Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day 35: It's Raining Cats and Dogs in Shanghai!

​Picture 1: Dialogue at Unitown Design Inc.翌城设计 with its founder, Charlie Wang
Picture 2: Group ice cream at the Grand Hyatt on the 57th floor of Jinmao Tower
Picture 3: The beautiful atrium of Jinmao Tower
Picture 4: Walk in the Rain!
Picture 5: Ren Shan Ren Hai 人山人海 (People Mountain People Sea), the rush-hour commute at Lu Iia Zui subway station.  
Picture 6: singing at a KTV

Today started very early. We all got breakfast between 7 and 8 AM. The breakfast had few in selection, but was still delicious! At 8 AM, we had our first speaker, Wu Heng (Henry Wu). Wu created a website called Throw it Out The Window to tell the Chinese public about the food safety issues in China. All posts must have a link to the original article from a local media or the government. All other articles that from the local media or government is not allowed to be uploaded to the website to make sure everything the website post is correct. The website also allows the online community (netizens, a word with the combination of network and citizens) to post articles about food safety to the website, so the website involves the whole public instead of just Wu himself. The website is a great way to warn the public about dangerous food threats and hopefully will encourage the Chinese government to enforce stricter food safety laws. 

After a 30-minutes break, a second speaker came to speak to us. John Pasden is the creator of sinosplice.com, the first blog site devoted to Chinese learning, and Allset Learning, a company based in Shanghai specialized in personalized Chinese learning. They focus on teaching Chinese words to its clients that the clients would actually use either in their daily life or in their work place. This way the clients would enjoy learning Chinese more and not be bored or lack the motivation to learn Chinese. 

After the two speakers, we had a two-hour break. Many of us went out to get lunch. Three of my friends and I went to a dim sum place near our hotel called 点点心 (Dian Dian Xin). The dim sum place was okay, it did not have a good range of food and did not taste the same, so I cannot say I highly recommend that place.

After lunch, the whole group took the subway to Unitown Design Inc. to talk to our third speaker of the day, Charlie Wang, founder of Unitown Design, an architure firm based right in the center of CBD area of Pudong, Shanghai. He spoke with us about the fast development of Pudong, which was flat with rice field and warehouses only 20-some years ago. It is fascinating that we sat in the conference room of his firm that faced directly to the three super high rises in Shanghai, with the tallest of the three being the third highest building in China. 

After the talk ended, we planned to head out to have a tour of the Lu Jia Zui area in the Pudong District, but to our dismay, it started pouring rain. We waited around 15 minutes to wait out the rain, and many of us went to the convenience store in the building to get a quick snack. The rain did not stop, so a few of us were forced to buy umbrellas, including myself. We made our way to our next destination under multicolored umbrellas. Our next destination was Jinmao Tower, the building which Tom Cruise was scaling in the film Mission Impossible. We went up to the 57th floor to see the view outside the building and relax in the sitting area of the atrium. During that time, Dong Lao Shi treated us to some ice cream. The ice cream treated exactly like their flavors, whether it be mango, green tea, or chocolate. I believe many of us would tell you it was some of the best ice cream we've ever had in our lives. 

After we finished our ice cream and finished relaxing, we headed out of the building. However, it was still raining cats and dogs. We decided to run through the rain again to the subway station. My whole left arm got completely soaked, and I believe there were others as well who unfortunately got wet as well. All of us fortunately made it safe and sound to the subway station. After two stops on the subway, we were at People's Square. Nine of us decided to stop at this station to get dinner. We found a delicious udon restaurant where we had yummy noodles. Afterwards we decided to go out to KTV. Our friend Andy have been saying since the beginning of the trip that he wanted to go, so we decided today is the day! We booked a room for two hours and sang to our hearts content. 

Today we definitely had a great time not only listening to the speakers but always running through the rain and singing karaoke! The Dialogue is coming to an official end in two days. I really cannot believe that time flew by so fast and I don't want the Dialogue to end! I will savour my next two days with everything and end the trip with a bang!

- Jessica X.

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