Day 12: Mah Jongg Tournaments are the Greatest Thing

Today started the same as every other day where we woke up and had a quality breakfast in our lovely hotel. We were going on more company visits today – first to Delphi ICE and then to the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham from now on).

When we first got to Delphi, we had a discussion with a person that works at Delphi and actually completed his PhD at Pitt. His PhD adviser still works at Pitt, and some mechanical engineering students even have him as their adviser next year. He was a very interesting person to talk to because he had the perspectives of someone who has lived in both China and the United States. I am interested in working internationally, so listening to the perspective of an engineer who has done just that was very intriguing and helpful. After he talked with us, we were able to walk around the Delphi plant and see some of their different labs. From the parts of Delphi that we saw, it seems Delphi is primarily focused on the testing of car engines and ensuring they are of the highest quality. Car engines are not my forte, but I absolutely love engineering labs, so I thought it was really interesting either way.

day 12.4


After Delphi, we went to lunch at a small local place. Small side note: I’ve become used to eating at circular tables with a spinny tray in the middle, but today was the first time all trip that we ate at a rectangular table with no spinny tray. I just thought it was strange that this is the first time we haven’t had this type of set up even though we’ve been here for almost 2 weeks now. Anyway, the food was delicious either way. We actually tried some weird things today without knowing it. We had a plate of chicken feet. I didn’t really like it before I knew what it was because I thought it was too fatty, but one kid ate a whole plate of it and loved it. To each their own I guess. The potatoes and beans were amazing though.

From lunch, we went to our next company visit which was AmCham. From the presentation we were given and the discussion we had, AmCham focuses primarily on finances. Personally, I think finance is interesting, but I do not have enough knowledge about finance to keep up with an in-depth conversation about logistics like we did. I did enjoy discussing the trade war and listening to their perspectives on how it hasn’t really affected the Chinese economy that much. When we left AmCham, we ran into the most adorable dog in a different office, and we were able to pet him. My day was made instantly at that point because I’ve missed my dog.

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After saying good-bye to the dog, we went back to the hotel and then to dinner. Lilian came back after she had her exam, so she went out to dinner with us. We went to a dim sum place and it was totally different food than what we’ve been eating. There were these bunny buns filled with mushrooms and pork, cheese tarts, and shrimp dumplings. Some of the food was even sweet, which we haven’t really experienced since coming to China. I have a sweet tooth, so I appreciated this change. It was, as always, delicious.

day 12.1

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and had a huge mah jongg tournament. One of our friends bought a used mah jongg set in the Muslim Quarters, and this was our first time playing as a large group tournament style. By no means am I a good mah jongg player, but I was getting lucky and doing well for a while. It was a lot of fun to play because we were all getting really into it and getting really competitive. It was a really fun night, and I definitely want to buy my own mah jongg set now. It was a late night of mah jongg, so after we finished up, I went straight to bed.

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