Archive for the 'China' Category

Hola Hong Kong!

November 30, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are doing great! I made it to Hong Kong! This morning, I got up and took a taxi to the Futian border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

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In this first picture, I am on the moving walkway looking back at Shenzhen. I do not think I was supposed to take this picture. The border crossing was pretty uneventful, except that there was a lot of waiting in Line. I know people go on day trips between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, but what a pain in the butt.

After immigration and customs in China, there is that bridge, and then you go straight to immigration and customs in Hong Kong. It felt a little weird doing that without a plane ride in between! Then I took the Hong Kong metro into the city to my hotel and it was very easy.

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On the metro, I helped a girl work on her project she was building a mock business Web site in English for a computer class. I helped correct her grammar.

When I got to the hotel, I checked in and dropped my bags off at the room. It is the tiniest little room! I can’t believe how expensive it is. With the bathroom included, it’s smaller than my bedroom in my apartment in Boston. It’s clean though, and everything works well. It’s just not somewhere I’d like to Hang out. Okay also I realize I’ve been a little (okay Very) spoiled with hotel rooms on this survey! Back to reality here.

20121130_183843I went to walk around, and almost immediately it started to rain. I went and got some tea (you can see the tea stand in the second picture), and then went shopping and walked around the Gateway mall area all afternoon. There were some views of the harbor but was rainy and cloudy.

After a few hours in the mall, it was still raining. I went and dropped my bags off and then went to get dinner. I had half my meal at a Japanese restaurant, and the other half at a Chinese restaurant. Why not. After dinner I kept walking. It was not really raining anymore. Many of the stores are open until 11, so I wandered, and browsed. Now, I’m back at the hotel excited to watch some TV shows Last Resort and Glee!

Hopefully tomorrow it will not rain. I’d like to do outdoor touristy things.

Love, Annie

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Zaijian China!

November 29, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well! The past few days have been regular, moderately frustrating, working days.

Tomorrow, I’m headed to Hong Kong and I’m so excited. This first picture is of just a regular scene in Shenzhen. I was trying to get a taxi at that point. I think today was better than yesterday. For lunch I got exactly what I wanted, which hasn’t happened in a while. I went to the Intercontinental where all the staff is dressed like bull riders. It was a little weird, they have a Spanish theme going on there, I’m not sure it works. At their Chinese restaurant I had Sichuan tofu and broccoli and rice. I REALLY like Sichuan tofu made with ground beef or pork and got hooked on it in Shanghai.

Today in a department store I cracked up because there was some music and I was like, I know this song, what is this, and it turns out it was a really funny cover of ABBAs “Super Trouper” and then “SOS.” One thing about this job is you are extremely likely to hear some Ridiculous covers of music.

Now I’m packed up and ready to go! I can’t wait. All in all my experience in China was positive. I’d like to visit some places in the north like Beijing and Harbin in the future. Anyway, see you from Hong Kong!

Love Annie

Working in Shenzhen

November 27, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

The past two days have been pretty regular working days. Not really that much to write. I’m getting pretty excited to get to Hong Kong and after that, home. Hopefully the travel agent is able to fix my reservation to I can go there a day early. This first picture is taken from one of the offices I went to for a meeting, it’s of the new CBD, the central business district. There’s a pretty nice restaurant under where I’m standing and to the left. It’s called Shan Garden. I ate lunch there yesterday and today. Yesterday’s lunch was better than todays. Yesterday, I was hungry after the main meal so I ordered this trio of desserts to sample.

It was Green Tea Opera cake, Mochi and Durian ball, and Mango pudding. The most interesting and tasty thing was a Durian and Mochi. It was really satisfying to eat. I actually think I’d like to go back there and get it again. Fluffy durian fruit on the inside, which actually tastes delicious (durian is known to smell pretty nasty), and thicker but still fluffy mochi on the outside. A small bite will fill your whole mouth with deliciousness. I actually think I’ll go back there and have that one again because it’s the best thing about Shenzhen so far. Today, the gave me a little complimentary dessert of pumpkin, taro, and fish eggs soup … more work tomorrow! I hope you are doing great.

Love, Annie

Shenzhen Sunday

November 25, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well. Not too much to report today, I got up and worked even though it is Sunday. It was raining anyway when I left the hotel. I was a little frustrated with the language barrier at times but the work went smoothly.

Today’s mall and supermarket were pretty crowded because it was sunday, but not a mad house. I had Chinese food for lunch, I guess that’s not surprising.

