Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finally Home.

My wonderful "family" who took me to the airport :)

The girls on our final night in Shanghai.


Final Group Dinner in XinTianDi!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

LAST DAY.

It's all coming to an end so fast! I'm enjoying my last day with my small group friends.
Actually, right now it's 4:40am and a bunch of us are up watching the USA soccer game. SO TIRED. But anyways, leaving China is bittersweet of course, but I can't wait to come home and give everyone hugs! haha.

MICHIGAN HERE I COME!

BUT FIRST...

Shanghai to Seoul, Korea
Seoul to Seattle
Seattle to Minneapolis
Minneapolis to DETROIT

25+hours...

*See yall on the other side.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Duanwu Holiday...much needed.

So for the past 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) the Chinese Government declared a 3 day holiday break called Duanwu which literally translates to "Dragon Boat Festival". In some provinces, people race dragon boats! Not Shanghai though :(

Today, although I have loads of papers to write, I was invited to go over to my Chinese friend's house. Her name is Diya and we were paired together at the beginning of the semester by my program. Every week, we help each other in our 2nd languages.

Taking the bus about 40min away, we arrived at her parents apartment complex, right across the street from the only prison in urban Shanghai. The apartment was surprisingly nice and fairly clean. Diya told me it was built 10 years ago. The houses right beside it (smaller older houses which were very run down) used to cover all of Shanghai but within the last 10-15 years, the city government has relocated poorer people who live in such run down houses to build up apartment complexes. Diya said the people actually are waiting in anticipation for the government to move them?!

We sat around and looked at Diya's baby pictures for a bit and waited for her mom and dad to finish cooking. (I also asked my roommate whose family is from Hong Kong what kind of present I should bring her family. So I stopped at the food mart and bought 8 oranges. #8 is China's lucky number and oranges b/c it OF COURSE means Good Luck.)

Finally, the feast was ready and we sat around the table of about 8 dishes and WOW were they all amazing. We had Bamboo shoots, corn/mushroom soup, sticky/sweet rice, Beijing Duck (which is my favorite), steamed edamames, asparagus dish, chinese pickles, fruit/mayo salad and watermelon and cherries. WHOA was I full by the end! I loved the translation of going back and forth between english to chinese as Diya was our interpretation for most of the meal. Her parents were friendly and were noticeably trying to make everything PERFECT. It was cute and very hospitable.

Her mom kept putting more food on my plate and telling me to try it!! Her mom was adorable and seemed to love to make people happy.

It was a wonderful evening learning about the Chinese culture from a local family and exchanging funny differences.

Perfect night. Perfect way to conclude my stay in China.

12days till I return to the states!! Can't believe it...

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Also, BIG NEWS. For those of you who haven't heard already, I've decided to get baptized this Sunday (6/20) at the church I go to here in Shanghai called SCF - Shanghai Community Fellowship open to all foreign passport holders. Although I have been waiting for over 10 years to be baptized, I realized God was calling me to do it NOW and stop making excuses. I would love to be in the presence with family and friends but it's not about having the "exact" people in the "exact" place but fulfilling His word.

I really have been blessed with the people I have been surrounded by here. Some of you may have seen Facebook pictures of big groups of people from different ethnicities and that's all because I have found a family away from home. In my cell group (bible study group), there are over 50 people from all over the world. From Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Australia, South Africa, Grenada, Brazil, France, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Taiwan, and many many more places. Coming together to worship and to fellowship seeking the Lord week after week (in such a spiritually low place) has really challenged a lot of us and how we are to act and live as a believer. I, as well as many others, have started to do QT's every day (Quiet Times) where it's just you reading the Word and spending time trying to understand who God is through parables and teachings. This for almost all of us is quite difficult, especially when we're all very busy. But as my mom and dad always say, "What ever is a priority you will make time for it no matter how many things are going on in your life."

A few months ago, I decided to be a leader (one of 9) for our small group. The leaders and other members in our cell group have really grown together and can't wait to reunite in 2017 where we plan to meet in Israel!! :) Crazy idea. It's exciting to see our group grow and of course, we're faced with the challenge of the vision of our unique set up at our University.

