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Hangzhou, home away from home

 
Pastry package, Love the bakeries here.

Each day when I get up it amazes me that I am in China. The apartment that we are staying would lead you to believe that we were back in Evansville. Then you go outside. Hangzhou has 8.8 million people living in about 6,500 square miles. That is adding 2 million people to Indiana’s population and being in an area the size of New Jersey. Traffic is an issue, but it really is controlled chaos. (reminds me of being on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier) It astounds me that there are not more accidents or injuries. The main transportation is via bike, bus, moped, walking, or if you are one of the lucky few who are allowed to have a car, then you drive. Finding a parking spot is a whole other subject. I am excited to say I have been walking more (a lot more) and my joints are reminding me that I am not as young as I once was, but I let the gang to go on and I will slowly get to where we are going. Also I have a good sense of direction so if we do get split up, I can still make it back to the apartment!

Spot the Gringa

 
COed Club Dilme

This semester I am playing on the Brazilian Co-ed Football team, Dilmãe FC. 

International Friends

 
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Last week was my birthday and much to my pleasant surprise, my friend Inna from Russia, gave me some lovely Russian dolls as a present. She told me that in Russia, you can buy dolls that look like former and present political leaders. These dolls represent a modern family, as traditional families in Russia had seven members. 

The Diverse and the Curious

 

After a missed flight, no sleep, finally finishing my homework, and a 14-hour flight, I have FINALLY made it to China!  What an experience it was.  Travelling is all about being flexible and learning how to handle things as they come.  After all, how fun would an adventure be without a few misadventures to get your adrenaline going!?

Week 1 in China

 

Three days after arriving in Shanghai, I am beginning to adjust to the sites and smells of a huge, busy city. After a quick dinner at my first Chinese McDonalds and a night’s sleep, I spent Sunday morning exploring Luxun Park and the surrounding streets with my professor. The park was full of individuals practicing Tai Chi, dancing, karaoke, playing card games, running, and walking. I enjoyed listening to the conversations and music that floated from one end of the park to the other. As we walked around the park we were many people stared and several individuals said “hello.” During the next few days, my professor and I ran in the park. I was amazed at the number of people who used the park in the mornings. We had to zigzag in and out of the many crowds. I saw some of the same people each morning and found it interesting to watch some of the people clapping and singing while they walked.

China Week One

 
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This past week has been very enlightening. I have been to China once before, but it was back in high school, and we were primarily there for tourism. Bridget, Jamie, and I were late getting into the airport in Shanghai because we had to be rerouted due to weather and a medical emergency after missing one of our connecting flights. When we made it to the Shanghai airport, we did not see anyone we were supposed to meet. We had sent a message to the rest of our group letting them know we would be late but internet was impossible to access where we were in the airport so we did not know if we were supposed to even be looking for anyone (We later found out that Bill had come to meet us but was told we were coming in a different terminal so our paths never crossed). After looking around for a little while and trying to purchase a Sim card, which did not work because phones from the United States are locked, we came to the conclusion that we would have to find the hotel ourselves. We remembered from class that we needed to take bus 4 to the end of the line and the hotel would be right there. We tried to ask several people where the bus was, but they tried to convince us that the bus did not go there or that a taxi would be cheaper. Luckily we listened to what we remembered, found the bus, and made it to the hotel.

Imminent Departure

 

I would like to take this time to describe a little bit of how I felt prior to coming to China (I have now been here for 4 days).

Fashionably Late

 

What a Wild Party!!

 
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Bonjour everyone,

Toto we are not in Kansas or Indiana anymore!

 
The Needle in downtown Shangh

Hello everyone!  Our adventure started with a misadventure.  Jaime, Nina, and I were stuck in Atlanta, Georgia, (a monsoon and a medical emergency) and that made us miss our flight to Shanghai.  Fun times!  If you ever travel to China, I would highly suggest China Eastern.  Wonderful trip!  I am very happy to say that we are safely in Shanghai and have been since Sunday.  Amy and Bill have been showing us wonderful sights and how to get around this rather LARGE city since we will be back in Shanghai at the end of our trip to come home. 

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