Birthday Party March 9, 2009Posted by acc73 in : Uncategorized , 3 comments
Today was one of my program ?? (classmates) 21st birthday and we celebrated by doing it the American way: going to Hooters for the first time in China. Hooters in China is a little bit different compared to that in America, at least I was told that by other classmates who are more frequent visitors of this establishment. The waitresses did everything from sing songs, dance to YMCA, and of course congratulate our friend with the Happy Birthday song in English, Chinese, and Spanish because he is from Peru. We ate hot wings, hamburgers , and chili fries and for a second it reminded me of home which sounds pretty pathetic for someone to find solace at a Hooters restaurant. Here are some pictures from the restaurants…
Weekend Trip to Shaoxing, Xinchang, Xikou, Ningbo March 2, 2009Posted by acc73 in : Uncategorized , 1 comment so far
As part of the Alliance for Global Education’s Study Abroad curriculum we have scheduled field trips about every two weeks including this previous weekend where we had a 4 city tour in 3 days. This weekend we made a trip to Shaoxing, Xinchang, Xikou, and Ningbo.
We left early Friday morning which has its advantages/disadvantages. Leaving Friday morning means no Friday Chinese class and being able to go out on Thursday; the only disadvantage is that our whole Friday was action-packed which meant no time for my favorite mid-afternoon nap. Friday we traveled to Shaoxing, a historic city in north central Zhejiang Province about 3 hours south of Shanghai. There we visited the Longhua Temple and ate a vegeterian meal which included Veggie sausages, chicken,beef, and the dreaded choudoufu. “Choudoufu” literally translates as smelly toufu and if you smell it you will understand why. While I have tried everything while abroad including rooster head, snail, and sharkfin nothing comes close to the taste/smell of choudoufu. The smell can really ruin a meal, and make your breath smell like a garbage yard. We also a famous novelist known as Lu Xun whose residence is huge! The hilight of the day was definitely the black-awning boat which was a nervous time for me because with every movement you could feel the boat slightly tipping in the same direction. We also visited Shen Garden during the night, this garden known for its story of a tragic marriage around 1127. During the night they play Shaoxing Opera as you walk around the garden and listen to the Opera which included a great performance of the ABC’s for us foreigners.
Saturday we departed for Xinchang Qianzhang Valley located on the east 19 peaks, supposedly it is a backdrop for numerous TV series on Chinese Central Television. It is located in the mountains and crosses the Han Fei River through a small wooden bridge which looks like it can’t support much weight, but is a very solid bridge. Walking through Xinchang Qianzhang Valley, it was such pristine scenery and one of the first places I have traveled to which wasn’t caught up in the Chinese push for urban development. It was just tranquil, and gave me the opportunity to just breathe fresh air, which I sorely needed from my stay in Shanghai.
The view from one of the mountaintops.
After traveling through Xinchang Valley, we headed to Xikou to visit a local township enterprise. The township enterprise was Hongguang Aerodynamic Package Plant. The plant manufactures small scale automotive parts. The economic crisis has hit especially hit this small township enterprise, as the manager detailed how the company was forced to lay off 50 employees over the past few month with a little less than 20 workers remaining. When walking into the enterprise one can notice the hard times, a lot of machines left unused with only a worker or two working. That remained a reminder that the economic crisis is being felt everywhere.
After an exhausting day, we finally arrived to our hotel in the urban city of Ningbo. With so many days of eating vegetarian meals or meals with not enough meat, the study abroad students decided to go to a very familiar place to eat Maidanlao (McDonald’s) to eat. The McDonalds in China has many of the same meals as in America with a couple of twists: they have a Quarter Pounder with Cheese but also with cucumber and its own version of secret sauce, you can get your side order of fries or corn if you want to be healthy, and if you want desert you can order Red Bean Pie which is China’s variation of Apple Pie. One thing was continuous, it hit the spot for my food cravings and I even got to enjoy the dessert of ice cream! It was so good! I’m quite proud to be an American and every once in a while I need to satisfy American needs.
It was like 30 degrees outside but that ??? (Bingqilin: ice cream)
Along with visiting Ningbo, we visited the Tianyige Museum. The museum incorporates a lot of Chinese culture occupying a land area of 26,000 square meters detailing Chinese social history, art, and architecture. One of the highlights was the ground being modeled into a mahjong board. Soon after, we returned to Shanghai exhausted and significantly behind in our homework, but it was more than worth it.