There's a lot more about this part of my Shanghai experience but I'd rather just say that earlier in my Shanghai trip (the first month), I was spiritually, mentally, physically low. CULTURE SHOCKED and just very depressed. God provided in his timing and listened and has now blessed me with so many brothers and sisters in Christ that it will be very hard to say goodbye to them in about a week or so left.I've learned so much from people around the globe and can't wait to see where we will be in the future after this similar Shanghai experience. He is good.

Friday, June 4, 2010

count down 3 weeks...

I can't believe how fast its flying!! I only have 3 weeks left here in Shanghai. Yes, it's bittersweet. I can't wait to go home and reconnect with family and friends but I also am going to miss my routines here and friends I've met from literally all over the world.

The next few weeks are going to be crazy with papers and presentations and of course CHINESE MEMORIZATION...

But I just want to say that I miss everyone a lot and can't wait to see you all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beijing Bound.

Finally, the time has come. I'm headed to Beijing for the first time on Thursday night. WE're taking an overnight train (yes, that's how the locals do it!) to save money and to just try it. It will take around 12 hours and we arrive in the morning :) Of course, we're seeing the Great Wall...+others.

Update soon! Spending 4 days there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

At last...the real China.


I am out of the city FINALLY and in inland China :) My mom, aunt and I flew to Guilin and are staying in a beautiful hotel in the middle of mountains and rivers in Yangshuo. What a crazy day we had today! (Friday)

We woke up at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Li River. After the 45min car ride, we pulled up to the edge of the river and took a quiet boat ride surrounded by uniquely shaped mountains. There were no other boats out and we had the river all to ourselves! We even went to the spot where the picture on the 20RMB bill was drawn!

After the relaxing ride, we walked through a quaint town and had an amazing western breakfast. Across was a local famous painter and a musician so we bought some paintings and the musician taught me how to play a Chinese instrument.

Then, we headed into Yangshuo again and got bikes! These heavy-duty mountain bikes were perfect for the rough terrain we were about to encounter. We rode 30minutes along farmland and mountains on bumpy trails leading up to a bamboo raft ride. I can't put into words how authentically chinese this was but we were pushed by 1 man on the back of about 7bamboos tied together with 2 chairs in the middle...thats it.

We meandered down the river (while local Chinese had floating stations in the water trying to sell beer, saying "Hello. Hello. You want? Beer. Good." Then they would ask if we wanted to buy beer for our driver...hahaha. YA RIGHT. There were about 10 random waterfalls that we would go down. The whole front end of the boat would go under the water!! At the end of our 1 1/2 hour ride, we were taking a group picture then all of a sudden, another boat comes besides us and the man slashes us all over with water!! He wanted us to smile in our picture :) it worked.

If things couldn't get any better, our bikes were waiting for us at the end and we rode to another destination point called Moonlight cafe and had the BEST chinese food of the week!! So fresh and locally grown.

Our relaxing morning was followed up by excercise! We hiked up over 800 steps to the top of this mountain which had a wonderful view of the city, mountains, and greenery. We climbed down and took a 1 hour bike ride through the small, intimate villages along the farmlands and locals. What a BUMPY BUMPY ROAD! Our butts were sore!

MORE TO COME! We love it here. Don't want to leave....the air is so fresh and

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chongming Island & MOM and Aunt Diane lai Shanghai!

So by far, this is the best weekend yet.

I just got back from a 2 day adventure to an island close to Shanghai. It took us (20 people from my small group bible study) 2 hours to travel there on a public bus. We first dropped most of our heavy thing in our hotel and then headed out to a National Park.

This national park was unlike any in the States. This had blow up obstacle courses and blow up hamster wheels in water, mini-rides, grass skiing, go karting, ziplining, and much much more. All of these toys were located in a really beautiful forest and river. Since the park was so big, we all rented bikes for the afternoon.

We ended up barely doing anything but playing this volleyball game one of my friends taught us.

After the maingate to the park closed at 5, we could still walk around inside. We spent another hour and 1/2 walking through the beautiful trails in the wilderness and playing Mafia on a bridge. It was a great bonding experience with so many people who didn't know each other.

