Monday-Tuesday June 9-10
Today we had the day off from class due to a Chinese national holiday. We decided to take the free time to attempt to see another part of the great wall, with about 8 of us in the group. With Rina as our guide we went back to the train station in Tianjin again, and set out on what we thought was about a 2 hour train ride. We already had undergone the 30-45 minute taxi ride, and were well on our way to the wall when we ran into a snag. We found out that the last train heading back from the wall was to set off at 4, leaving us with only a few hours maximum at the wall between travel time to and from. So as a group we decided to turn back not willing to spend about 8 hours travel time and a good amount of money to see the wall for only an hour or two.
So after getting off the train at a random farmer’s village outside Tianjin, we were left to barter with the locals to set up a ride to come get us. We ended up having a van come out and for 50 Quai per person we got a ride all the way back to the hotel, which to me was just fine. The road back was not your average road, consisting for the first several miles of either dirt paths or a road too narrow for two cars that had two cars oncoming pretty steady so the average speed was about 10 mph or so. We got back to the hotel and hung out for a bit, resting from our early morning adventure followed by lunch at KFC. This lunch proved to be much more difficult than expected, when we took about 15 minutes to order between the four guys that went (the no lines thing is really hard to adjust to). John and I went into the Carrefour to check stuff out, and found some pretty cheap deals with average cost of new shoes for example being about 12 U.S. dollars. We then rested and watched Spies like us at the hotel before dinner with Eric, at the Chinese dumplings place down the street.
Tuesday we woke up and had our last lecture that was on a subject comparable to IT in the states. We then had our presentation group of Tod, John, Morgan and I head to the dumplings joint once again, this time to discuss our project over lunch. We got little accomplished at the restaurant because of the noise, and headed back to the hotel to get the PowerPoint slides in order. After a few hours of pretty ADD overwhelmed work we got what we felt to be a solid presentation base, and broke off to focus on individual sections for a bit. The business visit was around 2:00, to the Huayuan Microsoft Park and was our last business visit of the trip. We then had a bit more time to work on our projects before meeting up with some of the students for some night activities consisting of more new games, and increasingly strong friendships between our group and theirs.