Today a few of us from the group decided that it would be a nice day to go check out the waterpark. When we got to the bus stop we were a little confused but fortunately a local was there to tell us which bus to take to get to the waterpark. When we arrived I was expecting to see a bunch of waterslides and a pool. The first thing I saw was a rollercoaster and immediately we all knew we needed to try it out. The rollercoaster was super intense and crazy at first. Towards the middle of the ride there was a bump in the track that hurt all of us guys in a pretty bad way. We were all hurting when we got off the ride and decided to walk it off and explore the park. The park was made up of a bunch of different lakes/ponds and many islands. There were some very beautiful sites and we wanted to rent a paddleboat so we could go further but it was too expensive. The waterpark was very beautiful and a lot different than I expected. After a couple hours we had seen enough and decided to head back to the hotel.
Recently in 2nd Week in Tianjin Category
Today was a rather depressing day, our last day in Tianjin. Zach was kind enough to buy one last dinner at the Korean restaurant for the entire group. We met up at the restaurant with the group and the Chinese students that we had been studying with. I was a little skeptical at first because the last time I ate at this restaurant I got pretty sick and had to leave dinner early. Everything turned out this time and we had a wonderful dinner. Towards the end of dinner we exchanged our gifts with the Chinese students and said our goodbyes. Many of the Chinese students had never tried the candy I brought from the U.S. It was funny to watch them react after trying the candy. I definitely was not looking forward to leaving Tianjin. We were there long enough to finally start knowing our way around the city and some of the people who lived there. I had a wonderful time in Tianjin and really hope that I am able to make it back to the city sometime in the future.
Today we decided that we would take James up on his offer and check out a club called La Nest. I had only been to one other club at this point so I was definitely ready to try something new. When we first pulled into the parking lot of the club I was amazed. I knew that it was a nice club because the parking lot was filled with nice cars and there were around 5 security guards standing outside the front door. When we got into the club I was very impressed. The lights, the music, the dancers, everything was great. Reign and I eventually made our way up onto the stage to show some people our moves. We both thought we were killin it up there at the time, but after a while we realized how big of fools we were. But overall, it was a great night. We got some free drinks, met some new people, and found a new club to go to.
Today was probably one of the saddest days we had in China, today was our last day in Tianjin. To spend our last day a group of us and some Chinese students went to Ancient Culture Street. This was very cool because the Chinese students got to help us buy gifts for our friends back in the United States. The students were very helpful with me especially because I wanted to get my sister a painting that meant a long marriage. She just got married and I wanted to get them something that was traditional Chinese. They helped me talk to the people in the store and we didn't have much time so I was grateful for their help. After Ancient Culture Street we went to have dinner at the Korean BBQ. The Korean BBQ was one of my favorite restaurants in Tianjin! I was so happy when we decided to spend our last dinner here. At the end of the dinner was the really special part. This was the part when we exchanged gifts with the Chinese students. I got some gifts that I was really excited about. Lisa gave me chopsticks, Sue gave me a little fabric bird that she made, Lily gave me a Nankai University notebook that she wrote a personalized note in it and Amy gave me something really special she gave me some of her favorite music most was asian music but not strictly Chinese. She also gave one of Nankai's notebooks, but I really liked the music that really meant a lot to me. Overall it was one of the best days but it was also very sad to say goodbye.
Today we went to the silk factory in Suzhou. It was very interesting to learn about how the silk was made from start to finish. I had never really thought of where silk came from and was very surprised when I learned that there was such a thing as a silk worm. The whole process starts with the silk worm which later makes a silk cocoon. After the cocoon is ready it is brought to the factory and attached to a spindle machine that is operated by a worker. After seeing how the whole process worked we got to watch a fashion show and do some silk shopping. I found a coat that was one of the sickest coats I have ever seen but it cost 1000 rmb which was a little out of my price range. I also really wanted to get some silk bed sheets but they were too expensive. I ended up leaving the silk factory without making any purchases because I wanted to save my money for Shanghai.
