it in the distance. When I later looked at a map I discovered that without realizing it I had taken a route that couldn't have been much more direct.

So here is a photo taken that night which captures a vantage point that makes the location's significance far less apparent than some others would:

outdoor market at night in China


Now it is time for a return of the old game "Which city in China is this?" Normally, I wouldn't think people would have much of a chance with this photo. But in this particular case, reader's have real reason for hope. You don't even need to be a China expert to figure it out. And although digging deep into this blog (and another particular site) could significantly help in identifying the city, you needn't go far at all to see why I was so happy to find this location again.

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