Then our on-call driver picked us up! (we made friends with this guy who had a van that fit us all in it! We would just call him and he would take us places...if we paid of course.) We went back to our hotel, went to dinner, and the group split as some went back to Shanghai.

The rest of the night was spent near the water in the moonlight singing worship songs to my friend's amazing guitar skills. It was wonderful.

We were all exhausted by the day but decided to continue our night when we got back to our hotel. (6 girls in 2 rooms and 8 guys in 2 rooms). We played mafia again for 2 hours until 1am!! Our group really liked this game...you see true personalities come out :)

"Momma Lindsay" as they referred to me as woke every room up at 7:45am because no one was up at the time we had planned on! haha.

We went to our elaborate breakfast feast in the hotel and played mafia yet again in the lobby for an hour while we waited for our guy to pick us up.

Most of the day was spent at a wetland where there were crabs EVERYWHERE!!! People, as in the Chinese people, would jump off the platforms and pick up crabs to play with! They would collect them in boxes and bottles. To me and the rest of the people I was with definitely thought this was strange and CHINESE-Y.

Of course, with such a crazy group of 14 of us, we would walk around for 20min then stop to play other 'camp game'. Some were drawing attention to us but we didn't care. We already stood out.

So this VERY local island (we didn't see any foreigners) was a great escape from the big city and congestion.

------

My mom and aunt are in the air right now!!! They are flying here and will be staying for 10 days. The first two days will just be 'Lindsay Tour Guide' days around Shanghai and then on Thursday we are flying to a beautiful city called Guilin and Yangshou. Here there aren't many skyscrapers because it's mostly nature and water. This is supposed to be one of the prettiest places in China :) We're staying until Saturday or Sunday!!

I'm so excited that my mom and Aunt Diane have the chance to visit. A lot of the reason why they can come is because of Christy and Dale Larson. They offered my mom and aunt to stay at their apartment, right downtown in the middle of everything. Housing and hotels are not cheap in Shanghai, especially right now that the EXPO just opened 1 day ago!

More to come on our family time together in CHINA! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Break = Hong Kong.



Since Friday 4/16, our entire IES group flew to HK, staying at Hong Kong University. It has been a few days now that I've been here and already, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. On Sunday we had a free day but the rest of the week we have lectures in the morning taught by HKU professors and then field trips in the afternoon. Our topics range from history of HK, education, religion and business.

-Visited Peng Ghau Island (a non touristy island that has gorgeous views!)
-Hiked through the New Territories (far up north which had breathtaking views but VERY long 25km...6 1/2 hour hike...totally worth it!)
-Museum Tours
-Shopped the night markets!!
-Symphony of Lights
-THE PEAK (highest view from Hong Kong Island)
-Sai Kung Park for seafood


and much much more. I'll upload photos very soon.

But this trip has really changed my perspective on a lot of things about the Asian culture and connection with mainland China (PRC). Also, I LOVE HKU. The university is ranked #1 in Asia and I really want to study here for Graduate school :) way later of course. I also have been inspired by the education system here in HK compared to mainland and the need to privatize colleges. A possible area to study?

We'll see....I'm just dreaming up things right now...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

SCF. The Cell.

Finally, through many random connections, I have found a church here in Shanghai! Not only a church (called Shanghai Community Fellowship - http://www.scfenglish.com/) but I've now joined a cell group in the same apartment area! There are over 40 Christians and non-Christians from around the world (literally, everywhere) and we fellowship, sing in different languages at times, and right now we're working through the book of Mark. I've already seen some of these people around the city! It's so fun to have this connect while we're out exploring around Shanghai.

More to come later :)

Oh and new found fact - China's government isn't as controlling with religion as most of us Westerners think. Apparently, if you're a foreigner, you can conduct gatherings for bible studies without it being "illegal". This hasn't always been the case but it is becoming more acceptable, especially around the cities. It's only when you, as a foreigner, try to impose your religion with locals and start holding large gatherings with them which then becomes a threat to the country. I have also heard a lot of the tension comes from China not wanting religion to intercept with the government.

Lots more to learn while I'm here for another 3 months...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recap Video of the past few weeks...

video

Monday, April 5, 2010

One month down.

