Today was a really packed but fantastic day!
We woke up really early in the morning, having gone to sleep at like 8 the night before, and decided to venture out to find food. Pretty much right across the street from our hotel we found a street vendor making and selling breakfast. I’m not sure what it’s called, but we ended up getting these pancake omelet things filled with sauce, meat, sprouts, and a couple other things wrapped into a burrito and put into a plastic bag. We walked down a few more blocks and got out of the heavily trafficked section of roads and into a quiet neighborhood. We found a place to sit to eat our breakfast burritos and watched people pass as they walked their dogs or took morning strolls.
After our breakfast we got packed up and took a taxi to our orientation hotel and got checked in. The rest of the day we spent wandering around downtown Shanghai and occasionally stopping for food and drinks at small shops. For dinner we stopped in a place called RamenPlay and we shared a big bowl of ramen noodles mixed with various pieces of braised pork and a hard boiled egg. It was delicious! We stopped, for the second time, at a place called BreadTalk and got pastries decorated like pandas and enjoyed them in our room. The boy panda was filled with chocolate and the girl panda was filled with vanilla cream. I’ll upload a picture once I can.
I watched a show on TV directed at parents deciding whether or not to send their children to America for high school and was very interested in Chinese perceptions on Americans. It seems that Chinese parents, according to the show, are most concerned about Americans’ tendency to party all the time rather than doing their homework and their child’s safety considering American leniency on gun ownership laws and rights. I’m excited to talk to people and hear more Chinese perceptions on America and Americans.
I am enjoying Shanghai a lot and I’m having a very pleasant time in China thus far, but I am looking forward to moving to Baoding and getting a more “authentic” Chinese experience outside of the influences of an international mega-city. Everyone here is very friendly and I’m thoroughly enjoying saying nihao and xie xie to people as I interact with them. I added a new word to my verbal interactions yesterday – jege – meaning this one (best used when ordering food but you don’t know how to say it, just point and say jege).
That’s it for now. Orientation starts tomorrow, Monday, and I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about that.