Packing up wonderful memories
Last night was our last night at Shandong University. We spent most of the day packing, but some of us managed to take one last trip to Ei Wu for some luggage and last minute souvenirs.
The Dean of International Affairs threw us one last banquet. Before the banquet began, he handed each of us a paper that had proof we completed the course and our final grade. He also gave each of us a beautiful fan.
The banquet was very nice, with wonderful food and a good atmosphere. After the banquet, many of our Chinese friends came by to say their final goodbyes. It was sad to say goodbye to many of them — over the past three weeks I got the opportunity to meet many people who were very kind and generous.
The next morning we woke up early and packed our things into the car. We ate a quick breakfast, and when we were done people from Shandong University took us to the train station. Getting onto the train was pretty easy, but a few of us couldn’t find a place to put our luggage, so we were stuck sitting with it. The train went so fast, though!
We made it to Beijing in a little less than four hours. For the next few days we are staying at Beijing Institute of Technology. Our rooms are set up similar to what we had at Shandong, but we have one bathroom with two holes for toilets. I already miss the bathrooms we had in Shandong, since they were actual toilets.
Even though we were tired, some of us decided to explore Beijing. We took a chance with the subway and went to the Bird’s Nest. The subway was pretty easy to follow, probably because of the English subtitles on every sign.
It was so much cleaner than the subways in New York City, too, but we suspected it was because the subway here was built very recently. When we found our way to the Bird’s Nest, it was sunset. The view was amazing!
We walked around taking in the sites until dark. Along the way we met a guy who was moving around on something I had never seen before. He skated on two boards that each had a pair of wheels attached; they were a cross between a skateboard and roller skates.
He brought us over to a clearing where there were many people skating on these things or actual roller blades. All of us tried to use them, but they were a bit harder than we thought. Before we left, some of the guys we met that let us try their skates brought out long whips.
When they would whip them, the sound was like hearing a firework or thunder. Trying to make the sound was hard, too, but I managed to make one thunder-like noise. We would have stayed longer, but the park closed at 10.
We managed to find our way back to the subway and take the last train back to the school.
Before we returned to our dorms for the night, we decided to go eat. We found a nice restaurant across the street from our school. A lot of the food that they served was westernized; they had items from sandwiches to pasta. I got a plate of pasta with ham and a cream sauce.
Even though I have enjoyed the food I’ve eaten over the past three weeks, the pasta was a nice change of pace.
— Katie Haughey, a junior psychology major