Aug 29, 2012


I'm back in Korea and have already taught one class, writing, and it looks like I'm going to be spending a decent amount of time on prep, so I won't be going to Japan. Plus the typhoon that's been hanging out has made me feel less adventurous.

On my first trip ever to China, my destination city was Shanghai. A friend met me at the airport and we took the subway into downtown. So it was nice to have someone there take out the initial shock of visiting a new place and figuring out what to do.

The first meal in China was sweet and sour cabbage, mapa tofu, and some greenery. My friend did the ordering and this was our third restaurant after the first two weren't vegetarian friendly. My first thought was that it was a bad food omen for the rest of my trip... but this was a great meal, even though the server seemed extremely nervous about serving a foreigner and spilled tea all over the table and then ran off. Quite the introduction to China.

Some of the things I noticed:
 A family sleeping on the street. They took off their shoes and went to sleep on a busy street corner.
 Cabbies have protective shields, smart idea.
 People treat the streets like a part of their home. And with the lack of space and sheer number of people, I can't say I'm surprised.
And after visiting other Asian countries, Shanghai felt pretty similar and things didn't seem all that strange. or different.

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