China 2011 Part One: Shanghai!
So last weekend I went home to my family and while I was there I had a sort out of some of my stuff in the loft/attic in which I came across several diaries and notebooks I'd written in, even some from when I was about six or seven. Plus I rediscovered some of these pictures on a harddrive when I was putting together some other trip photos. So in my mind it seemed silly to pass up on the opportunity to share some insight into younger me!
The first in the series? The first part of my trip to China with my sixth form in 2011: a week in Shanghai! I had a look through the diary I wrote and thought I'd share clips I found particularly amusing or culturally interesting. Hope you enjoy!
"...to the Aquarium where their fish were so different! All colourful and interesting!! Names like Lemon Tetra and Invisible Tetra! Sea Rabbit too!! (...) The port of call was the: the penguin area yes, penguins in Shanghai!"
"The photographer got me to pose in different ways. It was fun but confusing because of the language barrier."
"There was also a stalk bird in an enclosed garden that people used to have as a symbol of wealth. Here too they had cartoon characters with each Chinese New Year ie. horse, dragon and we also found the monkey!"
"We rested at the top of hill in a Temple style area with a dragon headed turtle in the middle. Apparently if you touched him you would live long. So everyone had goes sitting on him for pictures."
"We then went to a restaurant - one of the many on the fourth floor - where her mum got the waitress to change the table claiming it was a 'bad' part of the restaurant. So we sat and we ordered for everyone at once. They had whole cooked pigeon on the menu along with duck, fish head soup and chicken cut up into pieces, including the head! (My buddy's) mum kept saying how little I ate and that I had a tiny stomach."
"We woke at 6am to stand out and watch their national flag being raised at 7am!"
"We formed two rows, girls in front and pretended we understood. It was bad because we were told to be quiet and not talk, so you had the urge to talk. I couldn't help but fidget a fair bit throughout."
"We then had breakfast and got ready for two classes: Introduction to Shanghai and Mandarin Language. Throughout the morning we wore smart wear."
"...we had a vegetarian lunch at a restaurant near the Jade Buddha Lounge. We weren't allowed to eat meat before going into the Temple (Buddhism)."
"On the way out someone found a Chinese man wearing a green cap - which supposedly means his wife was unfaithful (this joke was aimed at one of the boys this morning because of a green hoodie he was wearing) so an all round group joke and laugh."
"We walked out into the "People Square" (second biggest square in China)."
"We all went back in the museum around half three and returned to the coach. Along the way one of the Year 13 girls was teasing one of the Year 13 boys using a "Russian accent" and it was hilarious to listen to them cat fight/sarcasm tennis match. Apparently the girl has a lot of experience from her brothers and dad."
"...acrobatics through hoops, flexible acts, plate spinning, silk acts (like flying!!), motorbike cage tricks, balancing and then also the terrible 'scamming' issue in the interval when you could have your picture taken with the acrobats: for a price Y100 to be exact = each! (About £10). One of the girls and I snuck away quickly! (Describes some more of the act) Scariest few minutes of my life!"
"...across the Shanghai border to Nanjing Water Gardens where the group was given a mere half an hour to take in the gardens. They were amazing! And I tested my first Chinese phrase: 'How much?' And it worked!"
"Today I was with (three girls) who are all blonde and fair-faired so they got a lot of attention... (But I got in the photos anyway, teehee!)"
"...the group had a photo together. So many Chinese people then swarmed to take pictures!! Insane!!"
(At a Karoake Bar, then the first line the next day is this - baring in mind that all but two of us were underage on a 'school' trip): "Last night was the first night I slept properly but we woke up feeling like death."
"...we met different buddies in the year below my original buddy Angel to follow them in their lessons all morning. (...) Her friends started teasing each other and telling me their nicknames such as 'Lady Sexy' and 'KFC Chicken'. They were extremely giggly!"
"(In an English class) The Chinese use rather old fashioned vocab to describe and give sentences ie. "I could not seek out...", "Do not dare to help me out the car" and "to receive something" is the verb, "to receive an offer of marriage" is the example."
"(After being let out late from a class) I got panicy because I didn't know where to go meet the others. So afterwards my buddy and I looked around until we saw a small group of people (from my school)... However as I went out, about seven girls asked if they could have individual pictures with me! ... I think I now know how frustrated celebrities get. I sympathise with them, empathise?"
"We played a game of basketball four girls vs. three boys during which I scored the only goal but that was short-lived as one of the Year 12 boys then got us into a match five of us vs. four Chinese boys. They. thrashed. us!" (Spot me in the white blouse!). "...The Chinese boys played with no fear and weren't afraid to shove us out the way."
"In the afternoon we walked with a group of other student to the school's first community project in Cite Jardin which was in like an urbanisation... One of the Year 13 girls and I were two of the first to learn Chinese fan dancing... The Chinese girls kept on having to tell us what to do." (Spot the two of us!).
"(After a fashion show and dancing) There was a kerfuffle when all students and teachers were asked to get on stage for a photo."
"After dinner was the funniest event ever. One of the Year 13 boys had been given a book by some admirer... and her friends were waiting for him when he got back to his room... She had previously left a note on the boys' door claiming she had some sweets for him to find!"
"(TV tower in Pudong) We exited at 279 metres above sea level in the second ball of the tower."
"The views were stunning! ... However it was really hot and walking the whole way around really worked up a swear! Ew!!"
"One of the Year 12 boys asked me if I wanted to go and explore - I thought he was pointing at the men's toilets!"
"This evening we had to make sure we had enough layers because we then went on a night canal cruise alongside the TV tower and other buildings. Although we all found that our guide exaggerated on layers as it was quite warm. What she should have advised us on was investing in fly net hats because the amount of midges was insane!"
"You could tell when the cruise was going to end as soon as you saw the industrial state cranes and darkness instead of bright building."
"(On our last morning in Shanghai: fan dancing lesson) We reckon the fan could look quite threatening when opened up quite swiftly and mixed with Kung Fu: LETHAL! :P"
"After this lesson we met our Sunday buddies at the hotel restaurant for lunch... I felt happy I could show my buddy that I do eat more than what I ate on Sunday. I'm hoping she'll relay the message to her mum this weekend..."
"As we left (the school) the same Year 13 boy was surrounded by a few of our group along with two completely different Chinese girls, one who was crying that he was leaving and had given him a pink bag stuffed full of presents..."
We arrived into Beijing on the overnight train at 7:30am apparently!
Thank you for reading part one of this trip!! It has been amusing piecing bits of this trip back together again!
Stay tuned for the weekend in Beiijing!!
Lots of love xxx