The picture is from outside of the mall. After that, I had a nice workout, and then worked a little more during dinner at the Japanese restaurant at the hotel. They brought me extra ginger with my sushi. I’d definitely going to miss eating sushi all the time. I’m working on changing my hotel reservations in order to get to Hong Kong on Friday!

Love, Annie

Goodbye Guangzhou, Hello Shenzhen!

November 24, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well. I’ve arrived safely in Shenzhen, and it looks like I have  nearly full internet access once again. I took the first picture this morning near the hotel in Guangzhou. Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

Today was another great day. After working in the morning (and posting the last posts), I did some sightseeing. I first went to the memorial hall of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. It was a relaxing time walking around but all the signs were in Chinese so I didn’t really learn anything. After that I went to the Chan Clan house, which was Really awesome. This one family had an extremely large property, and now it’s a nice place to go with different exhibits. It cost under $1.50 USD to get in.

There was a small exhibit each of ivory carvings, bone carvings, Jade carvings, traditional clothing, calligraphy, stain glass, some other things, and my favorite, the Chinese embroidery artwork. These look like paintings, but when you get up close you can see that the whole thing is done with string. They are so colorful and SO detailed. I definitely wished my grandma was here at the Chen Clan house (Academy?) to share the experience. She would have loved it. Some of the carvings reminded me of some of the things she has in her house, the detail of the flowers in particular.

Now after packing up to leave tomorrow, I ate, and then swam, and now I’m here. This was an awesome week in Guangzhou.

Today, I woke up late, went for lunch, and took the train to Shenzhen. The transportation experiences here in China are always a little difficult for a few reasons.The train ride was pleasant. I had a window seat and it was about an hour and twenty minutes ride. We stopped at some places on the way at which I was pretty happy Not to be getting of the train.

After the train I went out the wrong exit It took a while to find a taxi to the hotel, but I made it. The taxis are more expensive here than in Guangzhou. By the way the fourth picture is one of the embroidery pieces. Wow.

Now I’m at the hotel. The pool is bad (freezing and small) but the gym is great. I had japanese food for dinner at the hotel and prepared to work tomorrow. The lady at the japanese restaurant gave me a 20 percent discount card there she said she liked me and I was nice. Guess I fooled her!

I’m trying to get everything done here quickly so I can get to Hong Kong a day or two earlier. Besides, I think that one of the fun things to do in Shenzhen is to go to Hong Kong as it’s so close.

Love, Annie

Update from Guangzhou!

November 22, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well and Happy Thanksgiving! I found a place where I could access the blog, so here are all the posts I’ve written this week.

November 17, 2012 (Saturday)

Today I said bye to Shanghai and flew to Guangzhou. The flight was okay, I’m starting to get a little irritated with the pushy-ness of the Chinese people… in the subway, waiting in line, etc. I was a little sad to leave Shanghai because it was really awesome, but I was ready to move on.

The hotel here in Guangzhou is fabulous. I got a free room upgrade (I’m on a role here in China!) and I’m now on the executive floor. The room is incredible. It’s a nice mix between modern and traditional with nice artwork, and the amenities are out of control. L’Occitane soaps, a loofa, a French press and water heater, a pillow is in the bathtub, which is separate from the shower… wow.

Hopefully the city is cool, I’m excited to explore and maybe start my work tomorrow.

November 18, 2012 (Sunday)

Today was an excellent day off in Guangzhou. I was considering starting my work today but I woke up late this morning and decided to use the day to explore as it is my “off day”, a good decision. I had a much better time than I expected to have!

First, I needed some food, so I went to a restaurant called Pandan that served Indonesian food. I got some coconut rice with chicken and sambal, very similar to what I ate in Malaysia six months ago. I really missed that coconut rice. MMmmm. There was one thing that I ate that I thought was vegetables, and it clearly wasn’t. I asked and it turns out it was chicken livers! They gave me unsweetened lime soda water, which I really liked.

After brunch, I started my exploration at Shamian Island, a little island with many historic buildings. It was pretty nice and there were many couples getting their wedding pictures taken. I guess that’s a pretty common thing to do there. I took some pictures and some Chinese girls wanted to be in them, so I took pictures with them and it was pretty funny. After that, I walked through a market with So much variety of dried stuff. There were dried seahorses and starfish, dried roses and chrysanthemums for tea, beans, chilis, ginger, etc. This went on for a while. There were also pets for sale, seafood (not sure if it was to eat or for a pet)

 I found myself on a pedestrian street after the market, and there were SO many people there, it was nuts. I took movies and a picture. After this, I got some fresh pomegranate juice (like it was being squeezed right there), saw a temple, and walked through an area where they sell a lot of jade things. I got a bracelet that I for which I bartered down the price.

