上海 Blog #30
Friday June 19th, 2015
Local Time: 21:12Shanghai Time
Last day of class was today. 再见张老师 (Goodbye professor Zhang).
Several of us went to “the noodle place,” our usual lunch location. One of the girls in our group had carefully prepared our parting phrase. She told the owner of the restaurant in Mandarin reading from a note card “明天不见，我们要回美国。谢谢你的面好吃。” (Tomorrow we won’t see each other, we have to go home to America. Thank you for your delicious noodles). The three workers there understood and were very amused and appreciative of the Mandarin comment. Before departing, we all took a group picture with three of the workers there, the noodle-puller, the little-hat-same-shirt dude and the owner-noodle-stirrer. All three of them will be greatly missed. 再见面店 (Goodbye Noodle Store).
The first of our last excursions was a pilgrimage to the tea market not too far from ECNU. 马老师frequents this particular market, so she knew exactly where to direct us. Some kind vendors preformed what they referred to as a “tea ceremony” for us. It was really just an excuse to sit around and sample half a dozen types of teas from tiny tea cups. They said the smallness of the tea cup as opposed to the characteristic largeness of an American tea mug is that the design helps one “savor” the tea. We sampled no less than chrysanthemum, jasmine, peach, white, green, oolong and red teas. So naturally, I ended up buying SO MUCH TEA! I knew I was saving my money for something. I also bought five cute little tea cups for dirt cheap and a koi fish themed mini brewing jar. I am most definitely planning to have my own tea ceremony in Wisconsin.
It was kind of bitter sweet heading to our fancy, group, farewell dinner at Beijing Duck. Almost everyone from CIEE was there to greet us: Mark, Steve, Arbor, Ma, Shao and Zhai. As always, but perhaps even more so than usual, they had ordered way too much food. Nobody went hungry. There were lots of pictures. A couple of toasts. Most surprisingly, there were even parting gifts from CIEE to the Madison students. In addition to a small photo album chalked full of group pictures, each of us received a personalized stamp with our names engraved in them.
Our last official group activity was the Huangpu River cruise. Easily, it’s one of my favorite activities we’ve done in Shanghai. The boat was really quite sizable and the sun had already virtually set by the time we boarded it. The PuDong district’s skyscrapers were ablaze with twinkling light displaying videos of advertisements etched in characters. The light reflected on the river and the Pearl Tower was glowing in an ever changing rainbow of color. It was beautiful. It was China. 再见外滩 (Goodbye bund).