Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published October 2013.

At Home in the World

A woman from the American South travels to Beijing and celebrates her AA birthday

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel with my business school class to Beijing, for a 10-day class in International Business. The day we arrived was my AA birthday, and I was looking forward to attending a meeting to celebrate. I had done my research in advance, and knew that there was a meeting that night not too far from my hotel. I broke my anonymity with my professor so that I would be permitted to leave the group and go off on my own.

Our tour guide arranged a taxi for me, and the driver dropped me off at Poly Plaza which was supposedly near my AA meeting place. In fact, it was close, but confusing to find. I spent 20 minutes or so walking around trying to find the right building. I began to get a little scared, since I was in a foreign country and could not speak Chinese. I have learned that young people the world over often learn English as a second language, especially in the larger cities, so I finally stopped a young woman on a bicycle to ask directions.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

Saved from Drowning
A tumultuous early life led her into alcoholism and then into AA

A Greeting Card Life
The 12 Steps helped her adjust her expectations of family

A Journey of Grace
An old timer shares his thoughts on the practice of the Eleventh Step

The Ebb and Flow of Faith
A member discusses a commonly heard AA expression about faith and fear

Subscribe