After walking around that area, I went to Yuexiu park. It was nice but I didn’t see the famous five goats sculpture that is there so I’ll have to go again later in the week.

November 19, 2012 (Monday)

Today was an extremely productive day, after what turned out to be a very painful night. The night was so painful because (maybe it was the wine-notes smelling game I played with the sommelier at the executive club, or maybe it was the wine, or a combo… I don’t know) I experienced easily the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life. I get horrible headaches sometimes (perhaps they are migraines), usually once every two months or so. If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning (way over a year now!) you might have noticed I get one about once a survey.

Well, this was throbbing pain on the right side of my head that I just couldn’t alleviate. Usually I can find a position where it doesn’t hurt so much and go to sleep, but not this time. I also felt absolutely nauseated, and was sensitive to not just light but smell too. I washed my hands with this fragrant lemon verbena soap (that I love) and the smell was even too much for me making everything worse. I also forgot my pain relievers as I was stressing about would I be able to leave in the middle of hurricane sandy.

I was going to call my mom to complain and get some sympathy, but decided to spare her. There’s nothing she could do and it would just make her sad. Plus, it hurt to think.

At 3AM after trying really hard to get comfortable and go to sleep, I couldn’t take it anymore so I called the hotel service centre. Please I need medicine for a headache it’s really bad. I got passed around to someone who could understand me (annoying), and they said they don’t keep any medicine on hand but they will send someone to the room. I guess it’s illegal for them to carry medicine like Ibuprofen or against the hotel policy? I’ve gotten it in hotels before in other countries so that’s why I thought this might be an easy fix.

They sent a guy up to my room and he said he could go out and get some for me. I gave him some money for the medicine and the taxi and said please, something very powerful. He came back about twenty minutes later medicine in hand. I took some and lay down. I think it started helping not long after that. I woke up at six forty five in the morning to pee as I had been drinking a ton of water and was about 87 percent better. Wow. I was so nervous that I was not going to be able to work today. Just wow.

I slept a little later than normal and worked through dinner. It was very productive like I said. I only had a little issue in the supermarket. A lady (who must have been younger than me) told me I couldn’t write things down. But I kept writing things down and nothing came of it!

November 20, 2012 (Tuesday)

Today was another productive day. Just two weeks left on the trip! Well in fact two weeks from now I’ll be sitting on my desk trying to plow through analysis because I’m coming back on the later side and our deadlines are early due to the holidays. I don’t have that much time! But my colleagues already said they would help with my analysis if necessary!

This morning, I got up and had a meeting that went splendidly, and then had lunch and worked. When I was at the Westin collecting prices, I met Anthony “Buckets” of the Harlem Globetrotters! Sooo cool. http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/player/buckets. I emailed him on the Web site to say Hi Nice to meet you and he already emailed back saying something like “Hi Nice to meet you too, you must be browsing the Internet in your room just like me!” Yep. Totally. Hahaha.

After work, I went to the gym and met these weird (looking) people from LA that were here to play (they are in a band). I guess that explains the crazy hair and stuff. The girl had four-inch heels on at the gym. I saw them last night at dinner. After the gym, I had cocktail hour in my room with some rice wine I got at the supermarket earlier and some broad beans. Yum. Of course cocktail hour is better with my family, but oh well. Now I’m excited to watch Gossip Girl!

November 21, 2012 (Wednesday)

Yet another nice day! I Toady I ate lunch at an Indian restaurant, which was actually quite delicious. After that, I went to a new area that sells high-end furniture. I continued my work by going to all the fancy hotels to get prices there. I think the hotel pricing is one of my favorite parts of the survey. The people are usually incredibly nice, and I get to see all these places, how nice they are, and who is in there. Today, I went to the Ritz and then the Hilton. At the Hilton, I checked out their wireless service and just as I had hoped, Facebook AND WordPress worked there. I hoped this because at the Hilton in Shanghai where I stayed, I also had access to the entire Internet. Hmm. Go Hilton! I’ll definitely go back there for dinner so I can play on Facebook and post all of my Guangzhou posts that I have been writing on a word document.

