Day 9: Heading Down to Donghua

Breakfast in the last hotel seemed to be on par with the last two we had experienced, with a small American food section (French toast, sausage, bacon, and for some reason baked beans), and a wider range of basic Chinese ones. I had time to sample many different items before boarding the bus at 9. On today’s agenda was another university, and I was excited to compare this one to the two others I had toured in Beijing. As the bus passed through the gates, the university seemed smaller than the others, but still had a pleasant, secluded feel even though it was in the middle of Shanghai. Our first lecture was okay, but seemed very much like what we had heard at CUFE. I did enjoy watching a video of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, give a talk about the difference between American and Chinese e-commerce markets. After the talk ended, a group of university students came in to meet us. I was put in a small group to be escorted by a girl named “Cocoa” (or Koko?) who seemed very shy. She escorted us to lunch in the school cafeteria. The chicken and rice was simpler than the many traditional Chinese meals we had been eating, but I thought the chicken was much less fatty and very tasty. One major issue that I discovered with the dining facility was that there were no bathrooms! I had to wait a half hour to find another building and almost got separated from the group after they moved on with the tour! Luckily, I was reunited with my tour guide just in time for the knot tying activity. I won’t lie, this may have been the most excruciating part of the trip -more excruciating than even the 15 hour plane ride to Beijing. The Chinese knot we were supposed to tie required many pins to hold each loop in place. Since we didn’t have pins, the students provided us with tiny bits of scotch tape, which did not stick at all. Even worse, I got 90% through the process only to realize that my string was too short! After some deep breathing and meditation, we finally said thanked our tour guides and left for the hotel. I took the evening to nap and relax, watching movies on the only English entertainment channel.

Leave a Reply