I am both happy and sad to return to the United States. In the past two weeks, I have seen so many things that most people will never have the chance to see in their life time, but at the same time, I miss not being able to eat food without it being a struggle. However, I have successfully learned to use chopsticks the correct way. At the beginning of the trip, I’m pretty sure I was using them incorrectly, but I was able to eat, so that was all that mattered.
Today, we met in the lobby around 8:30 and headed out to the Yu Garden for our last cultural visit. The garden was very well kept, but it was kind of crowded and a little misleading. Once you walk through the entrance to the garden, you could almost pretend that you were no longer right in the middle a gigantic city. However, above some of the trees you could clearly see the sky scrapers, so it kind of ruined the effect. In the garden there was this very cool dragon wall which had an elaborate dragon head mounted on top. What I found surprising was that the dragon was only black and white. Apparently, only the emperor could use colors such as yellow and red, and the man who built the Yu Garden was a regular citizen. I thought there would be a lot more flowers in the garden than there were. The Yu Garden mostly consisted of green shrub like plants, trees, and ponds with coy-fish.
After we walked through the garden, right as you went through the exit you entered this big market area that had a lot of different little shops. We were given about an hour and half to walk around and shop.
After the Yu Garden we came back to our hotel to relax and to prepare for our presentations, which were scheduled for 4:30. The presentations were no big deal and they really weren’t a lot of work. We had to walk to a different hotel a few streets over because there was no room available in the hotel we were staying at. In total, there were six different groups and each group came up with a unique idea. Dr. Lee made the presentations a competition with different categories. My group won best presentation because of our power point. Once everyone had presented, we walked to a restaurant about five minutes away and had our farewell dinner. It was a very fancy restaurant and it served different food than what we have been experiencing over these past two weeks. Most of it was very spicy and had almost a smoky taste. I think this restaurant had Turkish influences. There was also desert like dishes served. One of them was a fruit-cheese pizza. It sounds kind of gross, but it was actually pretty good. We were also able to order a drink from the restaurant’s menu. Most of the drinks were smoothie like. While we were eating, Dr. Lee handed out the awards for the presentations and everyone had to go around and make a small speech.