On Saturday, English students from Yunnan University met SEAS at a lecture hall and took groups around the city from there. Each group consisted of three UNC students to one YU student; total, there were nine in my group, led by Patty and Spring, the English names of YU students, accompanied by Spring’s little sister.
Our first stop was the bank where YU students agreed to help others exchange money because out of the countries we visited, in China, English was spoken the least. [However, with knowing numbers, “hello” - “nihao,” and “thank you” - “xie xie” (pronounce something like “shia-shia” quickly), we were able to get around on our own.] One of the most interesting aspects I discovered while abroad was humans’ ability to communicate even without speaking the language.
After the bank, we went to the Green Lake where we decided to take a couple paddle boats out. Either because of the city’s pollution or overcast skies, there wasn’t much sun out and felt like a fall day in North Carolina rather than the hot weather we had experienced in Singapore and Malaysia. But a few impromptu races and bumping boats made for made laughs and smiles while there. From the lake we saw a park as well as some commercial buildings surrounding Green Lake.
We left for lunch from the lake where Spring and Patty had us laughing nonstop. Next, we went to a marketplace where we got some real Chinese culture. In a mall close by and thanks to the translating skills of Spring and Patty I purchased a whole tea set and an ocean for about thirty US dollars. Because of Vincent Lo’s tea talk about which Carolina posted, many of were inspired to drink tea proper or at least I was. An ocean in this case isn’t a large salty body of water, rather a box-like structure which holds discarded tea and water and also on what the tea cups and pot(s) are placed while the tea is being poured.
Though I have only mentioned a few activities here, the day was fill with much walking. After the market, we retired to a cafe near our hotel to continued the discussion comparing Chinese and American culture. The day ended happily thanks courtesy of Spring and Patty.