Traffic in China is so much different than what I am used to back home in America. I have learned that there are traffic laws but from what I have seen they are not enforced very well at all. You honestly cross the road at your own risk over here. I have been watching how he locals cross the street and it is seriously crazy! Even if the crosswalk light is red they will walk out into the street and stand in the middle of the intersection in between moving traffic. Personally, I like to wait for the green light but even then there are still cars that you have to watch out for. I have never heard so much honking in my life. If you are out on the streets it's not possible to go 10 seconds without hearing someone honk. I am not sure if drivers over here are super impatient or what the deal is. I have also noticed that people hardly use turn signals especially if they are just switching lanes. I think it would be extremely hard for me to drive in China. People here are such aggressive drivers I wouldn't have a chance and would probably end up in an accident.
To start off I do love America and I think its a great place to live. However, there are some things I don't like about America and I was worried that people in China wouldn't like me because I'm American. I had an idea in my head that when I'd tell people I'm from America they would roll their eyes or be annoyed by me. I was very surprised and happy to find out this wasn't true. When I told people I was from America they were often excited. I also learned that America in Chinese meiguo where mei means beautiful and guo means country. So America in Chinese is beautiful country. I wonder if this was created by Chinese people or if American's decided to call their country beautiful. We asked some Chinese students what stereotypes they had of Americans. They thought most Americans were fat and this is a far assessment. In China you saw a heavier person maybe every other day while in America it is almost every other person you see is over weight. While Nolan, Shaofan, Ka, and I were walking around the water fountain a group of older women wanted to get their pictures with Nolan and I. After words they were telling us how much they liked Americans, but later they said they didn't like Obama. This leads me to think that maybe other nations do like American's but not American government. This makes sense to me as I never understand our government either. After traveling to another country and learning what they feel about us I now have more pride in being American. I often thought American's were not liked but I have learned during my travels abroad this is not universally true.
Today is the last day that were in Tianjin. Most of the day was consumed by packing up and getting ready to go. At night, our entire, along with some of the Chinese students planned on going to KTV. I had not yet been to KTV like a lot of other members of our group had and I was excited. We had the room from 12am-6am, and we stayed the entire time.
KTV was such a great time, which makes me wonder why we don't have them in America. I think it would be a great business venture if someone looked into doing so. I really like that we had a separate room with our friends. I think that if we were in front of a crowd or audience that many of the group members wouldn't have tried singing. Everyone was exhausted in the morning, as most of us had not yet gone to bed. But it was worth it. Then we had to get on the high speed train to go to Wuxi.
I went to the water park with a few of my classmates today on our free day. It was pretty crowded and a lot different from water/ amusement parks in the United States. When I heard "water park" I figured there would be a pool, a bunch of slides, and other water based amusement to go on. This was not the case. There were man- made ponds and lakes along with well groomed gardens. There were a few rides scattered throughout the park but nothing like I was expecting. We went on the biggest roller coaster there, which cost 50 yuan per person. It was fun at the beginning but was a pretty rough ride and ended up not being very enjoyable. We walked around the park and looked at the buildings, many of which were modeled like the temple of heaven. There were paddle boats you could rent but they were too expensive. All in all, I was glad that I came to see the water park.
Today we had our presentation to the class and Chinese students. My group's topic was transportation, and we did basic rules and statistics and compared then to America. We also gave general information relating to parking and travel. This capped off the studying section at Nankai and it feels great to be done. Studying here in Tianjin was the opportunity of a lifetime, and something that I thoroughly have enjoyed. I am sad it is coming to an end. Later in the day, we made dumplings with all the Chinese students. Despite my strong efforts, I was horrible at making dumplings. I tried really hard and basically was laughed at by all the Chinese students when I showed them my end product; a sloppy dumpling with pork coming out both sides. I thought this meal was a great way to end this part of our trip.