On Feb.21st, Moran came to Guangzhou. His flight arrived at Baiyun International Airport at midnight. Alisa drove to the Airport with her dad, who was riding shotgun.
The airport was still crowded with hundreds of travelers in the luggage claim hall. Yes, you're not mistaken: it was after midnight. Four other planes had just arrived at around the same time as Moran's flight.
After a while, Alisa found Moran walking out of the enclosed area. She went up to him and gave him a hug. He returned it with a kiss.
The way back to the Baiyun house was eventless. The next morning, all of them packed their things and drove to the Nansha house.
And after settling down, Moran had begun his new life in Guangzhou. He found an IELTS teaching job at the Higher Education Center. On the days when he didn't need to work, he would travel around the city, visiting cultural sites.
Every night, after they both got off work, they would be together again.
If you asked Alisa what were the similarities and what were the differences between Guangzhou and New York, she would tell you that Guangzhou had all the basic things you would need but on the other hand, it had a whole set of different things that you might not have heard of.
For the "basic things you need" part, about transportation for example, Moran could travel to any nearby city without any language issues. For instance, he could go to Foshan through subway connections, and to Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau through the high speed railway. As a complimentary transportation method, he could also take inter-city buses.
Where food was concerned, the supermarket in Nansha had self-help check out counters, so he didn't need to talk to anyone during the entire shopping process. Most of the restaurants ran until 10 pm, some were even open until 11 pm.
About safety, it was unbelievably safe to walk on the streets at night. If it was 9 pm or 10 pm, it would still be crowded on the street. Even if it was 11 or 12 pm, you could still see several people around the street, and guards sitting at booths at each street corner.
For the "whole set of different things" part, the list could be long. The biggest difference was the diversity, efficiency and creativeness of Guangzhou society. For every possible market, there were people discovering ways to do business, and a new consumer group would develop in a short time.
Guangzhou's biggest advantage over other nearby cities was its living environment for the new incoming population. Rent varied widely from one place to the next, and the housing price was much more affordable than nearby Shenzhen or Hong Kong. People had more job opportunities and less financial pressure.
Here, you could have a snack at 10 pm at McDonalds, finding it packed with young people who were getting together or partying. You could see college students studying at Starbucks in groups. You might see a shopping mall with more than 100 restaurants. You could pay for almost everything, even to a small vendor on the roadside, with a phone app. You could call a taxi easily at midnight. You could order almost everything from online shops. You could jog into the green area in the middle of downtown and find it more crowded than gyms in the U.S. You could find dozens of American, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese restaurants within walking distance.
Life just seemed so convenient and vivid in this place.
Moran had been working there for four months. His students were very nice, and his pay was good. His master program would start in September, and he had already found three roommates to share the expensive apartment fee in Hong Kong.
Moran and Alisa don't know what will happen in the future. But as long as they are together, they can feel happiness.