Well, one week is completed in the Accelerated Chinese Shanghai program! Its been a fast-paced week so far and I can only imagine that the rest of the 7 weeks will go by just as fast!
Arriving here in Shanghai was super exciting. This trip is my first time out of the country and, of all the places to go, I ended up in the largest city in the world!
The first night that every one was here, we all went to this awesome Sichuan restaurant and tried all the food and watched a short "face changer" show. From what another student told me, its a type of opera from that area. There was loud, fast music and the performer was dancing and every few moments, they somehow managed to change the mask they were wearing in the blink of an eye! I don't know how they did it, but it was amazing! One of the great things about the program is how personable the staff are. The program director, Dr. Chao, sat at my table and introduced all the dishes to us.
Wednesday was the first day of classes! Four hours of classtime a day plus the one hour with a tutor and one hour with a one-on-one teacher each day will be intense, but I'm sure my Chinese is going to get better faster than I could ever imagine! I think to give our minds a break from the first day of class, all of us went to an acrobatic performance called Era. The acts were really fun and varied from guys doing flips and dives through hoops more than 6' off the ground to 8 people on motorcycles in the same metal orb!
On Friday, the staff had a activity prepared for us to get us used to Shanghai's public transportation, our own little Amazing Race. My team wasn't the fastest(we took one of the longest legs of the journey by bus instead of train and that set us back a whole hour), but we had fun at all of the stops and talked to a lot of people on the way. We saw a Buddhist temple, The Bund, the Shanghai Museum, and the place of the first national communist party meeting.
Saturday wasn't fun. Often times, when a person travels, their bodies need to adjust to the food. Well, the food, while all of it has been great, finally caught up to me. My host mother was nice enough to give me some fish oil pills...a whole handful... What made things better is that I didn't have a bottle of water on me, so my choices to chase the pills down were warm rice porridge water, which my stomach refused to eat, or almost boiling water. Yeah, neither of those options ended well... A really long nap later that day after foolishly trying to go out sightseeing at the Bund and I was all better though! All better in time for dinner and then Karaoke with my classmates!
Well, for now, zai jian!