Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012

Today we (the international students studying only Chinese) went on a field trip to Hohai and Nanluoguxiang. Hohai is a lake with eating shops around the edge and lots of rentable bikes.

Then we strolled down to Nanluoguxiang, a shopping street with everything from “ancient” Chinese paintings and leather-bound books to Oba-mao t-shirts. At some point different groups separated out and I ended up walking around with a group of mostly Koreans (including one North Korean), one Mongolian, one Brazilian, one Italian, one Kazakhstani, and one American.

We wandered around for a while but most of the shops were closed. At one point we found an outdoors Chinese fitness center. It looked like a combination of a children’s playground and a highly sophisticated torture chamber. Eventually all the groups came back together and we went to eat across the street. For dessert we had an amazing yellow sweet-potato desert. We had to skillfully pry apart chopped potato pieces soaked in a glistening coat of dark sugar and dip them in cold water to harden the syrup. It was crunchy then soft, very sweet then mild.

The bus ride back to school was a nice reminder of the amazing and long bus rides of elementary school. We played 20 questions and hand games. One of the Korean boys has a really amazing speaker, it has a special foam pad on the bottom and it turns whatever surface it is placed on into a speaker using vibrations. Our entire bus was a giant speaker.

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