After a 20-ish hour journey from New York, we arrived in Shanghai. It was almost 11 and we were all very tired. Once we got our bags and found the tour guide, we boarded the bus to the hotel. I play UNO on the bus to pass the time. When we got to the hotel, we were able to get a good view of the city. It struck me that the stars in the sky were covered by smog. It was like the city had clouds over it that never moved. This hotel had Wi-Fi, which brought all of our moods up. Even though I had only slept for four hours on the plane, I found myself struggling to go to bed at 1 a.m. The next morning I woke up and went down to breakfast. I was greeted by lots of unusual breakfast foods, a very nice view, and some pet parents. I can say that I ate duck for breakfast for the first time. In addition to the Chinese breakfast foods, there was yogurt, bread, and French fries. It was an eclectic meal.
Once we were all ready, we headed to a museum in Shanghai. It was a large building with circular and square aspects put together. This is meant to represent harmony. In the museum, we saw calligraphy, clothing, ceramics, and other valuable artifacts. I felt very accomplished when I used my Chinese to ask someone if they wanted me to take their picture. In the museum, Tyler and I were walking around and a man pulled out a selfie stick. I thought he wanted to take a picture next to the boats behind us. I moved out of the way and I said sorry. Later, I realized that he was trying to take a picture with us. This is very new to me but has happened many times since. Many of us sat in the tea room at the museum. There more pictures were taken while we talked. There was a small girl who kept staring at me, so I made funny faces at her. She was very shy and kept looking away. When I returned a chair we borrowed from her table, I said hi and asked her if the cake she was eating was good. She laughed and was too shy to respond. So then I told her that I liked her dress. Again, she was too shy to reply. Although, when I left she said ‘bye’ in English.
We went to a park which Cheng laoshi said was the Shanghai equivalent of Central Park in New York. On the way to the park we passed a fountain that changed to the music. Linnea ran in and then got trapped by the water. Many people stopped to watch. We saw men playing poker and Mahjong. In the park there were rides, so we all bought bumper car tickets. About twelve of us drove around and tried as hard as we could to run into as many people as we could. My superb driving skills made this an achievable goal. Many people gathered around to watch us.
From there we went to lunch. We had food that was popular in Shanghai. One dish had pork with every layer in it. We all stepped out of our comfort zone and had a very delicious meal. Shanghai was full of new things and many adventures. It was weird to be looked at as different so many times in one day. That day in Shanghai has showed me how different life is on the other side of the world. Also, I learned I never want to drive anything but bumper cars in Shanghai because the drivers are crazy.