A visit to Zhujiajiao

Reflections on day 2 in Shanghai by Cindy '16

Today was the first full day I was able to spend in Shanghai, and I got to spend the majority of it with my host family. Although I was nervous, even after sleeping over at their house the night before, the family was very nice to me, and we all spent the day together. Her parents hardly spoke any English, but luckily my host from the school was able to translate when they told me something I could not understand.

After a delicious “breakfast” (which was basically another dinner), we drove to a museum in their town that beautifully depicted China’s history over the past six thousand years. Once we took a quick break to eat a snack, my host’s family and I went off to a traditional style town known as Zhujiajiao. The town had a large garden, a river that gave boat rides to the other end of the town, many shops filled with fresh food or souvenirs, and even more people. However, the town is quite famous for the Fangsheng Bridge, which is one of the most famous in Shanghai.

My family loved to make sure I was never hungry, offering many different foods to try that I had never even heard of before. Luckily, everything I ate was delicious and I was very hungry. For dinner this day, we ate out at a small restaurant within Zhujajiao, which served traditional Chinese dishes, which happen to be very different from American Chinese food, especially because of the different ingredients that are more commonly used in China such as bamboo shoot and lotus plant.

One of the funniest moments of my day, however, was when two random men who looked about 20 years old came up to me out of the blue to ask to take a picture with me, which was shocking and unexpected. After that, we seemed to continually run into them as we were walking through a garden area. Because they kept taking so many pictures of each other as they walked around, my host’s mother said, “We take pictures of things, but they take pictures of themselves.”

Once we all returned to the school’s dorm that we would stay in, all of us on the trip shared our crazy stories from the past day and ended up trying to do curling with floor mops and an orange, which wasn’t too successful!