Thursday, September 15, 2011

21st Birthday in Shanghai

On September 9 I woke up to this beautiful sight on my door. Some of the girls had decorated my door for my birthday. My favorite sign said, “We love you more than the million grains of rice you’ve already eaten.” At this point we’re probably in the trillions when it comes to the amount of rice I’ve eaten. I only teach Mondays through Thursdays so I didn’t have to teach on my birthday. Instead Dayna and I explored all the shops right by our school and found ice cream for 2 yuan each! (Like 33 cents). And then we headed out for the weekend in Shanghai. There was 14 of us who went to Shanghai and we all brought our little carry-on suitcases. When the bus pulled up it looked like no one else would be able to sqeeze on that bus, but all 14 of us squeezed on with our luggage. It was kind of a miracle we all got on and kind of insane how crowded it was. Then a little boy at the front of the bus threw up all over the steps and it got on the pant leg of one of the girls in our group and one of the boys had to stand half-way in it because there was nowhere else to go. Lovely bus ride. Then we were all panicking because the bus dropped us off 10 minutes before our train was supposed to leave. You should have seen us all sprinting toward the train station with our luggage swinging in every direction. But we made it. Barely.

I loved Shanghai. I loved the crowds of people. I loved seeing other white people. I loved the delicious dumplings we found. I loved the beautiful gardens we walked through. I loved watching the bows and the smoke rituals the Chinese people did at the Taoist Temple of the City Gods. I loved the side markets and the Harry Potter marionette we found. I loved the French Concession where all the buildings looked like an old French village and the fact that no voice told me to mind the gap between the subway and the platform…or at least I didn’t understand it if it did. I hope I can go back…I still need a tea set. But with four months of weekends, I’m sure I’ll get the chance again.

Nanjing Road

Yu Gardens

Temple of the City Gods

The Pudong

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