Author: Yin Ya
On the evening of the 29th of August, heavy rain fell in Shanhai City. The ground, which emitted heat, had been washed down by the rain, making it pleasantly cool. The next day, the air was so fresh that it smelled invigorating. Wang Cheng originally planned to return to Guans’ Village that night, but because of the rain, his plan was changed.
On the morning of the 30th, Mama Wang stayed at home to look after the house and the fragrant pig was temporarily looked after by her as well. Papa Wang personally took Wang Ziyu to the city to meet with Wang Cheng. The plane tickets were set at 2pm. Because no one had ever traveled by plane before, and for fear of not being able to board the plane on time, Wang Cheng asked them to come early.
This was not the first time that Papa Wang came to the city. Because their children were quite outstanding, even Mama Wang had been here several times.
However, it was their first time to come to Wang Ning’an’s apartment.
The splendid atmosphere was upscale and everywhere was filled with a flavor of modern luxury. At night, one could see a magnificent night scene while looking out from the balcony. Living in such a place was really a treat.
Wang Ziyu was excited to see this place.
Still, Papa Wang was fairly calm. Living as long as he had been, he no longer valued money so much. Although the big bustling city was brimming with prosperity, its environment was not as good as the countryside. Just like many people, once they had money, they would slowly seek for the quality of the living environment.
Wang Ziyu did not bring much luggage. The suitcase was black. When they bought it, it was mainly because it was resistant to dirt. The model was medium in size and it could hold a lot of clothes.
At high noon, Wang Cheng personally went to the kitchen to prepare lunch for them.
Papa Wang’s suggestion was something that could be easily prepared so that Wang Cheng did not have to cook too much.
Wang Cheng had this in mind either, but he had another matter to take into account. Since it was also his first time to board a plane, he checked some information online.
There were meals for passengers on the plane, but online reviews stated that they were not delicious. For that reason, he planned to bring something to eat, so he packed some cooked food in a thermal lunchbox like dumplings, steamed stuffed buns, and shumai. It just so happened that he ate dumplings last night. Wang Cheng just packed some more.
The three had lunch and left after an hour of rest.
Shanhai City’s subway had not been completely opened up yet, so they could only take the bus. If Wang Cheng gets a driver’s license, it would be more convenient to drive by himself.
It only took half an hour to go from the Tranquil Community to Shanhai Airport. Although it was very hot at the time, there was a lot of people in the airport already. As soon as they went in, a pleasantly cool air blew across their faces, making them feel much cooler in a split second.
It was only Wang Cheng’s second time going here, so he was not that familiar with the place. Fortunately, they still had an hour left. In accordance with the airport’s directives, they went around and finally found their flight. At this time, there were only twenty minutes left before the plane takes off and the ticket check-in would start in five minutes. Passengers were already standing in line at the ticket gate.
“Fortunately, you have foresight and we went out early. If not, we could’ve really missed it.” Wang Ziyu heaved a sigh of relief.
Papa Wang was separated from them because he could not get in. He went home by car alone.
“Don’t talk anymore. Sit down and rest for a few minutes. The tickets are about to be checked and we’ll board the plane in awhile.” Wang Cheng took the suitcase and found an empty seat to sit down.
Wang Ziyu was close behind. She did not understand anything and could only follow her second brother. In her eyes, even if her second brother did not know anything, she felt that he knew everything. After arriving, they started to queue up for ticket checking. There were many people going to the capital and some people were just like them. Most of them were going there to go to college, but they were accompanied by their parents.
After getting on the plane, they found their seats. One was near the window. After letting herself take a seat in the plane, Wang Ziyu looked around with curiosity. Wang Cheng was sitting beside her, and beside the aisle was a foreign man. After the plane took off, the noise was very loud, and there was a feeling of weightlessness, similar to when you begin to take the elevator.
It would take more than two hours from Shanhai City to the capital, and then they would have to take a bus, car, or train to Beijing University. They would most likely encounter the peak hours of commuting. Granted that they arrive past five o’clock, it would be pretty good. In developed cities like the capital, the traffic flow during commuting hours is very scary. Shanhai City had let Wang Cheng experience it for a month or two.
Past three o’clock, Wang Cheng took out his self-made dumplings.
The thermal lunchbox was quite effective. When it was opened, the dumplings were still hot. There was even a prepared soup inside it. Dipping dumplings in the soup for a bit was definitely far more delicious than airplane food.
Several passengers nearby smelled the scent and looked at it in surprise. Most people would bring some steamed stuffed buns or biscuits, or simply bring nothing at all. It was very rare for people to bring appetizing dumplings with them because it would not taste good if they keep them for too long. This scent caused the people to drool.
“It smells delicious.” The foreign man saw the glistening dumplings in his lunchbox and praised him without mincing his words. He spoke in Chinese, but his tone was a bit odd.
“Thank you.” Wang Cheng picked his sister a few dumplings. When he saw the foreign man’s envious face, he asked, “Do you wanna try it?”
“Is it okay? Thank you so much.” The foreign man was delighted.
Wang Cheng smiled and gave him a few.
After eating the dumplings, the foreign man praised him a lot, saying that this was the best dumplings he had eaten since he came to Shanhai City. It was tasty and very filling. The two talked for a while and Wang Cheng was able to find out that he came to Shanhai City as a tourist.
(Translator notes: Just to clarify, the author really wrote the name of Wang Cheng’s city as 山海市 or ‘Shanhai City’, which is fictional and should not be confused with 上海 or ‘Shanghai Municipality.’ The capital mentioned in the story was written as 帝都, which means ‘imperial capital’ and is often used to refer to Beijing. However, we decided not to use Beijing to refer to the capital city in reference to the usage of Shanhai City. The author might have set this story in a fictional country, based on China.)