Mingtown Youth Hostel, Shanghai （上海），上海，中国
I’m finally getting around to updating again… Sorry, I know it’s been forever and a day. I’ve been extremely busy this week, which is why it’s taken me so long. Just two days ago, in fact, I stayed at work until 8:30 PM – I had to finish uploading a file, plus then I ended up going to help pack some of the furniture. It was quite good, actually. I ended up running home after it all! That was insane – let me tell you, a run in a dress shirt, cargo pants, and combat boots while wearing a coat and a hat and wearing a 25 pound backpack is rather crazy… I was, needless to say, wiped out by the time I got home.
I digress… In any case, life has been good. See the photo gallery that will follow this update (the internet here sucks, so I'll upload it when I get home) if you have any questions. That actually contains the photos of Sunday, which was amazing! I’ll paint you a verbal picture here: On Sunday morning my friend Trudy came over, then we went to the Century Mart to purchase some food. She and I then spent the next hour or so cooking it while we waited for the others to arrive (we, Terence and Elva, and Anthony were all going to hang out). Anthony decided to sleep in, but we were joined by Terence and Elva for lunch, which was very good. Trudy thinks she’s a terrible cook. Even Terence said she cooks well. Hah! It’s indeed true that one’s harshest critic is his or her own self.
Anyhow, I again digress. After lunch Tony finally came up, and we (meaning Trudy, really) made him a plate of fried rice. Then we all (sans Tony – he decided to go clean his room and have us all over for dinner) went to the Linhai wall, which was awesome! Going there with Chinese friends is very interesting – they knew all sorts of things and places I wouldn’t have been able to find otherwise. We got some excellent photos – see above for examples.
After our trip to the wall we returned home and went to Tony’s apartment, then all of us together went to the Century Mart to purchase some food for the hot pot dinner (which is where you have a pot of boiling soup in the middle of the table and you take whatever ingredients you want to eat and add them to the soup, cooking them therein). Dinner was quite good, actually!
We helped Tony clean up, then everybody went home. At that point, I returned to my apartment and partook of the sacrament, which felt very good (as it always does… One doesn’t realize how much they miss the ordinances of the Gospel until they are deprived of them… I have been studying the Doctrine and Covenants every day, though, which has been very interesting indeed, and has really helped me maintain my spirituality.)
The rest of the week has been a blur of work and going home to study and sleep… It’s been rather crazy, all told. I really do need to maintain this blog so I can always remember what I do… I know that on Thursday evening I went to Nancy’s with Bob, Tony, and Fred, which was pretty decent.
Oh, an announcement for you all – I’m extending the length of my stay here in China. I will be returning home in early April for a week to ten days, after which I will be returning to China until September (until fall semester.) While I’m here, I’ll be adding thirteen credit hours worth of schoolwork to my schedule, which will be pretty crazy… After this semester, being just a full-time student and part-time employee will seem very, very easy…
Right now I’m at the Mingtown People’s Square Youth Hostel in Shanghai. I ended up coming here this weekend because my father wanted me to come to Shanghai. It’s been quite fun, actually – I currently have four roommates (and perhaps will be getting one more):
Simon – a young lady from Denmark. She’s studying clothing design in southern China right now. I actually had breakfast with her this morning at the local Starbuck’s, which was interesting (I had hot chocolate, which is remarkably difficult to find here…). We ended up staying there for a while – she wanted to read a novel she had and I wanted to study the scriptures (how crazy is that? I studied the Doctrine and Covenants for about an hour at the local Starbuck’s! For your information, it was Section 4, not Section 89, which would have been totally ironic…)
Vicky & David – A young couple from England. David has a very thick accent, which makes him a wee bit difficult to understand completely. He’s a good guy, though. I went running with him this morning. He and Vicky have been dating for about six years or so. They wanted to travel before they buy a house, because they figure once they have a mortgage month long trips will be out of the question.
朱光姸 (Zhūguāngyán)/Carmen – A young woman from near Shanghai. She’s just graduated college, and is going for her master’s. She will be studying in France, so she is currently studying French very hard. I went with her this afternoon to a nearby shopping district where with her help I was able to buy a hat for my father. She arrived today, taking the place of Christine and Scherezade, two young women from Canada (Scherezade was originally from India), who left today.
Last night Simon, Vicky, David, and I went along with some of their friends to a very good Indian restaurant in downtown Shanghai. It was very interesting, actually, and the food was pretty good. I’ll be uploading some of the photos from that night to my blog as well. There’s a ton of beer in the photos because the place offered unlimited drinks along with the buffet… I partook of sprite, and Laura, one of Vicky and David’s friends, drank Coke. We were the exception, as everybody else drank beer. Also there were Nicole – one of Simon’s friends, Jess, who’s lived here for six months teaching English, Hailey, Grace, Jasper, Anisha, Rob, Elena, Karin, and a few people whose names I didn’t catch. That group was composed of more foreigners than I’ve seen in my entire trip here…
Well, that’s it for this update. I’m going to process the images and get all this online, then I’ll be heading out to do some more exploring and get something to eat. My ankle’s doing much better now.
~S. A. Collins