Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day 33, Part II: Welcome to Shanghai!

​Today we spent our last moments with our host family.  I was so sad to have to leave my host family because they were so hospitable and kind. I have become really close to them over the past week, and it felt too soon to have to say goodbye to them. I woke up at 9, finished up some homework, ate breakfast, packed up my things, and then got into the car with my host family to go to Nanjing University to meet up with everyone so we could have our discussion. I felt really rushed today to get all my homework done and in, and especially to make the 11am discussion. However, when we got to the university, turns out that almost half of the group still weren’t there and Sierra and to go with Dong Laoshi to get the last of her IVs at the hospital. Thus, the discussion was postponed until we arrived in Shanghai. I said a sad goodbye to my family, but I know that we will meet again soon because Elaine, my host sister, will be at Northeastern next fall.

The coach bus arrived at 1pm to take us to the train station to take us to make our 2pm train. We had too much luggage to fit under the bus, so some luggage had to be put in the top, taking up a lot of time. We knew we were going to be a bit late so on our ride there we set up a game plan on how to most efficiently get all the luggage out of the bus and catch our train. We arrived at the train station at 1:40, got everything off the bus and ran through security and to our car on the high speed train. We were on car 1 so it was at the very front of the train. By the time we got on the train, my forehead was forming beads of sweat and I was exhausted. As we were putting our luggage in the luggage compartment, exactly at 2pm, the train began to move, and we were on our way. Everybody knocked out almost immediately. It was a short ride, about an hour and a half, and we were in Shanghai!

Walking out of the train felt like I had just walked into a sauna. It was so humid. We lugged our things to the coach bus that took us to our hotel, Magnificent International Hotel. It is really not as magnificent as the name sounds, but it isn’t too bad. We settled in for a bit and at 5:30pm went down to the lobby to have our discussion.

By the time discussion ended, I was starving, so Cindy and I decided to go for dinner. Near our hotel, there is a street full of street food, and I found grass jelly there! I had been craving grass jelly ever since I had come to China. It was 9 yuan for a bowl of it. They added some coconut juice to it and it was delicious. It was not dinner, but I was very satisfied. While Cindy and I were browsing, we ran into Jess, Jessica, Patricia, and Sierra, who were also looking for food. After we ran into them, we ran into Amy, Caton, Jared, Malia, and Michelle, and we decided to all get dinner together. We walked in a small circle before deciding to eat at Tsui Wah Restaurant, which served Hong Kong, Cantonese, and Macau style food, and it also happened to be the restaurant that Dong laoshi was eating at, too. We ordered qincai (Chinese celery), chashao (honey bbq pork), beef chaomian (fried noodles), pork cartilage chaofan (fried rice), and shrimp wonton in fish soup. It was 274 yuan for the seven of us, which is actually pretty expensive in China, but it was pretty cheap if you compare it to prices in the US. After dinner, we went back to the street food place for some more dessert. I already had my dessert so I didn’t get anything, but Malia got a mango tapioca with coconut milk dessert and Cindy and Amy shared a fruity dessert that also had coconut milk, tapioca, and jelly. Michelle and Caton tried Cindy and Amy’s dessert and decided to get one to share, too. Then, we walked back to the hotel while eating our desserts.

Shanghai so far has been delicious!

- Christine T.

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