We finished off the first day by joining Dr. Li for a traditional hot pot meal. We weaved through local streets and back allies eventually stepping through a building and back outside into a courtyard. The restaurant was quaint, not large and fairly quiet. I have had hot pot before in the states and it has been good but this was very different. In more modern hot pot places you just get a pot on a heater, the traditional take is a large pot with an internal section for hot coals all placed on a copper plate filled with water. As Dr. Li tells it, hot pot comes from invaders of China who had a lot of lamb and no good way to cook it, so they would do it in their own helmets.
We ate and ate and ate, all kinds of meat and vegetables till we could eat no more only to find out our table had gotten most of the food! The waiters had been prefrencing Dr. Li, who we were sitting with, over our other two tables of students. So, there was a good reason we couldn’t finish all of our food!
After dinner Dave Jake and I decided to take a walk. We ended up far on the other side of some large wall (possible the old city wall? Will have to find out) and heard dance music. Upon closer inspection it was a large group of middle aged to elderly Chinese people dancing. There were couples dancing on one side and singles dancing in kind of a grid on the other. It was fascinating to watch and we ran into another group doing the same thing later on as we walked back to the hotel. Once I got back I fell asleep hard after a long day.
The next morning was luckily not too early and I was able to spend more time eating the fantastic breakfast. And then we were off to our first university visit. Right of the bat the Central University of Finance and Economics campus looked eerily like Carnegie Mellon’s. It was much larger than I expected and continued further and further.
We heard some great presentations about Chinese business and Bid Data and China’s social impact on the world. Then we went to lunch in their cafeteria. Their cafeteria is much different from ours. I guess as ours looks nearly like an American restaurant theirs looks like a Chinese one. Here we had another meal with the big spinny table.
After lunch we went out with some of the students from the University and played some games. We played a jump rope game, which even Dr. Li got in on, and then competed against each other ingroups to see who could get a hula-hoop around a ring of people the fastest.
Throughout the whole day we talked with the University students about their experiences and school. In university they are extremely encouraged to take physical education classes which is very different from American university. Even with their schooling differences they did a lot of the same things we did. Over all the university trip was an interesting and worthwhile experience.