Shengri Quai Le! (Happy Birthday)


Last week on Tuesday, I attended my CEO's birthday party organized by her friends in the PLA (People's Liberation Army). Not knowing where or when it was, I was given a number of someone who would meet me and take me to it. I ended up meeting with one professor from Fudan and a graduate student. The whole car ride to the party (which lasted around 40min or so) was all in Chinese which I couldn't understand a single thing they were talking about. Finally, five minutes before our destination, they started to talk with me. The professor, whose name is Fox, and the graduate student, whose name is Lonely, ended up being my lifelines for this party.

Left Fox / Right Lonely

Ms. Zhang Lu arrived in a fancy, handmade deep purple dress and took pictures with all the guests. (very Shanghainese). There were three large round tables in a very elegant room with chandeliers and luxurious fabrics.

This party was in a hotel and we were on the top floor. There were about 30 people who were there, 25 of them being business men. Odd?? Yes, Ms. Zhang Lu knows how to throw a 'political' party. The PLA members where there again, one from the Navy, her father who is a well known professor at a university in Beijing, and many others.


Before we ate, we went around the room introducing ourselves. Of course, when it got to me, I was unsure of what to say and if I should say it in English or Chinese. I then was told I had to say it in Chinese...so I just said my name is Lindsay and I'm a student at Fudan University. This was very intimidating saying this in front of so many people!

After the feast, we headed to a ball room for a dance party. There were a lounge area with food and couches and then a dance floor with two professional dancers Ms. Zhang Lu hired to facilitate dancing. Also, of course, there was KTV which is Karaoke...very very popular here!

So I danced a little, talked a lot, and made some new friends. I talked with the PLA and a few different professors for awhile in English because they wanted to practice theirs. We made a few toasts together as a sign of establishing a friendship and then one professor leaned over and asked if I knew the song, "Take me home country roads". I nodded and sure enough, he asked a lady to bring us two microphones. In front of everyone, we sang Take Me Home Country Roads - the duet. I was lucky that his big voice took over most of the song and just try to picture a very thick Asian accent singing that song...ouch. But in the end, I was happy to have made a new friend.

What an insane evening! Ms. Zhang Lu asked if I had networked at all by the end of the night, which of course I had. My boss is a very intriguing business woman and seems to know the art of developing business in China.

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Also, it was just Easter in China!! I celebrated with the Dale and Christy Larson (whose daughter I know and goes to Hope) and I spent the night over at their apartment. Sure enough, the easter bunny came on Sunday...and boy was he good at hiding those chocolate eggs. It was so much fun finding eggs in China :)

Easter - a holiday not really recognized by this country, especially because most are not Christians and don't believe in Christ's resurrection. It was sad to not see people celebrating this special day but at least I could enjoy it with my family away from home.


M on the Bund

After the egg hunt, we went to brunch at M on the Bund, an elegant restaurant over looking Pudong and the Bund (that looks like London). We met up with their German friends and for three hours, we just ate delicious food over joyful conversations. I'm still dreaming about the dessert I had....



Then the rest of the afternoon, we walked along the Bund (which just reopened after being under construction for a few years). And was it packed!!! It was a sea of Chinese people...Dale, Christy and I talked about the buildings, area, and history for a few hours, constantly doing a 360 looking at all the unique architecture of each building. It was getting a little chilly we walked into a small bar and had drinks (hot chocolate!) outside overlooking the area. At about 6pm, we watched all the lights turn on in the city...just like Christmas!

To wrap up Easter Sunday, we went to Hot Pot called Dolar Shop. Each person has their individual pot of boiling broth and then you can order vegetables, meats, and such. There was a long table of sauces that you could mix and choose from! So we ordered lamb, a mushroom assortment, and green assortment. Mmmmmmm....it hit the spot. We should seriously consider getting these in America...it would be a huge hit!

My parents being introduced to the Larsons via skype!


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In 2 weeks, we're all going to Honk Kong for a week over our spring break!!

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Enjoying it here in China...there are things that are frustrating (like going to see Alice and Wonderland IMAX 3D and paying $23 then finding out they gave us the wrong show time and wouldn't refund us) and there are things that are fascinating about the culture.

