Taking 4,000 steps of good fortune
I’ve never seen a mountain as tall as Mount Tai-Shan. It was a shame we did not have enough time to climb the entire mountain; for we took a shuttle bus from the bottom so we could begin our ascent at the middle of the mountain.
During the shuttle ride, my ears popped multiple times, and even then, the views beneath the rugged peaks roused much awe. While climbing the mountain, I thought of climbing the 1,000 steps in Huntingdon, Pa.
However, Mount Tai-Shan had about 3,000 more steps to climb. The first five people to reach the top were the five girls! We were all surprised, because we were to climb at our own pace, and we thought that the tour guide, who had been climbing the mountain for years, would have beat us by about 1,000 steps.
The girls and I posed for several pictures while feeling the most definite confidence after we regrouped at the top.
I napped for most of the way to Jinan, where a Lin, a SDUT student, and his father, wanted to meet us in a park that had several natural springs. His father also wanted to treat us to dinner in Jinan, a city known for the finest authentic Chinese cuisine.
The park was serene and full of shade, which was a relief to my stinging sunburn I acquired from the earlier sunny mountain adventure. There were a myriad of fish swimming in the springs along with a spotted seal.
It was a joy to see fish and other life forms than humans in China, for there weren’t many people walking dogs in the streets; and unfortunately, many scraggy-looking dogs and cats roam the streets in search of food.
We had the best meal of the entire trip at the restaurant in Jinan, and raised our glasses to multiple toasts to fortune, health, good relations between Bloomsburg University and SDUT, and a memorable experience in China.
Dr. (Jim) Pomfret had the honors to break a large glass made of honey and sugar with a mallet. In Chinese culture, if the person breaking the “dessert” breaks it on the first attempt, they will have good fortune.
We all thanked Lin and his father for treating us and promised our friendship to Lin when he attends BU next semester.
While exiting Jinan, I could almost feel the ardor of the city lights from the van. My friends and I wished we had more time to spend in the city and eagerly await opportunities to visit the other cities on our itinerary including Beijing and Qing Dao.
— Sarah Halter, a senior English major