China ceases to impress me. Below I included some of my favorite places I visited in China.
Below, was a temple we had visited in Nanjing. Climbing these steps was so tiring for a Sunday morning however, the view at the top was breath taking.
While in Shanghai, I visited the Shanghai Wild Animal Park. Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine that I would be feeding a kangaroo, zebra and hippo all in one day. They were able to train the animals such as the elephants here to spin hula hoops on their trunks.
Here is the Zhouzhuang Water Town near Shanghai.
Below, you can find a picture I took from the Bund. This is a walkway that overlooks the Shanghai Skyline, which is absolutely breath taking. There are so many lights everywhere and they constantly change. The far left tower is the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV tower. This one would change colors every couple seconds. In the far right, hiding in the clouds was the Shanghai Tower which is also the second tallest building in the world.
As I come back home after my study abroad in China, everyone has asked, “What is your favorite thing about China?” After much contemplation, I realize that China is so unique because of its people.
There is this “hustle” mentality that sweeps the nation. During my time in China and speaking to the other students in the class, we quickly realized how the students hustle to get ahead. They are very competitive when it comes to school. One student told us how she took 16 classes in one semester. I could barely take 4 back at UMass Lowell. These students were so focused in succeeding. Another student told me how she takes exams outside of school for different languages and certifications. They don’t stop at all. They are always finding what is next. I truly admired by this mentality and it has inspired me to keep moving forward.
Additionally, the people were extremely hospitable whether it be the students we met in class or complete strangers. The other students we met in our classes would go out of their way to make sure we were all enjoying our experience. I was so lucky to have some amazing teammates that would take us out to see Nanjing. One of the most memorable moment was the day we went to go see the new campus at NJUPT. We had learned about how China has a shared bike business and I had mentioned to my teammates that I never truly learned how to ride a bike. I could pedal but had trouble driving straight on my own. My teammate, Mickey, was determined to teach me. She held the bike handles and sprinted with me to other side of the campus to make sure I didn’t fall off the bike.
Even the strangers we had met were very kind to us. The first two days of being China we went on tours to Yancheng and Yangzhou. We were all continuously stopped by strangers who wanted pictures with us. They treated us like celebrities. They would give us compliments and hugs and sometimes even gifts.
Here is a picture we took at the YanCheng ChunQiu Land.
Chinese food in America is FRAUD. We have all had those late-night take-out from our local Chinese restaurant where we get the fried rice, chicken wings and crab ragoons. However, this is foreign to China. There is so much more to Chinese food than what we see in the American menus. In our time in China, we have had all types of foods from quail eggs to chicken feet. One of the most prominent characteristics to the restaurants we’ve been taken to is the glass turn tables. The servers place all the food here and the individual will spin it around to serve themselves with chopsticks. Below you can find some pictures of the food we had tried in Yangzhou.
Additionally, when we met our groups for the project, my groupmate, Mickey, who is a Nanjing native, gave us some Chinese dumplings called Zongzi. These specific dumplings are vegetarian, made of rice and beans then covered by leaves. This Chinese dish is made once a year for the Dragon Boat Festival which will be held June 18. I was never a big fan of Chinese food back home, however after trying the food here, I have become more open minded, aware, and appreciative of the Chinese culture.