I’ve noticed it’s a little harder to write without pictures to talk about! The best ones were taken on Sunday.

November 22, 2012 (Thursday)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Even though I’m away and wish I could be with family like I have been on thanksgiving my whole life, I had a great day. I had a nice meeting in the morning, and then walked around Pear River New City to check it out. The meeting was in an office building in that area, so it was very convenient. This is the new commercial area in Guangzhou. It’s pretty modern and you can see from my pictures (actually you can’t, sorry) it looks like it could be anywhere. People like to live there and work there. There are clean streets, coffee shops, restaurants, beauty parlors, flower shops, and business people and students walking around.

I stopped for lunch at a Korean restaurant. I ate outside on one of the tables that was set up on the sidewalk with a huge umbrella over it. I was having a little trouble because the server was trying to explain to me that the tea was free with the bibimbap, and a girl next to me enthusiastically said “I CAN HELP!!” and assisted me in ordering my free iced tea. She had just graduated college and was having trouble finding good work. Hmmm. I guess this happens everywhere. She was working on her English and would like to travel. We exchanged contact info!

After lunch I went to the Four Seasons hotel to check it out and collect some prices. It’s a new hotel and sits on the top floors of the IFC, the International Financial Centre, the major building in Guangzhou. It’s actually one of the tallest buildings in the world! I got a pretty exclusive tour of the hotel with a man Felix. We even went to the Executive lounge, which is on the 99th floor!! The view was incredible and I got some pictures. I definitely don’t need to go to the Canton tower now. He showed me one of the suites, which was unbelievable and featured Bvlgari bath amenities. Woohh! I thought of my Bubbie the whole time because the only reason I got this tour was that I walked in there with awesome attitude (I didn’t actually need to check out the executive club for work…) I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but She taught me that with the right attitude you can do a lot of things. For example, you can always go pee in the fanciest hotels (rather than public toilets), just walk in like you own the place.

After that awesome time, I walked around Beijing Street, a pedestrian shopping street. It was okay. The coolest thing about it was that they had these exhibits on the street where the middle of the street was dug out and excavated so you could see the remnants of the street from the Ming dynasty and even the Song dynasty like seven feet below ground. That was awfully neat.

After that, I went back to the hotel, swam, hit the gym, and got dressed for dinner. I went back to the Four Seasons for dinner because they had this unbelievable looking Japanese restaurant I wanted to try.  It’s a celebration day so I decided to go for it. Great idea. I got some sparkling wine, and hung out and laughed with the staff and the head chef, and we took some pictures together. They were SO sympathetic that I wasn’t able to be with my family on this day and did everything they could to make me feel happy and comfortable (maybe they remembered me from my exclusive tour with Felix that afternoon) and wanted to know all about how I usually celebrate thanksgiving. It was awesome to have people to talk to and there was so much smiling.

The manager even brought me a plate of turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce that was a special from one of the other restaurants. Awwww.  Other than that, I ate some king crab, asparagus, and softshell crab and yellowtail sushi. Everything was Excellent, and I walked away extremely satisfied.

After dinner, I went in the pool again because why not, and now I’m about to watch Modern Family. All in all, a Fabulous Guangzhou thanksgiving!

November 23, 2012 (Friday)

I hope you enjoyed these posts and thank you so much for reading! Today, I’m going to finish up my work, and maybe go site seeing later in the afternoon. Tomorrow, I head to Shenzhen, the last work location on this survey quarter, by train! I’ll keep posting when possible.

Love, Annie

Goodbye Shanghai!

November 16, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are well. Today and yesterday were both pretty nice days in Shanghai. I worked and also saw some things. Yesterday, I walked around the French concession district around lunch time. It’s pretty close to my hotel. I thought it was nice, and pretty, and calm without huge buildings like the rest of the city, but I wasn’t sure what was so Awesome about this area that everyone recommended it. Maybe I missed something? Maybe the night life is really good? There are a lot of vintage shops there. Yesterday I also went to the area on the other side of the river, Pudong (the side I’m on now is called Puxi), to see the financial district, the pearl tower up close and the super brand mall.

I did a little shopping and drank a lemon tea with jelly cubes in it. I tried to order plain tea but that didn’t work. It was nice. After that I worked out, ate, and swam.

