『Rectangular rows of rice fields litter the landscape separated by long lanes of water designed to provide the constant supply of water that is vital to producing the crop.』① The experience is not unlike driving through the American Midwest, only rice not corn dominates the landscape.
Four years ago, when I last took this trip, the roads were dust and telephone wires did not run parallel to the highway. Bare roads have been replaced by sleek, newly paved highways running from Shanghai to Nanking, to my smaller, home city, Wuhu. Unlike the changes I had heard of and expected in Shanghai, Wuhu was much more of a surprise. The small city where I was born had grown up as I have. There are large high-rise buildings, each ringed with smaller buildings around it, many of these apartment complexes. Little seemed familiar and I wonder what my grandparent’s flat built of brick and mortar had become.
『Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that their home had been demolished and rebuilt as a six story apartment complex as well. 』②Walking up to the second floor I saw my grandfather’s face peering out of the screen door. He began to smile as he saw me, and so did I. Their home is now no different from a western apartment. Equipped with the modern amenities of a gas stove, a toilet, a showerthis was indeed different from four years ago.