Today we spent the day getting acquainted with EFZ and Shanghai. Meghan and I got up early to go on a run and explored EFZ by ourselves. After a huge breakfast, our whole group met Madame He, the Head Mistress of EFZ. We all had to prepare a a short introduction in Chinese because Madame He speaks very little English. I think most of us were a bit nervous, but luckily everyone was impressed with our Chinese skills!
Following our meeting, we all took a tour of the campus and were particularly impressed with the school's telescope and science building. They have science labs that were donated by Intel since the students do such remarkable work. We were very impressed that some students spend a whole year using most of their free time to do research and lab reports. Many students at EFZ only do one activity outside of school and focus a lot of their energy on one thing, which is very different than Peddie.
After our tour, we ate another big lunch which consisted of cold french fries and a few delicious Chinese dishes. Then we went to the Shanghai Museum where we saw exhibits of paintings, jade figurines, ancient furniture, currency and many other things. Our visit to the museum sparked a discussion between the rest of the group and me about the correct pronunciation of the word "museum". I just looked up the correct way to say it, which is "myoo-ZEE-uhm" whereas I had always pronounced it "myoo-ZAY-uhm". Who knew I would have to come all the way to China to learn how to pronounce English words?
With our stomachs still mostly full, we stopped at a mall to buy Starbucks coffee and Hershey's milkshakes to remind us of home. Following our pit stop, we went to another mall in Pudong where we ate dinner at a gorgeous restaurant with a view of the river. The malls in China are incredibly gigantic. The one where we had dinner and shopped around had ten floors, each of which was the size of a floor at a mall in the US.
After dinner, we walked to the shore of the Huangpu river to see the view. On the way back to the subway, we saw the Oriental Pearl TV tower, which is the very distinct building that is often pictured in skyline drawings and pictures of Shanghai. On the way home, some of us stopped at what we have been calling the "cheap mall", where vendors sell all kinds of cheap/knock-off items and we all had to barter for good prices. This tested not only our Chinese language skills, but also our math skills as we had to divide everything by ten then multiply by 1.5 to approximate the value in US Dollars.
Now we are all back at EFZ getting some rest so we can have energy for the adventures that lie ahead!