I did hit a period of "culture shock" where I was angry at the language barrier and difficult daily routines but hopefully, I'm beyond that now. It's also really hard from going to such a supportive community of friends, professors, and staff at Hope and then come here where everything is new and constantly changing. This experience is really making me appreciate what I have in my life :)

What a blessing it is to have a family here in China (the Larsons) and to constantly be challenged with my values and faith. I know I'm supposed to be here and I can't wait for the next three months to come...
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New Heights bar overlooking Pudong!


Go Karting!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Long overdue Wuzhen Trip: Mission

video

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Myth or Fact.

McDonalds = Cheap Fast Food

*Myth - Mai Dang Lao (McDonalds) - They are all over Shanghai! Today, I broke down and had my first hamburger...it was my friends Ben & Tomas who forced me...Tasted the same...was about $2 for a drink, fries, and a burger. Surprisingly, Mai Dang Lao, Ken De Ji (KFC) and Han Bao Wang (Burger King) are really fancy here. Fei Chang (very) Facy. Table cloths, Fuwuyuan (waiters), and the price is relatively expensive. "Classy Western Dining"...??

Air Pollution is noticeably everywhere

*Fact - On rainy days, there isn't much (or even a day after it rains). For the most part, there is air pollution but not as bad as Beijing. Everywhere you go, people are wearing face masks as a way to breathe in clean air. At first, this seemed odd. But now, most of us are having second thoughts...we should buy them to not only "look cool" and fit in but also to avoid eating chemicals and dust. (Don't worry mom and dad :)

Soy Sauce on Chinese Food

*Myth - Only occasionally you see Chinese people use soy sauce on their food. It's not as common as you would think! Most places have it for Westerners because that's what we're used to associating this kind of food with.

PDA is the same as Americans

*Myth - Just recently is it socially acceptable for a couple to hold hands in public. You don't see it too much. Most Chinese think it's inappropriate still to hold hands in public places...interesting...

Tea is Everywhere

*Fact - With every meal, you will find cha (tea). Coffee can be found but its more expensive. Most Chinese people drink cha in the morning, afternoon, and night. Green tea especially. Good thing I like tea (Wo ai lu cha). What's this next to me? It's Wo Li Hua Cha (Jasmine Tea!). mmmmm.

Other thoughts...

*After shopping at Wo er ma (Walmart) which is 3 floors of overwhelming Chinese food/goods, I took a taxi back all by myself for the first time. I figured its been about three weeks and I know enough Chinese to tell the driver where I need to go. After saying, "Wo yao qu Wudong lu he Wuchuan lu" (I want to go to Wudong Rd and Wuchuan Rd), the driver proceeded to ask me many questions in Chinese. I had a hard time understanding him but eventually, I could make out some key words. So we ended up talking the whole way back about me being American and from Michigan, him being Chinese, me studying at Fudan Univeristy and being 1/2 Chinese. We both kept laughing when he would respond and I would look at him clueless. By the end, we became pengyous (friends) and I was very happy that I did that whole experience solo. Just building my confidence...Totally worth 12RMB = $1.75.

*I don't know how people here survive without Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogger. These sites and more are blocked (and now, probably google). Because I'm paying for a VPN, I can get access to these. This has been a big topic...the freedom of knowledge. The government does a good job at censoring their citizens from the "real" facts at times...some topics I've shared with some Chinese friends (like the Rwandan Genocide) is off their radar because their government doesn't allow them to fully understand what "corruption" is. Hmmm...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Adventures Pudong/Bund/Yu Yuan/Larsons.

video
Pudong

The Bund

Yu Yuan (Shopping. Has Everything and Anything you can imagine).
video
Tea Tasting (Christy, Annalise, Me, Dale, Lori)

Having too much fun at the Larson's Apt. Many confused people.
video

...just a latte run...

...turns into buying the complete 1-7 seasons of 24 and seasons 1-8 of Friends and "The Time Travelers Wife"...Only In China.

That is all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Do you know the PLA? We're having lunch with them."

That's right. On Friday (yesterday), I got a phone call while walking out of my chinese class from my boss to meet her for lunch right away. Fortunately, I didn't have any plans. I met her by her new 2010 BMW that she drives (scary that she doesn't have a driver!! Most people here do). She also invited a Fudan Graduate student which both my boss and this girl are getting their masters degree in psychology. My boss is also a professor at Fudan in the art school.

