• Posted on: August 19, 2014

[Think China 2014] Day 12 | Shopping, Shanghai, and the Post Office

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July 18, 2014

Authors: Clayton Crowell, and Lionel Gowans

“Leaving our home in Hangzhou was very sad but we appreciated morning goodbyes and gifts from our hosts,” said Shakir as we left to go to Shanghai. We departed early in the morning and drove a three and a half hours before we reached Shanghai. “The ride was pretty fun,” said Josh Lee. When we first arrived in Shanghai, we started to tour the city. We learned that the city of Shanghai sinks about a ½ inch per year. No more skyscrapers will be approved for building in the future. Our tour guide brought us to a nice boardwalk called the New Bund which overlooked the water and was just a beautiful site. “It was one of the most amazing sites we had seen,” said Shakir. After we took some photos there, we went shopping for about two hours. “We were able to bargain to get the prices we wanted and I thought that was pretty cool,” said Kyle. “I bargained down a bracelet from 900 to 210,” mentioned Lorenzo. There were so many people trying to get the group to buy things it was a bit nerve-racking. However, after the shopping we visited the Urban Planning Museum. The museum harvested some great illustrations of the city. It was beautiful. We walked into a room that was like a ride a demonstrating how the “new Shanghai” would look. It was full of innovative ideas relative to the buildings with the solar panels, the bigger highways, even the large scale of all the business buildings. It was a great experience. After, we were allowed to shop for a little longer.

I  promised a friend that i would mail a postcard but needed to find a post office. The adventure that Franklin and Ms. Regina and I went on was funny and memorable because we were so lost. We received directions from a security guard and after walking several blocks we checked in with an information booth. She wrote the directions in chinese characters, so our work was cut out for us. We asked one more person who wanted to be paid for helping, so we gave him a tip. We made it to the post office minutes before it closed. I expected things to be like they are in America and how wrong I was. We walked in and the security guard was asleep. I expected to be able to ask for stamps but the operator didn’t speak English. I think I butchered the mandarin request for stamps. Then Ms. Regina stepped in and got me what I needed. I figured that I would take the stamps back to the hotel, take my time and mail from there. Franklin decided to mail a postcard and bought a stamp. Then out of nowhere some guy walks in smoking, swoops up a stack of mail and leaves out the front door, no uniform, no formality. We followed him about  a block in disbelief and he disappeared down a dark alley. We wonder if Franklin’s postcard will arrive. That was a moment I will never forget.

The dinner was amazing as usual, but everyone was pretty full because we previously ate at McDonalds. The dinner was full of great fellowship and everyone looked forward to returning to the US the following morning. Today was probably one of the best days because we were allowed to be free and explore things on our own. I can honestly say that there will most likely never be another opportunity for me or the group like this. I have soaked in all I can on this trip. As I look back I can say that this has been some of the most exciting memorable moments I have ever had.

The trip was great.

 

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