Diary from China ĖĖ Wednesday, July 27, 2005; Shanghai

 

Excerpts from Diary:I was admiring the rows of 100-year-old housing when Fan (one of Zhang Weiís cousins / sisters, sheís in middle school) said that her grandparents lived in an apartment building like that one, very old.I took some pictures and we continued walking Ė turns out she ran ahead and told them we like to see it, and we got to go into one of these apartments!We passed some other Caucasians walking through the project, and I thought, LUCKY LUCKY ME!I get to go INTO one of them!

 

The grandparents are no longer living (Grandfather had died 30 years ago, Grandmother a few years ago) but living there now are one of their daughters (Fanís aunt) and her husband and son. She had taught math to middle school in a southern province until she retired last year, and then she moved back into her parentsí home.The reason she lived all her adult life so far from home is because during the Cultural Revolution, as she came of age, she was sent to work there.Iíll try to find out if she met her husband there or if he was also displaced from Shanghai and glad to come back home after they retired. [LATER: I found out that she met her husband there, but apparently many people are glad to move to Shanghai, even if it means leaving the family, as itís a very desirable place to live.]

 

 

 

We walked through the 100-year-old apartment complex.

 

The apartment buildings are being renovated, including replacing the exterior with new brick, using scaffolding made of bamboo (the last photo of bamboo scaffolding was taken from a bus elsewhere in Shanghai -- for a photo of a bamboo ladder click here).

 

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We are greeted at the residential entrance in the back of the building by Fanís aunt, who served us sugar beets and watermelon.The apartments have beautiful molding, and a wall was built to separate it into two rooms.

 

 

Outside the apartment, the hall leads to a patio on the roof.We can look down into the apartment, where we see Fan.

 

The front of the apartment building now has stores and offices.

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