And just like that, another week is gone! As my time here dwindles down I’m feeling more and more conflicted every day; I have so much left to take in here, but I’m also a big excited to get back to the States!
Thanksgiving, which I had been dreading, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My program held a HUGE dinner for students, teachers, and friends at a cool restaurant in Shanghai and I got to eat turkey! Everyone looked amazing (the dress was semi-formal) and I felt really grateful that I didn’t have to spend Thanksgiving alone or miserable (the way I had, for some reason, envisioned it). I even got to ride a mechanical bull! Talk about once in a lifetime experiences—that would’ve never happened at my Thanksgiving dinner in America! =D
That Friday morning I Skyped with my little sister (my family was in the middle of their Thanksgiving festivities by this point) and I did feel a little sad. I miss my family! I’m so happy that I had the chance to talk to them though. What’s one missed Thanksgiving anyway?!
Since then classes have become way more demanding; final papers and going to be due in about two weeks! I’ve been struggling to balance my workload with my “To see/do in Shanghai” list and I have a feeling that I’ll end up struggling to get everything done. I’ve also been trying to slow down on my spending here! The exchange rate (a bit more than $1:6.3元) left me a little too comfortable when I first got here and I’ve someone managed to spend more money in the month of November than I have since I’ve arrived here! It’s terrible!
My last big purchase here was a pair of train tickets…I’m leaving for Běijīng (北京) tomorrow!!! Initially, I had planned on passing up the opportunity to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the likes because my funds are getting kind of low. But in the end I thought better of it; who knows when I’ll be back in China! I’m hoping it’ll be a fun, action-packed weekend of touring, eating, and fun fun FUN!
Other than that, my cravings for American-eque things are starting to get out of hand. These cravings have included (and are certainly not limited to)
- Pinkberry and Red Mango (at separate times)
- Pancakes (solved my 2 trips to Mr. Pancake House)
- Cucumbers (and other fresh vegetables)
- Hamburgers and Milkshakes
- Forever 21…
- Effective shoe shopping
And, as far as my list of things to do! I’ve gone back to the fake markets/souvenir places (hopefully for the last time…I’ve been there soooooo much!)
…bought 3 pairs of (prescription) glasses (sān fù yǎnjìng 三副眼镜) for less than $60
…got my ukulele engraved (I named it “Tuesday” [xīngqí èr 星期二])
…visited the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition
…and the Bund (again)!!!