Today started out great because in my Religious Studies class we discussed the Daoist idea of the “Usefulness of Uselessness”. This is one of my favorite Daoist concepts because it really provokes you to change your perception on how you view nature. As in, what a human might not consider useful to themselves doesn’t disqualify its usefulness in nature. I won’t go in to great detail here but if you would ever like to chat about Daoism let me know!
After class, we visited the fabric market where we could get a suit or dress custom made for us. Elysa and I found a fabric stand we really liked and while she got a dress and suit, I talked to a woman about custom designing a dress for myself. Essentially, I designed my own dress: a black cotton dress that cuts just above the knee, has ¾ length sleeves, a high waist cut circle skirt and a v-neck with buttons! I’ve been searching for a dress exactly like this for probably a year now and I’m so, so, so excited I was able to customize it specifically for me! I’ll be picking it up next week Monday. And it wasn’t even expensive by US standards! A win-win 🙂
After the fabric market a few of us ran off to the fake market, a place I hadn’t been yet. I bought some small gifts for family and friends (and unfortunately a selfie-stick that doesn’t work..oh well), and got Burger King for dinner. It’s so funny, when I came home from Cambodia my first meal was a Culver’s cheeseburger with cheese curds and chocolate custard because I couldn’t get anything like that in Cambodia. I think my first meal when I get back from China is going to be a salad and fresh fruit! I’m sick of eating fast food here but when there’s so little time to find food I’ve had to manage. Luckily Burger King has really good mango smoothies!
On Tuesday, we visited the French Concession in Shanghai! We toured the streets and a house of a famous Chinese writer, but other than that there really was not too much to do there. When we headed back to campus we had dinner with Yuan, a student at ECNU who also has been studying at UW Madison. It was a great dinner but now I’m currently in my room trying to do research for a project in International Studies, which is not the most fun. This class isn’t terribly interesting to me in the first place and the poor internet connections here make doing homework even worse. I have to Google keywords and phrases that I don’t know and it takes SO long to get a stable connection here that an hour’s worth of work can stretch into a stressful two or three. We have a paper due for this class next Friday and I’m absolutely dreading trying to research for it because it will probably take twice as long to research. As much as I love technology….I don’t. Wish me luck trying to research! 🙁