Blogtober Challenge – Day 13 – Blast from the Past Part I: Shanghai

It’s Friday the 13th! I bet you guys were expecting a spooky post, but if you read yesterday’s you would know that I’m a little scaredy cat, so how about something lighthearted?

Blast from the Past I: Shanghai

This series is meant to highlight my first encounter with China. I studied abroad through the CET’s  China Studies and Internship in Shanghai  program from February-June 2014. This was my first trip out of the country and only my third trip out of the state of Texas.

As you can tell I have been culturally and geographically confined. I recovered these stories through a terrible email system I used to update people while I was studying abroad. Nevertheless, I’m happy to share them once again, but with more pictures. Enjoy 🙂

Arrived in Shanghai – 02.12.14

“Hey Everyone 大家你好

Setting: Bush Intercontinental Airport | Houston, Texas (IAH)

Blogtober Challenge - Blast From the Past Part I - Shanghai -george intercontinental airpor

Well, I left to the airport around 12 am to find out that the check in place doesn’t open until 4:30, so I went back home and came back up. You can tell its only my second time on a plane because I assumed the baggage weight requirement was 75 pounds, however it’s 50.

I didn’t have a carry on to redistribute items so I had to pay 200 dollars. What a waste, however It was a lesson learned. 200 dollars taken away from souvenirs but it is okay, I budgeted some money for emergency hehe.

I went through security, everything was fine except TSA decided to take away my Nutella :( . I should have packed that in the suitcase. Once again lesson learned. I boarded the plane to find TV’s behind every seat, however, because I’m a Greyhound/Megabus rider, I thought it was free, but it cost 7.99. Really? Thankfully, I had some books and my journal. I rather be productive anyway.

The sunrise was so beautiful! I would have taken a picture but I didnt have a window seat  and it was awkward to reach over this man to take a picture. Maybe next time. Anywho, this is all that went down on Flight 1. Chicago in 2 hours.

Setting: Pudong International Airport

I arrived in Shanghai, and it took about 40 minutes for me to get my bag, however I was met by a group of Chinese roommates waving a CET Sign. – why did I not take a picture. Was I overwhelmed?

I also met some other people who were on the program to find out that four of them were on the same chicago flight as me! I felt like I was at home because the Chinese Roomates were trying to get to know me as Koinonia(a Christian fellowship organization) peeps do.

Our exchanges were a bunch of hand gestures with broken Chinese and English. It was pretty funny. We took the airport bus to Puxi. Shanghai is divided into two parts by a river. Pudong which is east of the Huangpu river and Puxi which is west of the river. Donghua University, where I am attending, is located in Puxi.

Setting: Donghua University

Blogtober Challenge - Blast From the Past Part I - Shanghai -Donghua University

Differences between how Chinese and American people live

1. You bring your own toilet paper to the bathroom, even in public bathrooms. There is no toilet paper

2. The floors are freezing, so slippers are a must

3. When taking a shower Chinese use small towels, which is the american equivalent of a face towel.  You know that towel you hang by the sink to dry your hands with. Chinese use it to dry their whole body. I felt like a waster hehe, because I bought a big towel, which was a little bit more expensive then the cost for a face towel.

My Roommate is really nice. She has me call her by her nickname…Big Bamboo. However in Chinese its sounds pretty cool

Donghua University Cafeteria. Here are some pictures of my food attached to this email
The food here is really really cheap, however Ann said that it can be cheaper. My bowl of soup was 9 Yuan which is 1.3 dollars…and it can get cheaper. i think I can survive two months with about 150 US dollars!! – yeah I can’t remember if I did…

Setting: Supermarket

I forgot to take a picture of this, but I am sure we are going to go back! The supermarket is below this gigantic mall! (Carrefour)They have escalators wide enough to bring your cart down to travel between the 3 levels of the supermarket. I cant believe I didn’t take a picture. I was trying to not to get ran over by the ladies with the carts.

After the super market we went to Starbucks so I can buy a mug. I was surprised I got one for under 20 US dollars. After a long day of shopping we went back home and I finished cleaning. My roommate thinks our room is cleaner than everyone else’s! Haha!
That night with a friend we practiced the other Chinese Roommates and people’s name because we had a roommate quiz the next day. BTW, I won second place and got a postcard with a picture of SooChow-suzhou? River

Setting: Donghua University & Surrounding Areas  (Western Valentine’s Day)

One of our directors Nova Shao gave us a 3 hour tour around the university and we saw some cute babies and took the bus. The bus has TVs on there, which was a rare sighting for me since I have been taking public bus all my life. Zhongshan Park is the area where the Supermarket and Mall is. It is very big, and convenient. Its like Austin times 35. I wasn’t feeling well in the tour, so I missed the 1st day of the Red Lantern Festival, but I will be going on Saturday. However when everyone came back we had the annual dumplings. I had the sesame seed one and a meat one.

They really are pushing us out to explore. They even have a reimbursement policy if we go out to explore Chinese things. Thanks so much for the prayers and encouragement”

-end of email. sent 02.14.14



  • Reading your mails from the first time you went to China is great. I don’t know if I wrote any Emails the times I went to Asia, I should probably look if I can still find any.

    • The funny thing is that starting a blog never occurred to me at that time! Stay tuned for the next posts as I battle with the 25MB attachment limit Gmail had with me sending pictures :/ haha

      • I’ve only found out after 7 years of dating that there are actually poeple our there who might be interested in reading stories about Western girls struggling with Asian culture. 😀

        Haha looking forward to it!