Anyone who has been to Hangzhou is sure to remark on the beauty of West Lake. My hometown’s own UNESCO World Heritage Site has been the subject of countless poems and songs throughout the ages, and is said to reflect the ideal fusion between nature and humans.
Today, I decided to pay this beautiful lake a visit. Every time I come back to Hangzhou, or take friends around the area, West Lake is my number one destination. I would take a stroll down Su Di Causeway, hop on a wooden sampan to “Three Ponds Mirroring The Moon”, take a walk over the Broken Bridge, and then spend an afternoon singing myself hoarse at the lakeside Partyworld KTV. Last time I returned in January, K & I spent our 10 month anniversary at West Lake. We took a boat around the lake and visited the intricate gardens of West Lake’s central islands, when it started snowing. That visit was my first time being in China during the winter, and that idyllic picture of snow lightly falling onto the lake is still distinct in my mind.
While I’ve had many amazing memories in recent years with the Lake, my story with West Lake actually goes back much farther. Back in 1988, my parents got married along with 9 other couples on this lake. In fall of 1990, my pregnant mother was taking a walk along the lake when I decided it was the perfect time to come into this world. A year later, I almost fell into the lake and ended up being scared of water for the subsequent 5 years.
After I started high school, I started coming back to visit more often and kept it up after college. I remember pulling an all-nighter with Andrea walking around the lake drunk in 2009. We were singingly loudly and almost got thrown into the lake by an angry homeless old man. I remember a fun sampan ride on the lake with Caleb, Albert, Sol, and Jeff. I remember heart-to-heart talks with Jeff every summer he came to visit. I remember that summer with my GCC Hangzhou Delegation and our karaoke session at Partyworld.
As I took a nice stroll along the lake this afternoon, all of these memories flashed back and made me feel super nostalgic.