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Daniel's China Adventure

day 3: remnance of the olympic games

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I don't really have an interesting word for today other than incredible. (As opposed to yesterday-longevity). We started the day off going to a local market to shop for some food however, it was not for us to take back to the hotel. The food was for us to take to a restaurant and get mentored by a master chef. We had the opportunity to cook kung pao chicken and make dumplings. The delicate art of cooking at a master level was very interesting. The chef told us that it takes about five years to properly perform the art of cleaning a fish. This just shows how much practice is needed for the seemingly simple task. At the market, there were different fruit than in the states. One particular large fruit was the winter melon. This unique melon was about half my size! It was gigantic! This was the first time I have seen such a large fruit. The restaurant experience was magical and the best part was eating our own food that we just made. (Of course with the help of the master). The best part was the fact that we got to keep our aprons and get them signed by the chef himself.

The next event of the day was the most memorable. The birds nest and water cube was one of my favorite things because I am a very physical guy and love sports. The water cube was especially amazing because I am on the swim and water polo team. I felt a strong connection to the pool. I felt proud to stand where world records were broken. At the birds nest I ran a lap around the track to see what it actually felt like to compete. It was a great idea and I'm glad I did it. Two other of my friends took part in a race on the track. As we were leaving we decided to pretend that Mr. Harvey was Lance Armstrong and we all screamed "Lance Armstrong! Can I get a picture? Sign my autograph!" As we all screamed these phrases, many people took pictures and actually thought it was him. This was quite comical because my teacher actually has a resemblance to him.

After the great time at the olypic center, we went to a more mellow part of the city. This was the art district. It had a lot of interesting pieces of art. Although the art was unique, one thing stood out more. As I embarked on a journey to the bathroom, the mirror had lcd advertisements that popped randomly. This got my attention because in the states, we have fifty foot billboards, but not advertisements in your reflection! This just shows the difference in technology and marketing between the two super powers. Now a days, everything seems to be made in China. Maybe its because the economy flourishes with all the advertisements in the bathrooms.

One last shop that I really iked was this panda store. Although it sold a lot of pandas, the table in the middle of the store caught my eye. It had books full of people's messages that I couldn't read. Despite the unreadable language, I decided to ask a young man sitting across from me. He told me tha they were books where you could write a message and the store would keep the books for 10 years and mail you back the message. It wqas sort of like a time capsule. I thought that was really interesting. I have never seen anything like that back in the states. I had a long conversation with the local and he gave me his email. He said he would come to california and I told him he could stay with me. We both laughed and exchanged goodbyes.

The last event I woukd like to share is in fact about modeling. As we had free time to frollic in the art town, we came across a female model taking pictures. Being my crazy self, I decided ti ask to go and take some with her. Sure enough, the photographer said yes and I went to take pictures with this chinese model! She was so astounded after that she wanted my email adress so I could send them to her! (Two emails in one day!) All in all today was an amazing feat and can't wait for tomorrow.

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Karen Wells said...

Practice, practice, practice...the Chinese seem to have mastered the art of practice - both with Ping Pong and cooking. This is probably a lesson we need to learn as Americans. After reading your post, I just had to google winter melons. According to Wikipedia, "In North India and Pakistan, the vegetable is used to prepare a candy called Petha." I loved the story about seeing "Lance Armstrong." I also think it's really great that you are taking time to talk to the locals. Some of my best memories of South Africa came from talking to the locals who had lived through Apartheid. I am learning so much through your posts. I really liked the idea about the message books. I am assuming a person would pay for the book and then trust that the shop manager would mail it to him in ten years. What a neat idea. Keep up the good work. Karen Wells

Changing Connections said...

Funny what you did to Mr. Harvey. Didn't realize he bore a resemblance. You had great words for today: magical, memorable, message books, time capsules, modeling. Great post. Xiu xiu.

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN Leadership Council Blog Coordinator

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 4th - 18th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture