On Monday we visited the Tianzifang Art District. There were a lot of really cute shops down small alley ways, but a group of us had to pick up our tailored clothes from the fabric market so we only stayed in Tianzifang for a half hour or so. When we picked up our clothes we tried them and wow, I fell in love with my dress at first sight! Unfortunately, this was the day that Shanghai decided to prove that it was, in fact, the rainy season. Guess who forgot her umbrella. 🙁 On the bright side my dress was double bagged and I’m waterproof. It was really funny though because as I was walking back I saw Barbara (part of the CIEE staff) and she looked so dry and comfortable under her umbrella, whereas I, in my silk maxi dress, looking like I just climbed out of a swimming pool. I had Chinese ramen for dinner because I was too exhausted from my experience with the rain to go out again.
On Tuesday the rain continued so our afternoon activity of volunteering at Changfeng Park was cancelled. However, because it was Elysa’s 19th birthday we all went to KTV Karaoke. When it comes to karaoke, KTV does not mess around. I could have mistook KTV for a ritzy hotel, with white marble floors and tall ceilings. Only eight of us, Mark and Zhai went out for karaoke but it was a really fun time. Zhai, Heather, and Mark sang some Chinese songs and the rest of us sang songs from artists ranging from Lily Allen to Nicki Minaj, to the Beatles to Dolly Parton. We of course sang Happy Birthday to Elysa and she got a cake with her Chinese zodiac sign on top of it. It was a really great day and even though it was raining I think Elysa had a great day too!
On Wednesday, in our class with Mark, we each submitted two pictures to talk about with the class. We didn’t have any guidelines except to choose two or three pictures that meant a lot to us. I chose a picture of the dumplings I made with my host family and a picture I took of Guanyin in the cave. 🙂 I loved seeing everyone else’s pictures too, because it really showed how differently we all interpreted this trip. In our IR course we had our last debate on whether or not the United States should “contain” China, and then we had lunch at the noodle place. I’m really going to miss going to the noodle place. I can’t believe we only have four full days left here in Shanghai. Today we all visited the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum where we learned about how Shanghai helped over 23,000 refugees escaped Nazi Germany. I had no idea Shanghai was such a safe haven. It was really moving to hear and read testimonies of Jews that made Shanghai their new home, especially ones that just barely escaped death.
Upon returning to campus I visited the bookstore to finally buy an ECNU t-shirt! After I got dinner at the noodle place with Kyra (noodle place for lunch and dinner!) and then walked back to the dorm to meditate. I don’t know if it’s the rain or the impending sorrow that will accompany leaving Shanghai, but I feel really tired and drained. I’m really looking forward to Friday and Saturday because the rain is supposed to calm down. My fingers are crossed because I don’t think my umbrella can handle another rainy day in Shanghai!!