So we were off, heading down the scary roads of Shanghai. My boss said, "Do you know the PLA? Peopla's Liberation Ary? Yes, we're having lunch with them. I reserved a private room that's hard to get in a hotel. We will have tea at the top floor where there's a garden and then eat lunch."

I must admit, I was a little intimidated by not only having lunch with my boss and these officers (who I've come to the conclusion is actually superwoman and literally is Ms. Entrepreneur of Shanghai), but also uncomfortable that they couldn't speak English and I couldn't really speak/understand Chinese. The Fudan girl was trying to translate for me what they were saying during the whole escapade. What a life saver!

When we arrived in the elaborate dining room, with a draping chandelier, a table as big as 4 dining room tables, and fine silk drapery over every window and wall, there was a little confusion of who was going to sit. There were 4 PLA members and 3 of us from Fudan. Even though I couldn't understand, I could see they were discussing who was going to sit in the chair across from the door (which means the most important person at a meal will sit there). Finally, one PLA member sat in that "special chair" and the meal began.

So in the middle of the large table - oh an the seat were all spaced out in an awkward way, leaving too much room between each person so it was difficult to converse?! - there was a lazy susan spinning electronically that held all the dishes on it. And boy were the dishes gourmet!!! The PLA members made me try a fish, a whole fish about 6 inches long, and had a guy put it on my plate. Yes, I was forced to eat the head/tail...everything!!! ahh...it was pretty tasty actually because it was fried, but still not my 1st choice of food to eat...I also had a soup with turtle and a whole squid. I pretended to take a bit but then just put it back...thought that if I just at the broth, they wouldn't get too offended. (Grandpa! I ate birds nest soup!! Yum. And we put coconut and honey in it. I'm so glad I knew what that was thanks to you!)

Another odd thing about this dinner was the number of toasts! We all were served wine and the PLA guys kept getting up and making a toast to each person. My boss told me later that it's custom for the hosting party to make a toast to each person on the opposing party. And could these men drink their wine! It was 12:30pm and they were already loving life... :)

My head was spinning while I tried to pick up on words they were saying, putting my 7 days of Chinese class into good use. Surprisingly, I heard words I knew and tried to figure out their conversations!! Exciting...Yes, Chinese ask odd questions..here's just some that I was asked...

*(by my boss) "So Lindsay, do you workout or what? What do you do to keep fit?"
*(PLA officer) "Do you think the People's Liberation Army is fancy? Do you like the PLA?"

...and here's a statement they said about America...

*(PLA officer) "We think that Americans 16yrs old and younger are cute, but when they are older than 16 they aren't very good looking anymore."

Thank you?! SO ODD...not sure if they knew I was 21...haha.

The whole reason for the meeting with my boss was to discuss business possibilities. She wants to open a restaurant/bar and also a spa. That is why she is superwoman...she owns a large electrical engineering company, teaches at Fudan University, is getting her masters in psychology at Fudan, has written 2 bit-hit books, produced and screen wrote a movie, and is now opening new businesses. = Ms. Entrepreneur.

At the end of lunch, I practiced a bit of my chinese saying "it was nice to meet you" to the PLA officers...

WHAT A DAY!

To top if off, my boss Ms. Zhang Lu gave me a leather note book, a bottle of ice wine beer, 2 tickets to the Expo2010, and ticket to a lecture at the end of the month.

Not sure what my actual work is at this internship but I'm appreciative for the networking and cultural inside taste I'm getting of the business in China.

More to come! Annalise Larson from Hope College is coming to visit for the week!!! We're going out to dinner tonight with her parents who are Expats here in Shanghai who have so kindly taken me in and is my family away from home. Should be a fun night and exciting week to have a little bit of "Hope" here...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Group photos!






Monday, March 15, 2010

Vague.

This is the perfect word to describe what I've experienced here in China interacting with the locals. For example...

1. Meeting up with other students

"Let's meet on Tuesday for lunch" - Chinese Fudan University friend
"Yes, good idea. Where & when?" - me
"Just call me on Tuesday" - Chinese Fudan University friend
"OK?" - me

*took over 30minutes to meet up with this friend who I just spoke to over the phone and didn't even know who I was looking for.

