It’s been a while since my last blog post and I apologize for that. My Internet has been down, so brace yourselves because we have a lot to catch up on!
Last week my Chinese class took a field trip to the Luxun Park in Shanghai. We were given a picture of where we needed to end up at, and it was up to us to follow the clues and go by way of bus to the park. This was my first time on a bus in Shanghai and hopefully the last. The buses here have no sense of community or personal space, so needless to say I was quite relieved to finally get to the park and see all it had to offer.
This park surprised me in many ways, as it was unlike any other that I have seen before in the U.S. For example, the first thing we stumbled upon was an outdoor gym filled with elderly Chinese people using the equipment, stretching, and socializing. Next to them were people doing tai chi, chanting, and dancing. I also saw people writing Chinese characters on the pavement with water brushes, playing badminton, and just relaxing with each other. I’d have to admit though that my favorite part was meeting this little girl and her teeny tiny dog of approximately 3 pounds!
On Friday my Chinese class had two more field trips. The first one involved our entire program receiving a kung fu lesson. I learned how to appropriately make a fist and how to punch fast while still blocking. In addition, I was told that next time we will learn to kill someone with our bare hands (supposedly).
After this I rushed over to my internship at Yucai High School. We had been learning about education in our Chinese class so I organized a trip for the rest of my classmates to meet some of the high school students and to see for themselves what school was really like in China. We had a really good time introducing ourselves, teaching the students the game 7-up, and best of all, teaching them how to wobble.
The wobble is a dance that can go along with pretty much every song and has been really popular the past couple of years, especially in colleges. The Chinese students wanted to learn about American culture and we showed them. They really enjoyed it, so for the next couple of weeks I’ll have to study up on popular dances like the cotton eye Joe, the electric slide, and more in order to teach them.
I wrapped up this week with a trip to Nanjing. I went with two of my friends, Emily and Katia, to visit my dad’s co-worker who lived there. He set us up on a bullet train and in a 5-star hotel, helping us to experience how the other half lived in China. We were given his driver on Saturday to drive us around to see memorials such as Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s, and were treated to a lovely meal with his family on Saturday night. It was really interesting being with his family because Jason has 3 children, something that is almost unheard of in China these days. His oldest daughter got to practice some English with us, and we all left with smiles on our faces.
Overall it has been a great week, and I’m looking forward to 5 days from now when I leave for a week-long trip to Hong Kong! Speak to you next week, or as we say in China 下个星期见！