Today I worked a little in the morning and got ready for my meeting this afternoon. It rained all day today and was gross and cold. On the taxi ride on the way to the meeting, we were right on time, and all of a sudden my taxi driver hit a woman on a moped. She smacked into the passenger side of the car. Or they hit each other, I’m not sure exactly who hit who. The lady was alright but EXTREMELY angry. The moped was damaged and unrideable.  The taxi driver was also Extremely angry. They yelled at each other for a while and the police got involved. I realized that this taxi was actually not going anywhere soon, so I called the woman I was going to meet with, told her what happened and that I was going to be a little late, and she was fine. Good thing we have reliable international phones.

It was pouring rain at this point, and it took me a while to flag down another taxi. Usually they are so easy to find, but not so in the rain.

I was lucky the driver could read the paper I had with the address of the meeting because by then it was sopping wet. I wasn’t wearing the proper footwear for a rainy cold day so my feet were damp for the whole meeting, which made me Freezing but there was nothing to do except keep my jacket on.

After the meeting, I went home, worked out, swam, packed my suitcase for tomorrow, and then went to dinner at the chinese restaurant in the hotel that i’ve come to really really like. Now I’m here, waiting for Last Resort to load so I can watch it on my computer. Of course it’s important to keep up with the latest TV. This might be my last post for a while because I’m not sure how the internet will work in Guangzhou and in Shenzhen. I was Very lucky with the internet here and the accommodation in general. If not, I’ll keep writing and post when possible.

All the best and thank you so much for reading!!!

Love, Annie

Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai!

November 14, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

The past few days have been pleasant, with a bit of frustration due to the language barrier. I’ve been working hard, and also working out and swimming. This afternoon while I was at the Radisson hotel collecting prices, got this awesome view! Unlike many of the viewing areas for different cities, this one didn’t cost me a thing. The fine dining restaurant is on the 47th floor (I think), and is a circle so you can walk around and get a 365 degree view of downtown Shanghai.

Today I also went for a visit at the Jing’an temple. I like how the temple is situated amongst all these large buildings. 

Let’s see … what else happened today … I met a lady in the supermarket near the canned corn and peas and we talked for a loonngg time. She is six weeks into a two year stay here… her husband is working here. She loves it and the only issue she has is that she is really far away from her kids and grand kids. Her son and daughter in law got married in Fenway park, even though she is from North carolina and her son lives in Colorado. I almost blurted out something about how Awesome that was especially because of the new law about marijuana but I held it in because I didn’t want her thinking the people helping to create her budgets were irresponsible. The third picture is the other side of the restaurant, you can see people’s park down below and the museum.

For dinner, I went to a nearby Japanese restaurant called DOZO. It could be seen on my walk from the hotel to the Subway It looked really cool and fancy so I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, the service was complete crap. It’s trying to be a restaurant and a cool bar at once but I’m not sure they are doing it right, it kind of messed up both concepts. The food was decent, and I would have ordered another drink and more food had they asked me if I wanted some more but they didn’t and then it took forever to get the bill… kind of made me annoyed.

On a happier note, I’ve been really enjoying taking the subway everywhere!

I hope you are having an awesome week.

Love, Annie

working monday in shanghai

November 12, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Today was a working day, not that much to write. Sorry there are no pictures today, I wasn’t able to load them!

During my work I did get to see a lot of the fancy shopping areas, which is always nice. I was very productive, and worked a solid ten hours today, and didn’t encounter any obstacles gathering data like I thought I would. Still many places to go, so we’ll see. For dinner I went to a hot pot restaurant that is supposed to be pretty famous. I thought it was Pretty good, I’m sure it’s a much better idea to go to those kinds of places with someone that speaks Chinese and knows what to order (or just someone else to share with!). It was Certainly spicy and I liked that.

The cool thing about this place was that there were games and iPads set up in the waiting area, so while I was waiting for a table (twenty minutes to a half hour… it’s a popular place!) I played angry birds and then fruit ninja on one of the iPads. They also bring over juice and watermelon and popcorn for you to snack on while you wait. I did not beat the fruit ninja high score on the iPad. I didn’t even come close.

After dinner I got back at 10:00 and I wasn’t ready to just be in my room, so I went for a swim. The health centre is really awesome and beautiful so I figure its good to take advantage of that. I forgot a swim suit so I used under-fashions and pretended they were a swim suit. I have some that could possibly pass for a swim suit if you are not looking at the material, so I put those on. It was a great idea to swim and now I feel very happy.

Love, Annie

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