A Fudan Student, a Thespian, and Buddha walk into a bar…
The past week in Shanghai has been amazing! Last Thursday we started looking for opportunities in China. We broke up into groups to observe the how the Chinese people interact with bikes, education, and street food! The group spent several hours observing people around town. We took tons of photos and compiled a report on the behaviors we found with those topics.
On Friday each group presented what they researched on the previous day. We then did some brainstorming to come up with possible solutions to problems we observed. Our group then had the opportunity to go to Hannah’s café to meet with 20 Chinese graduate students to gather more data. We spent over two hours learning as much as we could about their lives to see if our assumptions about our opportunities were true.
Saturday we had to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to get on a bus to Hangzhou at 6:30am. Since it is the Golden Week holiday traffic was horrendous! Hangzhou receives over a million people for internal tourism. We went to Linyin Buddhist temple in the morning, had traditional lunch in a farmer’s home, and then went to Meijiawu tea plantation. We learned about all the benefits of green tea and why people drink it in China. After that, we headed to Songcheng! Songcheng is comparable to the Disney World of Hongzhou. Here was saw a true display of what is possible in China. By many this was describe as “The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Ever Seen!” In typical Chinese fashion, there were scenes reminiscent of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, where you see mass amounts of dancers displaying what makes China so amazing, the people. Some other highlights of the show included: snowing, raining, a lake appearing at center stage, acrobats, waterfalls, laser shows, clowns, romance, fight scenes, horses running across the stage, and basically any other spectacle you could imagine.
After leaving the show stunned, we were released at the bazaar to explore the shops and foods of the local shopping area. The diversity of shops ranged from traditional Chinese medicine shops, small souvenir shops, to tea shops. There was also a compact food court serving typical street food. Crowded like a Moscow subway at rush hour, this part of the bazaar served squid on a stick, fried rice in a pineapple, crabs on a stick, and everything in between. Although the food was foreign, it was delicious for those with stomach enough to take the leap of faith.
Sunday was a free day that we spent the day working, resting, and exploring on our own. A day to recharge for another amazing week in Shanghai.
Curtis & Stephen