French fries, I found you!!!
After that dredging train ride I told on the previous blog post, we had to take the bus to go to our hotel. That Friday was the longest tiring Friday I’ve ever had. Due to the fact that I didn’t really get to eat anything for lunch that day, right after I got to my hotel room, I went directly to the dining hall to eat dinner. The dinner they prepared for us was good, it could be better if they had more variation, though.
Yes, I was beginning to get sick of Chinese food.
As if on cue, the waitress came to our table and brought us a plateful of French fries and ketchup, without waiting much longer, I dug in. I probably had ketchup all over my face that time, but I could care less, I didn’t know French fries could taste that good. I went to bed happy that night.
On Friday afternoon of last week, we took the high speed train to Tai’an, a town in Shandong Province. It was such a boring train ride, I was so glad that it only took us two hours to get there.
When we got out from the train station, I was amazed by the view of this town. It was really beautiful and seemed peaceful. I could see tall buildings and mountains at the same time, which was really rare, if not impossible, to see back in the U.S. It was like a combination of New York City and Bloomsburg.
Impossible, right? And unlike Beijing, the air in Shandong seemed to be much clearer and fresher, and the traffic was nothing like Beijing. It felt as if I was on a gateway trip.
This town, somehow, reminded me of Bloomsburg.
Saturday morning, I woke up with a huge smile on my face, I was glad that I didn’t have to share a room with someone else that time, or else, she would probably think weirdly of me. I had always like hiking since I was a kid, and the thought of going to Mount Tai got me really excited. I took a nice warm shower, got dressed and headed downstairs to the dining hall to get my breakfast.
Like in any other hotels, they served us a buffet-style breakfast. However though, I wasn’t happy as usual.
They didn’t really serve breakfast food other than toast and fried eggs, instead they had those Chinese food that we usually eat for lunch and dinner; rice, noodle, etc. At first I thought it was only for that hotel, but I was wrong since the same thing happened again on Sunday morning in Qufu. The hotel seemed to be bigger and fancier than the last one, so I was so sure that they would have the real breakfast.
With that in mind, I headed to the dining hall right after I did my morning routine, hoping to get what I called the “real breakfast." I ended up being disappointed again, even more disappointed than the last one. This time, they didn’t even have toast, neither coffee.
I’m Asian. I eat rice and noodles everyday at home, but I don’t eat them for breakfast. I guess it’s different here in China.
After having my “Chinese-style” breakfast that morning, we took our tour bus to Mount Tai, which was only about 10 to 15 minutes away from the hotel. As I previously said, I was really excited that time. I couldn’t wait to get to the top of that mountain.
Little did I know, there was thousands steps waiting for me. I thought my body was in a good shape, so when I first heard about it from Bruce ( our tour guide) I was so sure that I would be fine. So, I stupidly refused Ms. Li Ke’s offer to take the cable car with her. It only took me five minutes to realize that I made a big mistake. My legs were starting to weaken. I regretted it when it was too late for me to back off.
It took us 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the top of Mount Tai and guess what? Lauren, Jeanine, Sarah and I were the first ones to get there. Even though I felt as if I was about to faint, I was still proud of myself.
We even beat the guys! Yay!!
After two to three hours of wondering around taking pictures and shopping, our tour guide told us that it was time for us to leave. I was a little disappointed, I didn’t want to leave but there was nothing I could do, right?
I wasn’t brave enough to take the stairs, so I decided to take the cable car along with Sam, Shyree, Bruce, and our new friends from Stony Brook University. It was such a great experience!
On our way from Mount Tai to our hotel in Qufu, Bruce (our tour guide) told us that we were going to visit the Temple of Confucius and Family, and the mansion of Confucius on Sunday. I wasn’t really excited about that since my legs were sore due to what happened in Mount Tai, but I was still looking forward to it.
We left our hotel around 9 a.m. and got there around 9:30 a.m. I’ve always liked visiting historical places, but that time I didn’t really enjoy myself there. Maybe it was because I was really tired that I found my bed more interesting than the temple.
However, I started to regret it after we got on the bus. I should’ve paid more attention and enjoyed myself there.
— Dianne Amerily, undeclared major