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Essay about Shanghai Summer Camp

司乐琴

这个夏天我有幸来到中国旅行。我们先游览了全国各地,然后在上海参加了由xxx举办的夏令营

在了解了中国的优美自然环境和深厚的人文底蕴后,我终于可以亲眼目睹这一切。在飞机降落之后,我被这现代化的机场深深震撼了。尽管这是个匆忙的繁华都市,许多人仍然享受着慢生活。我喜欢看着北海公园的人们或是锻炼身体,或是在小路上写毛笔字。尽管中国的发展是如此迅速,人们仍延续着古老的传统。这是令我万分惊讶的。当我注视着一个在写毛笔字的老爷爷时,他热情地邀请我提笔尝试。人们的好客和友好令我感到很温暖。在我的旅行途中,开朗的人们热情地与我交谈,尽管我常常不能理解不同的方言,他们仍旧希望与我分享快乐!

在上海的夏令营里,我的小组有大约20人。我们都来自美国的不同地区,也都渴望着对我们脚下的这片土地有更多了解。我们住在一个高中里,每间寝室有两到三个人,十分的舒适。我喜欢这里丰富多彩的课程,尤其是太极和双截棍。它们让我们强身健体,增强协调性,尽管它们往往比看上去要难。我们参观了不少上海的旅游景点,比如上海博物馆、水族馆和南京路。令我印象深刻的是,有一天我们发现了一家有趣的店。店里有能够给人足疗的鱼,被它们咬的感觉很奇妙。我们也去划了龙舟,了解了中国文化,增进了我们之间的友谊,也让我们感受到龙舟比赛时激动人心的气氛。另一件趣事是穿梭在繁华的街道之中与街边小店的店员砍价。

一天下来大家都饥肠辘辘,冲进餐厅。学校的食物非常可口,我相信大家和我一样享受着这里的三餐。如果要我提出一些建议的话,我认为学校应该提供更多的蔬菜,因为我是素食主义者。我会将这个夏令营推荐给所有对中国文化感兴趣,想要品尝正宗中餐,学习中文的人。明年我还会再去的!

 

Justin

 

On Day 1, we meet up with the other Americans from our group, play cards (Heart Attack/Spades/Prez) until late at night, where we then just chilled and watched TV. I like to sleep early.


Classes dominated the majority of the days. There were three classes a day, usually dominated by a series of artistic creations. From red decorative ribbons to handling abacuses, I found myself at a loss; I couldn’t handle the delicate work of carefully putting together small pieces or of stringing beads, especially after only seven hours of sleep a day.


On an average day after class, we would conglomerate in our room, and spend time play cards and watching TV. During this time period, a major tennis tournament between Federer and Djokovic was going on, and we often spent time watching this in lieu of playing cards.


Breakfast was a traditional meal of baozi and soy milk. Everything was buffet style; lunch and dinner were generally also a medley of meals that I loved; from fried rice to tomatoes and egg, there was too much to be eaten and too little time to be given.


During the few days we headed out, I had a number of interesting experiences.


1.     Dragon boating at the half amusement park, half natural park. We came in second place, unfortunately, due to earlier crashes with other boats in the beginning of the competition. Afterwards, we headed out to explore the rest of the park, which turned to host a number of hotels and otherwise themed attractions.


2.     The day spent as a Shanghai student wasn’t really a day spent as a Shanghai student. We actually spent quite a bit of time walking around Nanjing Road and looking at the Bund. Initially designated to be a time for looking at a different historical road, we instead got rained out and ate yummy food instead. I was in charge of ordering dishes, and I somehow managed to burn 500 yuan on staples like Gui Flower Fish, Crab with Rice Cake, and more specialties.


3.     Visit to the Shanghai bridges, Tianzi Fang, and the Temple were on different days, but these days were marked by an absence of activity. We were allowed to do whatever we wanted, so on these days, I roamed around in search of stores to shop at. With a mix of activities from getting my foot cleaned by fish to looking at animals at a back alley store (and watching caramel candy being made), I had my share of fun in these areas.


4.     Shanghai Radio Tower + History Museum. This area was a one day trip; we went up to the middle tower of the radio tower, where I proceeded to take a number of pictures on the glass floor bottom. History museum was not as interesting, as it was mostly wax statues with little to no context for the cultural background.


5.     We were invited to a concert later by our Chinese high school friends. Concert day at the Chinese high school was a hot sauna tub; in a gym without air conditioning, ice blocks were placed around the area. However, it wasn’t a waste; unlike the concerts American high schools typically host, this concert featured shows ranging from Kpop dancing to death metal.


On performance day, I practiced Colors of the Wind on violin alongside the group, and we performed amazingly J. Followed with a Shanghai acrobatic performance and buffet dinner at a revolving hotel, we thus ended the Shanghai camp on good terms.

The Creation of the Chinese Foodie

A couple weeks into my various ventures in China, my uncle pulled me aside and began lecturing me upon the finer points of Chinese culture.

While China may be lauded internationally for its fine silk, jade, and tea, there is a rougher more down-to earth side to this cultural hulk: the cuisine.

From street vendors on the famed Wangfujing Street offering snakes and cicada on a stick to traditional dishes of mapo tofu and Beijing duck, I had a number of culinary experiences in China. However, none of these foods would rival the three dishes I had within Suzhou.

Number one: In phonetics, xia ren, also known as really small shrimp. As a culinary creation from Shanghai, this dish featured special shrimp from Lake Tai, one of the largest lakes in China. Designed to be an excellent complement to rice, this dish had me quickly gathering up the remaining bits.

Number two: meat mooncakes from Chang Fa mall. After my uncle told me mom ate three in one go, I knew I had to have a taste. Although other variations including crab meat and vegetarian existed, this moon cake was truly the original. Immediately after biting into a fresh moon cake, a savory juice spilled out onto my hand.

Number three: deep fried soup buns from the shop, Mute Deep Fried Soup Buns (Ya Ba Shen Jian), which originates from the original owner being a mute who passed on his bun craftsmanship to his daughters. Hard on the outside but chewy on the inside, this deep fried soup bun also sports a yummy soup that warms one’s insides.

As the ancient Chinese saying holds, Ming Yi Shi Wei Tian (People make Food into the Sky), and the culture of food in China continued to perpetuate itself in various forms as I travelled the country. Weird foods they may have been, but I had to try them all and judge their sensory value, for I was a Chinese foodie.