Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Run in the right direction please.

So, here we are in China, at East China Normal University in Shanghai. China is a lot more like the Asia that I expected: a little dirtier, full of street food, sounds of people haggling over a pair of shoes for 10 yuan (about 1.5 US dollars). And on one end, I enjoy it more than I did Japan. I admittedly do fall prey to many more stares here, especially while running (not many 5 foot 10 blondes lapping people here), but I enjoy the atmosphere, even if I have no idea what is being said around me (which is probably a good idea as they are probably commenting on the giant!)

After 4 nights in Kyoto, Japan, full of adventure, karaoke, and shopping in little market areas (where I found the cutest winter hat to replace my one from Nepal that some St. Olaf boy stole and is wearing all over campus). we set out from Osaka on a plane to Shanghai, China. The plane ride was nice, except that I seem to have incurred the wrath of the entertainment demons, because again, my entertainment system didn't work. One interesting thing was that when arriving, we had to fill out a health form, and while going through customs, a man shot us with a laser that automatically reads body temperature. Anyone with a high temperature would have been quarantined. Then we took a bus to ECNU, which is a beautiful campus located on the outskirts of downtown Shanghai.

Our dorms were gorgeous, and me and my roommate Becca settled into the airconditiong, unpacking our stuff completely for the first time. That evening I not only went on my first glorious run since leaving the US, but we also went to a traditional chinse restaurant with a former Ole (who mercifully spoke Chinese) before falling into bed. The next week consisted of class with our Chinese professor "Frank", who lead us through infinitely boring lectures on China's environmental history. We also went to Shanghai museum and Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, along with Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Other than that we have also had a lot of time to go shopping, sample the street food (a full meal for less than a dollar), eat coldstone (which they love here), and explore the area. I haven't done much shopping, other than pearls for myself and some jewelry presents for others, but there is still time!

This last day has been kind of a downer unfortunately. #1, I lost my glasses, and Im not sure if I left them in Japan, on the airplane, or if they fell out of my bag somewhere.

#2, right before running yesterday, I dropped my ipod in the toilet, ruining it. FML. Fortunately I have a shuffle, and I think that I will buy another one here, cuz they're cheap, but I was so pissed.

#3 While running tonight, there was this man on the track running fast in the opposite direction of everyone else, and eventhough I tried to tell him to run in the other direction, he would not listen. So, a couple miles later he is running straight at me and I expected him to move, but of course he didn't. So I side stepped and stepped off the track, rolling my ankle and mildy spraining it. FML. The chinese people were really nice tho, helping me get back to the dorm and all.

Overall, although I've had a bit of struggs in China, I'm loving it here. But I would love to here from you guys, so drop me a comment/FB message me/or set up a skype date.

Love, LJD

P.S. Look for postcards, and if you want one, feel free to ask. : )

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