The land he left

Five hours by car from Guangzhou, near Jieyang, lies my grandfather’s hometown. I travelled with him in october 2008, during his sixth trip to the country he had left when he was seventeen.
When I returned from another trip to Japan, he told me « Next time, you should go to China. I can take you if you want. » To which I replied : « OK, but only if we go to your hometown. I’m not interested in Beijing or Shanghai. » I wanted to visit a place where I could establish a  link with my grandfather, even if it was a weak and thin one. Visiting the village where  he was born, and where a great part of his family still lives, was very important to me.
That’s how I met cousins, uncles, aunts, great uncles and great aunts. Meeting them and spending some time with them was giving me a strange feeling of discovering a part of myself on the other side of the Earth. I became aware of all those links that despite years, distance and events, still unite my grandfather and his family there, like unvisible ties which we can’t notice, but are still incredibly real.