Happy Sunday from Shanghai

November 11, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Turns out, I can access WordPress from my hotel room, so I can blog on my computer. Hooray! Today was an absolutely wonderful day. I got up (the beds are very comfortable) and took the metro (the shanghai metro web site is the shmetro.com, which I think is hilarious … metro shmetro) to Peoples park. I got a coffee and walked around for a bit. It was very pleasant in the park and people were walking around, hanging out. This one man was doing calligraphy in water.

I learned that the “English Corner” takes place in the afternoon, so I would come back. One thing in People’s park that was Really interesting (and I had been told to look out for this before) is that there is also a matchmaking corner. People put up “advertisements” for their single children, and people go there to look for girlfriends/boyfriends.

I couldn’t read what the ads said, but some had pictures. After the park, I walked down Nanjing east road, a pedestrian street with lots of shops and stores. The road was about a mile long, and Extremely crowded. It doesn’t look as crowded in the picture.

I walked down this road until I got to the Bund! It was very cool to see the skyline of the financial district over the river, It doesn’t look real. I walked around the riverside for a while. At one end there are some big boats. I guess there is a tourist tunnel you can walk through to get to the other side, maybe I’ll do that another day. After I had had my fill of this scenery, I wandered around through another park and found a cool shopping area. The picture is taken on the way to the shopping area. I wandered around that area for a while, and noticed that they eat Stinky Tofu here too. I learned about stinky tofu in Taipei. It was very easy to notice… I found a nice Chinese place for lunch where I could sit and rest because I had been walking all morning. The restaurant was having a dim sum special promotion, so I ordered that. I got a variety of dim sum pieces, one of each. I thought it was O.K. food. The best thing about lunch was that I tried Jellyfish! It was marinated in something which I guess made it a little harder (I expected something like soup). It’s Definitely not something I would order again. There were a few things at lunch that I didn’t love. Just to update you on the pictures, the one with the red flowers is from the park after the bund – you can see the tower in the back ground, and the one after that is a scene from the metro.

After lunch, I made my way back to People’s park to visit the English corner. The experience was Incredible. I walked into the park and said to someone, I’m looking for english corner. This is english corner! I said, Okay, I’ve come to chat. Within five minutes, I was surrounded two to three people deep by people who wanted to practice English! I talked about my work and life, asked questions to people about where they were from, and what they thought I should do in Shanghai.

There were a bunch of middle aged people (mostly men but some women!) and a really old guy who must have been over 80 years old. He kept wanting to sing with me “the more we get together, together, together the more we get together, the happier we’ll be… cause your friends are my friends…” that song. Everyone was like.. “Shut up already!” The group wanted to know if we were speaking “standard” English, probably because there are many dialects of Chinese. Yep!

There were two kids a brother and sister 11 and twelve years old. The girl was older and spoke at a very advanced level.

She told me it’s important for her to practice her english because she gets better marks in school. She’s been learning since she was four. She also said that she was trying to work on her accent so she sounded American. I realized she had very minimal accent. Her brother was so shy and his mom kept trying to push him into the circle to ask questions so I asked him about the sports that he played. He opened up a little with this question (Badmitton and Basketball).

We had a lot of laughs, and I tried to make sure I spoke to many different people in the circle. Some people were SO pushy and wanted to be the only one getting English practice. Some were very content to just listen. One guy knew a Ton about boston. He even knew that the metro was called the “T”. Woh!

I spent over an hour just chatting with these people. What an experience. Then I took the metro back to the hotel, had a nice work out, had dinner, and now i’m here. Looking forward to a productive day tomorrow!

Love, Annie

One Response to “Happy Sunday from Shanghai”

  1. Marlene clayton Says:

    Sounds. Like a great day and I hope today is just as good. Loved speaking to you

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