Today, we started off early as usual. We took the high-speed train to Shanghai. I learned my lesson from the first trip to not buy the meals made available. I tried to occupy myself for the six-hour trip by writing blogs, playing cards, games, talking to Dr. Li about our group business pitch, and napping. This trip felt a little less horrible and seemed to pass by quickly. I think the fact that it was the second time around may have made a difference.
We then went to the Shanghai History Museum and reunited with the classmates we left in Beijing. We went through the museum and I loved the way things were set up. It was like Madame Tussauds but geared towards China’s history. It simulated what many streets, houses, and public settings appeared in the past. There were also holograms showing little reenactments of daily activities, like daily life in the streets, people at a dinner or gathering, and short conversations between people. I loved the looks of the museum, but I wish I had known more of the history behind the setups so that I could have even more appreciation for the stories behind them.
I noticed that a good number of my classmates had gotten way ahead of me, so I picked up my pace a little, so I wouldn’t hold up the group in the end. As it turned out, I actually finished the tour a little early, and somehow in the turns and corners of the museum I had gotten ahead of them. So, I waited for them to get done on some steps with some of the other girls on the trip. We sat and took some pictures of ourselves and noticed that other people started taking pictures of us too, as we had recently gotten used to.
All of a sudden, we were surrounded by a small group of monks who wanted to take pictures. They were so excited to see us and kept on asking for pictures. While we were still seated, one of them grabbed Jamie and led her onto her feet. For a second, I thought they were trying to get rid of her but in reality, they just wanted to hold her arm and get more pictures with us standing up.
These kinds of things had been happening throughout the trip. We would all stand around innocently and people would start taking pictures of us, or we would pose for a picture and people would sneak into our pictures or take picture of us. It was actually hilarious and for a short time I felt like a celebrity. I guess they didn’t see people like us often. I was fascinated at their fascination because this was out of the ordinary. I tried to be nice about it because they didn’t have any bad intentions. And I figured it was better to be appreciated than unwelcome.
We then went on to have dinner and then a cruise tour of the city at night. It was so beautiful seeing all the buildings lit up and create a colorful landscape. We had a huge photoshoot for ourselves with our phone flashlights and amazing photography skills. It was nice to take in all the scenery and just look off into the distance at miles of lit buildings. Did I mention, we returned home to a five-star hotel?! Okay, that’s it, bye!