Friday, March 25, 2016

China, final day!

This was our final day in China, one we spent in Shanghai. Hear it from the students:

I loved going to the top of the financial center and seeing the skyline of Shanghai, it was so pretty. I also loved walking around and shopping in the town. The Tea Tasting was so amazing, I loved all the teas we tried and now I finally know how to perfectly steep tea. We were also filmed for a Chinese tv show when we were buying buns, it was pretty cool.  I will miss China so much and all the people who asked to take pictures with me, I felt like a celeb.

This has been a beautiful experience and I was blessed to have the opportunity to go on this trip with so many lovely people. I have had the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of this country and have developed strong friendships with people along the way. I know I will cultivate these friendships when I return to the U.S. and that this trip is something I will always treasure.

Today we went to a tea house and I broke the bank in the gift shop. I love tea. It was almost as good as The Great Wall, lol. I am kind of upset that we only got to spend 2 days in Shanghai. Never before have I been so fascinated by a city. I had a cough this entire trip due to the "quality" of the air. After being in Shanghai for a little over an hour I felt renewed. Not only that, but the city itself is just very beautiful. A mixture of different cultural architectures as well as breathtaking views. I will be sad to go home tomorrow. I will also be sad because this means I have to endure two 7 hours flights. This trip will remain in my memory as one of the greatest things I have had the opportunity of being a part of.

For our dinner tonight we had bullfrog. I said that is had a little kick to it but then i look over to my right where I see Mathew Lu with a cherry red face and is struggling to breath from the spice.

The dinner tonight was crazy with the bullfrog and chicken innards, yet still suprisingly very good. The city looks much better than the previous cities but I liked the food better in Xian. Overall... fantastic.

Today was my favorite day of the trip. We began by visiting an open air market. Dumplings, tea, and various trinkets lined the shelves of the crowded stores. In the same complex was the a traditional tea shop where we did a traditional tea tasting. I drank the best tea i've ever had and bought $70 worth of tea related paraphernalia. The rest of the day was relaxing. We strolled the financial district and ate a great dinner. Im not looking forward to the flights tomorrow, but it will be nice to eat something other than Chinese food.
-Nick Gerson

At the beginning of this trip I was having a bit of a tough time adjusting to the schedule and how everything was going, but now I really don't want to leave.  Today we went to a beautiful Ming dynasty garden in the middle of the city, and for someone like me who loves plants and water, this was absolutely incredible.  This oasis in the middle of a city that seems to never slow down really set the tone for the entire day.  We did a lot, but we all had so much fun doing it and it was all very relaxed.  From participating in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony, to going to the 100th floor observing deck of one of Shanghai's tallest buildings, to taking a ferry across the river that connects new Shanghai to old Shanghai, to exploring the waterfront and shopping (mostly window-shopping) in the beautiful new malls and boutiques of the old financial district, to eating all kinds of sheep parts, bullfrog, and chicken giblets at dinner, It has been one heck of a day.  I have sincerely loved this trip and I do hope that I can finagle my way off of the plane tomorrow and stay in Shanghai until my parents miss me too much to let me stay any longer, come to get me, and realize that we should all just stay here.  Thank you to all of our tour guides (Jack Dragon, Purple Ivy, and Blue David) and drivers, the amazing chaperones, Bryan Dragon, and all of my peers who have all made this spring break trip one that I will not soon forget.  (It's funny because it's true!!!)
-Nicki Gray

Im gonna miss Shanghai. The market we went to today was amazing and the view of the city from the top of the financial center was breathtaking. I wish we could have spent more time here because these two short days were not enough.
-Jack Brown

Leaving Shanghai tomorrow will be hard. The city feels international, has beautify architecture, good food, and an immersive culture. We finished off the trip today by touring a Ming garden and participating in a Chinese tea ceremony, before moving to the more modern metropolis and going to the top of China's tallest building, and then taking the ferry for some shopping at Shanghai's many luxurious malls. Shanghai is definitely a city I want to return to someday, whether for business or leisure, and capped an eventful week in China that was a life-changing experience.
-Jacob Reinsdorf

Going to the top of the second tallest tower in China and attending a tea ceremony were awesome experiences, and examples of both the past and future of China. I really wish that we had spent more time in Shanghai, because it is a cosmopolitan, interesting, and beautiful city. This trip has made me want to learn and experience much more Chinese culture, and hopefully I will be able to convince my parents to take us on a vacation here, because it is truly a great country. We were really lucky to be able to come here, and we learned so much in just eight days.
- Sam Dubke

Today was probably the best way to send us off. We started with a traditional tea ceremony, ate some amazing dumplings,  climbed to the tallest building in Shanghai, and ate some exotic Chinese food. I can't explain how amazing this trip has been, and I've learned so much in a short time. I am truly blessed.
- Rob

I really liked this last day! It was a pretty relaxing day, with waking up a little later than normal and going to places with nice views and atmospheres. The garden and the tall skyscraper had fun and pleasant views. It was cool seeing how many meters high we were when we were going up the elevator. I liked the xiaolongbao from the street vendor; it was tasty! Trying out different teas in the tea place was really fun. I like green tea the most and had some nice Longjing tea. I liked the other teas too :D
Coming to Shanghai with blue skies was very amazing even if it was cold. It was a nice day and I tried some really good but spicy frog legs for dinner. I had fun talking to friends :)
- Matthew Lu

As I stated in my previous blog post, Shanghai is, and always will be, my favorite city in China. As the rest of my peers have said, I wish we had more time here. The tea tasting today not only was a cultural experience but it emptied out half of my wallet. I felt particularly accomplished when we had some famous xiaolongbao from the street vendors and got on Shanghai TV. If only the weather were warmer, it would've been a perfect two days in Shanghai.

Mr. Lowinger was geeking himself all day. I have never seen one man laugh so hard for no reason whatsoever. Mr. Lowinger says that it is a skill that I need when I become advanced in age. I bought some tea from the tea place. It was Jasmine tea. I also bought a really cool shirt from an adidas store on Nanjing road. I had to use Chinese in order to buy said garment. The saleswoman told me that my Chinese was very good. Shanghai was my favorite city in China.

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