Technically our banquet was Thursday, but it warranted its own post because it was really a fantastic night.
The banquet was our way of saying good-bye to the six weeks we had in China. Zhang laoshi had us all meet in the lobby of our hotel and requested formal dress.
A good amount of us had ordered traditional Chinese dresses, and we took advantage of the banquet to wear them for the first time. Thus, walking to the hotel where we had our dinner, we attracted more attention than usual – not only Americans, but Americans in Chinese clothes? How weird (and great) is that.
We were all expecting a private banquet room, especially since our teachers had requested the musically-inclined to perform, but we were instead in the luxurious top floor of a ritzy hotel down the street. There was a stage in the middle of the dining hall, splitting the tables and the food in half, and that was where the musicians would perform.
Nathan, Ryan, and Kyle sang a song about how they didn’t speak Chinese well (the original song can be found ), Chris played a fiddle song on a violin one of the teachers found for us, and I played a bit of a Mozart violin concerto I played my senior year of my song. It was highly public and slightly embarrassing since the stage was in the middle of the room and everyone wanted to know why the foreigners were on the stage/crowded around the stage, but everyone was supportive and it turned out to be a great experience.
The food was really elaborate and delicious – there was everything from oysters and escargot to chicken fingers and fries to the classic dumplings and rice, and there was even a white chocolate fountain. Not just a chocolate fountain, but a white chocolate fountain. And there was Haagen Daas too!
We spent most of the night laughing, talking, taking goofy pictures, and reminiscing about things we would miss about China and things we already missed about America.
It was just really nice to hang out with everyone one last time and talk with our teachers one last time before we left. We were all dressed up and fancy, eating delicious food, speaking Chinglish like pros, and it was a wonderful conclusion to a fantastic experience.
See you tomorrow America!