An Inside look of Wuhan, China pre-coronavirus: On the journey to find the yellow crane tower

After looking like a crazy lost tourist, I was able to make some new friends at Starbucks. Looking back, it kind of hurts to think that these kind people are probably in a hospital now. It’s crazy how everything can change in such a short time. I was here in December 2019. Fast forwarded a month into the future and the corona-virus took over. It’s really sad to think about. However, getting back into the story, my new friends gave me directions and sites to see in Wuhan. They were surprised to see someone that looks like me in this part of china. I was seeing a pattern, I started to noticed they do not get travelers from all over the world here. The more time I spent in this central Chinese city, the more I enjoyed it. I’m just lost for words at how nice the people were to foreigners. Especially me being an american citizen, did not expect this type of treatment.

China’s verison of forever 21 photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Following the directions of my new friends, I ended up in a commercial strip. Saw stores from all over the world. Brands, I was familiar with and others not so much. As shown in the picture above, you can see a lot of local stores take inspiration from American brands. It’s really hard to believe this is a “communist” china. I even saw people openly wearing cross necklaces and the Muslim hats called kufi. China is not like what the media tells us. I keep getting told that most Chinese have to be atheist. From just looking around, I see that people practice religion here. To what level of freedom, I will explain in another post.

Sign pointing where the yellow crane tower exit is photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Got back on the subway, the original subway worker that I asked directions from. It looks like what she said got lost in translation. I ended missing the stop I was supposed to go. It wasn’t that bad because it was only like two stops away. I followed the poster pointing to what exit I should take. As seen above, everything was in Mandarin. Expect for some reason, the word “exit” was translated. I guess they want tourist like me to figure out the yellow crane tower might possibly be that way.

Red banner photo courtesy of Hugo morel

Got out of the underground and I was taken to the front of a park. I really wished I knew what these signs meant. They looked very important. Luckily, there were pictures of what not to do on the right. Still, the red banner made me wonder. Are they saying, “we don’t like Americans!” Or maybe, “All Americans eat cheeseburgers and french fries for breakfast!” Jokes aside, it could be government propaganda or just stating the park’s name. Which, I still do not know the name of this place. If any of you can read Mandarin, please let me know what the banner says. It would be greatly appreciated.

Art- I have no idea what that means photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

Walked more into the park, everybody seemed at easy and stress-less. I’m sure a complete 180 degree to the current events happening right now. Still, it’s hard to believe how peaceful everything was. Old people watching the birds and kids running around without a care in the world. Everybody was just enjoying their day. An atmosphere, I just had to sit down and enjoy. For once on my recent trip around Asia, I felt relax. No one wanted to scam me and no one harassing me. Wuhan, China isn’t so bad, it’s actually very enjoyable. I just hope everything calms down, so that you all can experience this someday.

The beautiful nature photo courtesy of Hugo Morel

The one thing that stood out to me about china is the natural beauty. You see it on the subway. The leaves and plants look so beautiful. I always thought China was nothing but apartment buildings and packed streets. So far, I have been wrong! Couldn’t wait to see what else China had to offer.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!

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