28 October, 2010 : Jiashan

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Almost a year ago, I visited Jiashan for the first time. I also intended to visit my relatives in Suzhou but thought I would have plenty of opportunity, well I was up in China several times but it is a lot bigger than I thought and so I am guilty of not meeting my relatives yet. They are my granddad’s younger brother’s son and descendants.

So last year we went to Jiashan and met with a number of government officials there, they were all very nice and friendly. At that point in time Jiashan would be the last stop on the speedrail before Shanghai. I think the speedrail already stops there now and life must have changed again.

We stayed in a very nice hotel and they took us to see a variety of places. There was a museum dedicated to a master painter from many hundreds of years ago and also to a famous actor. Jiashan is also lucky that they are near an old city that is a major tourist draw, we enjoyed that area very much.

We tried to look fro my granddad’s old house but it was apparently demolished a few years back. There may be old photos. Here is a picture of where the house would have stood. Its all rubble now. The bridge is “maiyu qiao” (bridge where fish is sold), a landmark pointed out in my granddad’s article on how to get to his house. I saw lots of waterways and imagined my grandfather using that mode of transport. I need to dig up my book on old photo’s of China, what a different time that was. I bet my granddad would not believe I have gone to see where he was born. I can’t believe it myself!

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