Xu Guanghui is one of many economic migrants who are strangers in their own homes, but the flood heading east is ebbing as development spreads west. He had not seen his family for two years when he sat down for a celebratory feast in Luzhou , Sichuan province. The 34-hour bus journey, like a tourist, over bumpy roads to get to his family from his work in Guangdong had taken its toll, and he was apprehensive about the homecoming.
Over Sichuanese dishes of shuizhu huangshan (spicy yellow eel) and fenggan niurou (wind-dried sliced beef), washed down with baijiu, a strong white liquor, the migrant worker was welcomed by his wife of 26 years, his elderly mother and his two children and was introduced to a new granddaughter, already 16 months old. About 20 relatives crowded around two large dining tables, cracking jokes and laughing loudly.
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