Well I have arrived safely back in the good 'ol US of A. The flight back from Shanghai was so much better than the one to Beijing which made it much easier to survive. I was up for a grand total of 30 hours this go around so my bed Monday night felt fantastic.
The wrap up in Shanghai was pretty fun. A fellow student and I, Robert, took the subway to the Shanghai Aquarium which is supposedly one of the best aquariums in all of Asia. It was pretty interesting, but nothing that I have not seen before. The penguin exhibit was shut down for maintenance which was very disappointing but the aquarium did boast the longest under water tunnel which was very cool.
For the final day I spent it with another student, Cosmo, who took me to a parkour gym so I was able to watch people run around and jump off extremely high places. It was a lot of fun, we went out to dinner afterwards with all the people from the gym for our final Chinese meal.
Overall this was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot not only about China but about myself.
I learned that I can do things on my own.
I learned that I can wander around a foreign city and not die.
I learned that I can handle a lot more than I ever thought I could.
For the final night we had a very nice dinner and shared our final thoughts on China. I think that if you are ever given the opportunity to travel to another country in a fashion such as this, you should. There is nothing like experiencing a different country (a VERY different country) like a local of some sorts.
Always take each experience for what it is and try not to put any expectations on the local people. Each city has its own vibe and feel and it should be respected for that.
Do not be afraid to try new things, I ate a scorpion for heavens sake!
There likely will not be a next time, for this blog at least, so I leave you here faithful readers with one of my favorite quotes from Confucius:
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.