First of all, I want to apologize for the lateness of this post. I’ve been battling the WiFi and that has made uploading this a bit of an ordeal.

My first weekend in Chengdu has officially concluded, and if it’s any indication of the rest of my time here, I am in for a fabulous semester.

IMG_8603

Saturday morning, some of us decided to explore the nearby marketplace. At this point, it’s difficult to be in contact as we haven’t purchased pre-paid phones and it’s difficult to connect to WiFi all the time so it was only a small group of us this time around.

The marketplace is completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced. Doors are optional, and even when the small shops do have doors, they’re always propped open. The fruits are small, the vegetables are big, and man, are there a lot of animal feet hanging around. I would have taken pictures, but I didn’t want to offend any of the shop owners – especially since I wasn’t purchasing anything.

Exploring the marketplace also taught me the golden rule of Chengdu traffic: if it has wheels, it has the right of way. Walking on the sidewalk and a motorcycle is (inexplicably) rushing straight for you? You better move. Crossing any intersection is a game of Russian roulette, since only half of the traffic acknowledges the red lights. It’s telling when the green crosswalk figure isn’t frozen in time like in America, but frantically running in place as he tries to escape the traffic demons.

IMG_8161
An elaborate (and delicious) fruit plate.

Saturday night, about ten of us decided to go and try out one of the KTV (karaoke) places nearby. Karaoke is huge here, and though it was an interesting experience hailing three taxis and trying to coordinate all of them into arriving at the same location, we all had a marvelous time. The place was much fancier than I expected (everyone was in dresses and dress pants) with ritzy chandeliers and private rooms for each party. I’m still not sure why the place had a teddy bear theme (there was a tower of teddy bears in the center of the foyer and each person working in the place had a large teddy bear on their sleeve) but it was really quite nice. We spent about three or four hours there, belting to all kinds of American songs – from Beyonce to Eminem to Queen – and considering it was the first time I had officially met half of these people and I have little to no confidence in my singing skills, I had a fantastic time.

IMG_8235
Nathan (one of the Summer C students)

IMG_8408
Cat and Liz (both Summer A students)

Sunday, we decided to visit Da Fu’s Thatched Cottage, which is a quick bus ride away from campus. Da Fu, also known as Confucius, did not in fact live in a cottage but rather a multiple-pagoda-garden-bonsai palace. After wandering around the cottage grounds, it’s no wonder the man had philosophical thoughts because it was so serene and peaceful.

IMG_8609
A beautiful archway.

IMG_8569
One of the many pagodas.

Not only did we get to explore and photograph pagodas, a waterfall, bonsai gardens, and lots of statues, we also got to be the subject of several photographs since many Chinese tourists were too afraid to come up and address us but were not above taking pictures from a distance (thank you zoom lenses). One man did stop me on the way down from the bell tower and personally welcome me to China, so the Chinese are nothing but friendly.

IMG_8905 copy
The bonsai garden.

To summarize the weekend: I’ve been exploring Chengdu for two days and I took 832 pictures of both friends and scenery. I can only imagine how many more are to come.

IMG_8693
Obligatory self-portrait?

IMG_8999
This is Marthe, my roommate, and me – we were laughing at our photographer’s attempts to use my camera.

A post regarding the first week of class (oh yeah, THAT’S why I came to China) will come shortly!

再見,

康愛梅

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Update: Karaoke and Confucius Edition

One thought on “Weekend Update: Karaoke and Confucius Edition

  1. Hi Emily,

    Now that you are on your way home I finally had the courage to read your blog. It is fascinating. What marvelous wonderful experiences you have had. Just reading your blog makes me want to hop on a plane and visit not only you but the most beautiful countryside ever. I am so happy for you and so grateful you are able and are willing to share the experiences you have had with everyong by way of your blog. I can’t wait to see you and give you a big hug and kiss. To say I am relieved to know we can once again visit in person would be the understatement of this entire blog. Know that you are missed, loved and grateful to share in your thrilling experiences in China. A place I always thought I would like to visit but now am certain I of it. Who knows? Never thought my beautiful Granddaughter would be writing a blog about her visit to
    China. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Love you!!!!
    Nana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s