2. Internship interview last Tuesday

"When should I plan to come in next Tuesday?" - me
"Tuesday afternoon." - Lu Zhang (CEO & boss)
"Do you want to call me or me call you to verify what time?" - me
"I'll call you sometime before next Tuesday" - Lu Zhang
"Ok, I look forward to you call" - me

Today (Next Tuesday) ...still no phone call and don't know what time I have to come in. Tried to call her but she didn't answer. Texted her, but still no text back. Emailed her, but no response ?????

***Just received a call from my IES program coordinator (who I had track down Ms. Zhang Lu) that the company I'm working for is undergoing restructuring of their ownership. So the CEO is very busy the next two weeks so my internship is postponed until April 30th. I'll have to make up my hours somehow in between classes?? Case in point. This "vagueness" I'm experiencing here...or better words, lack of communication.

THINGS IN CHINA ARE SO DIFFERENT.

Yes, it will take some time to get used to. Yes, it's frustrating. Yes, I do need to understand this culture more...Three 1/2 more months here will probably help!

Two weeks down. Time flies when you're busy and having fun!

Below are some pictures to enjoy :)

Coming Soon! World Expo 2010!

Yummy Schezwan Food (Spicy!) Gizzard & Frog Legs.

Shanghai Night Life!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rice Solves Everything?


This Saturday, almost everyone in our group went to Wuzhen, China. This very touristy area (yes, everywhere we looked we saw Chinese groups with matching hats. Some plaid, others blue, some that said "Holiday") was extremely crowded but we did get a taste of the thousands of years of this historic city. We saw ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. We even took a boat ride along the river through the little houses!! All the Chinese people loved us "foreigners", hollering, videoing and taking pictures of us floating down the river. I'm not quite sure why they wanted to film us, definitely not celebrities, but it was still a fascinating part of the experience.

There would have been pictures to post but unfortunately, my camera fell in the toilet while I was there. YUCK. Yes, I sanitized it off and right now, its covered in rice....because, rice solves everything! Hopefully. That would be awful if my camera didn't work after this process of getting out the moisture.

Classes have started and wow is the Chinese classes intense! Three hours a day, four days a week of Chinese 101! Also, I'm taking Chinese Metropolis (we're going to Hong Kong later in April as a class for a week with this class), the Chinese Market, and and Internship Class for credit. Should be an enjoyable and of course, hardworking semester.

What better way to learn about China & Chinese when I'm living here being forced to communicate with their native language and surrounded by their culture. Trying not to take this opportunity for granted. :)

Much love.

林夕
Lin Xi

Pronounced: Lin She, my new Chinese name :)
Meaning: Lin means forest. Xi means sunset, twilight

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Memory of Grandpa Allward.


Well, it hasn't been the easiest of times even though I'm in a new country and in a new living environment due to my Grandpa passing away last Saturday. It would be nice to be home with family and friends but you can't predict these things....and yes, life is short. I just want to say that I really do miss you Mom, Dad, and AG and all my family and friends!!! You don't know the blessings in your life until their gone (or far far away). RIP grandpa. we all love you.

But, I'm here in Shanghai and trying to appreciate everything that comes with it! Yes, the interactions and people are VERY different from the US. A lot of people are on "missions" and seem to be on the go all the time. This is partly due to the fact that I'm in a large city but you can really tell with the amount of traffic (cars, buses, bikes, people, etc...) The order of importance on the streets are:

1. Bus
2. Car/taxi
3. Motorcycle
4. Bike
5. Pedestrian

Today, my first day with my new bike we bargained for 170RMB ($25), a few of us took a little tour of the city...but really on a shopping trip to wo er ma (Walmart). We bought too many things and forgot we had bikes...so we piled up our baskets on our bikes and took off down the crazy streets of China. Honestly, this was one of the scariest things to experience...biking with little to no control with bags hanging from the handle bars crossing major intersections. WE ALMOST GOT HIT BY A BUS. Probably missed it by a foot or so. So when the cross walk sign says "walk", cars are still allowed to take rights...which makes no sense b/c then they have the right away?!? ughhhh, frustrating. So, with that near death experience, we made it back to Tonghe Apartments. What a shopping adventure!

