Rescued

Manchuria in Dongbei

Rescued

The streets and buildings were covered in white when I awoke the next morning. No phone, no Internet connection, very little cash, and—a phone number to call. My classmate’s father-in-law, a Shenyang local. Jetlagged and with little appetite, I ate a trail mix bar and walked the streets around Shenyang’s old city wall and the “little forbidden city” (小故宫) looking for a phone card. The receiver on the public phone was icy cold on my ear. After a few tries, Uncle Wang picked up. Speaking in Mandarin Chinese that I could only half understand, I managed to tell Uncle Wang my location, and he said he would meet me there. He came walking along the snow-covered street thirty minutes later, very much concerned for my well-being, and checked to make sure that I hadn’t been swindled by the guesthouse owner. We took a surprisingly short cab ride back to Uncle Wang’s apartment, where I was treated to trust and a home-cooked meal, including sticky rice cake treats (niánhuǒshao 黏火烧)—essentially cooked mochi balls with red bean filling—from Uncle Wang’s hometown, Xinbin, in eastern Liaoning Province.