Goodbye, Shanghai!

After visited M50 we travelled by metro to go to Zhai Laoshi’s house! She just moved into her apartment two weeks ago and we were her first guests. We also got to meet her husband. Saba jokingly (kinda) asked her if we were going to be able to meet her husband and see her new place a few weeks ago and Zhai immediately insisted that we should. I think that just really goes to show how close we all became with our professors and mentors on this trip. She even hosted a dinner with fruit, Pizza Hut, and of course, KFC. It was an amazing night of games and reminiscing. The Beijing Duck dinner and boat cruise and this dinner really encompassed the idea of going out with a bang, but also celebrating the close relationships we all formed. After dinner we headed back to campus where Omer, Kyra, Emily and I hung out at the pagoda again. We also said goodbye to the crazy variety of cats on campus and wished the pregnant cat good luck with all her babies.

On Sunday, our last full day, Omer, Kyra, Emily and I all went to explore Changfeng Park near campus. We watched an old woman do Tai Chi for a little bit but then found out that we could all rent a paddle boat and explore the lake! We got a white duck shaped paddle boat and for an hour we simultaneously got our exercise and explored the lake and surrounding gardens. After that, we got lunch at the noodle place one last time and decided to take the subway downtown. We went to visit the mosque with Omer, but us three ladies weren’t let in because we aren’t Muslim. It was still cool to see the outside, though, and afterwards we visited the antique market. After the antique market we visited the Shanghai Library! It was huge and looked like an airport and also had a really cool bronze statue of Confucius outside. After the library, we headed back to campus where I decided to meditate and rest and pack until dinner time around 8pm. Because I’ve been outrageously pinching pennies (or yuan) these past few days I got a pork sandwich and Emily was nice enough to let me eat some of her bok choy. After dinner I came back to my room and hung out with Ka. After ten minutes Saba stopped by, then Maggie, then Kyra and soon ten of us were crammed on Ka’s queen sized bed enjoying our last night together. Kyra is staying in China all summer and had to leave for Hong Kong to renew her visa at 5:00AM on Monday, so this was also a small goodbye get together. I’m so thankful for this crazy group that was chosen for this trip. We’re all so different and come from so many different backgrounds but still complement each other. I’m going to miss everyone so much!

As I write it’s currently 9:52AM on Monday. I just got back from buying my last egg burrito, my favorite strawberry popsicle and coconut juice. I officially have only .5 RMB to my name which is about $0.008 American dollars. I’m about to change into my plane clothes and finish packing. This morning is bittersweet. I’m excited to come home and see my family and Louis, but Shanghai definitely has a piece of my heart. I never thought that I’d ever be studying abroad in China, but now I can’t imagine who I’d be today without this experience. We’re meeting in the lobby at 11:00AM to ride to the airport and soon I’ll be spending thirteen hours doing research and writing my six paged research paper for my International Relations course. Wish me luck!