This weekend, most of us are going to Wuzhen China on Saturday!! Here's a picture of it...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

feels like home?

video

Food Critic.

video

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Singapore Treasureway Group, Internship.


Ms. Lu Zhang is my new boss for my internship who interviewed me today. What an experience!

Here's a bit more of a description of the company...
Treasureway Group is a highly specialized engineering and system integration company.
The company is good at building intelligent system integration, building mechanical and
electrical system installation and building interior design and installation. The Shanghai Treasureway had completed more than 100 projects of various size and complexity in Shanghai, the surrounding regions and major cities in China.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Acrobat show = near heart attack.

video

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Din Tai Fung

Yummy dumplings!

Crazy Adventures!



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Whew....no fb or blogger.

So it has been a whirlwind for the past few days. I can't access facebook or blogspot from my computer (blocked) so its been hard to do any updates. sorry!!

But all is well and I'm starting to learn "survival chinese"!! For the past few days, three of us chinese 101 students were taught phrases just to order, greet people, and get around in taxis. We've already started practicing. It's very very hard, but exciting when people actually understand!

Another cool thing - met up with Annalise Larson (freshman from Hope) mom today and she showed me her apt. down town Shanghai and then took me out to a well known dumpling restaurant called DIN TAI FUNG. mmmm i miss it already! Thank you Christy.

Her driver Jack, who speaks broken english, took me around after to see the Pudong side of Shanghai (the most famous buildings at the bottom of my blog). He is awesome and patient trying to help/correct me with my Mandarin. Also, mom and dad, I was saying some Cantonese to Jack and he started counting!!! Thats all he knew....I was trying to explain to him what the word Dialect meant but was having some complications...oh well. Next time I see him i'll know more Chinese :)

Well...thats it so far...on the go every second. I'll update pics and videos soon!!

Love and miss you all!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Made it.

My first full day in China was really busy, full of orientation stuff. There are 18 students in the IES program and supposedly we'll be like a family by the end of our trip since we're so small. All of us are VERY adventurous and are already planning our weekend excursions (like rock climbing, overnight trains, beijing trip, etc...).

We saw a Walmart, McDonalds and KFC today so we're right at home. Yes, I am experiencing culture shock since everything is in Chinese (go figure) and I feel like I'm in a dream with everyone speaking in circles around me.

The food is SO GOOD. Much better than American food and American Chinese. For dinner, 5 of us went to a local restaurant and shared 6 large plates of food. It ended up being $2.50/person. Don't think you'd see that in America with food like that?!

More to come...still can't get on facebook or blogger on my computer which is a bummer.

Love to all!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Touch down Seoul Korea!

What a crazy 13 hour flight to Korea. VERY JETLAG. I just found a free wireless lounge in Korea (the US should really consider having these instead of charging!).

A little chaotic finding my gate in the Seoul airport, running all over the place and talking to a ton of security, but I finally found it. Whew!

Sat next to a guy who is in the Reserves on my long flight and also met newlyweds from Toronto!

30min till my next flight to Shanghai!

*Running on 5 hours total sleep since Sat Feb 27th and now its March 1 ! ahhhh.

Safe&Sound. <3lots of love.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hello 17hour 30min travel.

I'm off to China, finally!

Feelings: excited, happy, tired (only 3 hours sleep), little anxious.

So it will be a long long trip.

1. Detroit to Chicago @ 8am
2. Chicago to Seoul, Korea - 13 hr flight
3. Seoul to Shanghai, China - 2 1/2 hr flight

Touch down on March 1, @ 7:50pm Shanghai time (which is 6:50am Michigan time).

Let the adventures begin...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Will try.

I can't promise that my blogsite will work in China, so a new one might be coming once I'm there!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Studying at Fudan University





A little about the city...

Over 20 million people live in Shanghai (1.3 billion people in China!). Shanghai is one of the largest center of commerce and finance in mainland China and is known as "the world's fastest-growing major economy". The city is hosting the World Expo in 2010 (from May-October) with the theme "Better City–Better Life"



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