Sparkling in the Sun

Today was our second and final university visit. I found the one before this pretty boring, so I was not looking forward to today. The lecture wasn’t all too interesting because it was pretty much the same content as our previous lecture and it consisted primarily of graphs and a dull video. However, this university visit quickly turned around and became a lot more fun than I had anticipated. Two of us were paired up with a student from Donghua University for the remainder of the day. My student’s English name is Dolly and she was very nervous talking to Kevin and me at first. However, after asking her questions about herself, and answering questions about ourselves, she began to warm up to us.

Dolly took us to lunch at the school’s canteen where we were able to pick from several different ingredients. I chose some meat, tofu, veggies, and ramen, which was cooked up and served with soup and rice. It was actually quite a bit of food, which I could not finish. I also got a really good frozen mocha coffee drink. Following lunch, we walked around the campus and took a group photo. One of the students said to me “Oh my gosh, you are so white. You sparkle in the sun”. I knew I was pale, but I didn’t think I was that pale! Haha. After this comment, we spoke for a little and she was very nice. I really enjoyed being able to chat with these individuals and to learn a little bit more about their lives as students in China.

The walk around campus was nice because the weather was perfect and we walked at a relaxed pace. We then went back to the classroom for an activity. Our activity was to (try to) make a traditional Chinese knot. However, this was nearly impossible. Kevin and I ended up making a much simpler knot, so we didn’t completely fail at the task.

Our day ended quite early, which was nice because I definitely needed a nap. For dinner, Jordan, Athena and I went to a Mexican restaurant. I know I shouldn’t say this, but it may have been better than the majority of our Chinese meals. I had the taco salad and some sangria. Afterwards, we stopped at a bakery just diagonal from our hotel. I was torn between macaroons and the tiramisu, but I decided to get the tiramisu. It was so good! I’ll definitely be going back at some point for the macaroons, though.

I really love how much more peaceful Shanghai is compared to Beijing and Xi’an. The weather is cooler; you can walk at a slower, more relaxing pace; and it is definitely nice to have a number of western toilets to choose from 🙂 And, of course, I can’t forget to mention the beautiful live music in the hotel as I sit in the lobby writing this. I can’t believe I’m already down to three days left in China. 

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