An amazing view from underwater

An amazing view from underwater

Jake MacLean The weather was perfect for our trip to Qingdao today (June 16). It took us about three hours on a cramped bus to get there, but the scenery was worth it.

We started the trip by having a seafood lunch at the Zhongfang hotel and then visited the Square. Dan (Copes), Morey (Longo) and I found what seemed to be close to a boardwalk, so we decided to do some shopping.

Haggling is very common in small shops here. I bought some great gifts for my family for not much money. Everyone in the stores for the most part is friendly and welcoming to Americans.

After the square, we went to a long pier and got some photos of the Pacific landscape. We checked into our hotel, and the next day we visited the Underwater World aquarium.

We saw some pretty amazing stuff. There was a show in which four people dressed as mermaids swam in a tank full of huge animals to the theme song of Titanic.

I even walked through my first-ever submarine tunnel. I was surprised how big a lot of the animals were compared to animals in aquariums back home.

Tossing tomatoes to monkeys

I met the family of my friend Chen today (June 18). We made authentic Chinese dumplings and drank green tea.

Chen showed us around the neighborhood where he lives. There is a river that runs through his apartment complex, playgrounds on both sides of the river, and sidewalks for running.

Chen called a few friends of his to meet up with us, and we took a cab to an amusement park.

The park was nothing you would expect. All the “rides” are man-powered and very unique. There were zip-lines, climbing walls, swings, balance beams, hammocks, and tons more.

There was a zoo at the end of the park with some animals you wouldn’t normally see in a zoo in Pennsylvania.

Also there is no rule against feeding the animals. I threw a baby tomato to a monkey and he caught it in his hand. That was the highlight of my day.

The rest of the zoo was actually quite sad. We are used to the idea of the zoo in America, but we are also used to seeing animals in large re-creations of their natural habitat. We saw a lot of animals here just kept in dirty cages.

One of which was our beloved husky.

But with all sadness aside, the day was quite enjoyable. We ended it with dinner at a local barbecue and smoked beef, chicken, squid, and tofu.

    — Jake MacLean, a senior Spanish major and Chinese minor