Saturday was a cool and rainy day. My goal of Saturday was to figure out how I could do my laundry. I was told that I could give my laundry to the front desk, and they would take care of it for me, but this small task was difficult because I can’t communicate well with the lady from the front desk. I tried to communicate with the woman through an application I have on my phone, but this was still very difficult. Eventually I had to call Jiaqi to translate for me. It will be nice to have some clean clothes soon!
In the afternoon I met Shen Shuwei at the lab to go hiking up a small mountain that is close to campus called Danshu Mountain. He had 4 other classmates of his that went with us. Unfortunately it was a pretty rainy day, but it was still so fun to see the beautiful scenery and to meet so many new people! Below are some photos from climbing Danshu Mountain.
The mountain only took about an hour and a half to climb up and back down, but it was still a great exercise! Afterwards we went to dinner and a movie. The plaza that held the movie theater and restaurant was beautiful! Below is a photo of an opera performance and a large camel statue found in the plaza. My favorite part of dinner was the milk tea that we got to drink. I asked for mine to be chocolate flavored, so it tasted a lot like chocolate milk!
After dinner, we saw the movie X Men. The movie was in English and had Chinese subtitles. Though I haven’t seen the other X Men movies, I still really liked it! Overall, this was one of my favorite nights so far!
Spending this night out with Shen Shuwei and his friends has emphasized to me one of the beautiful parts of Chinese culture. Though everyone has been extremely welcoming and generous towards me, I think it is inspiring to see the generosity that friends show toward one another as well. This night out everyone contributed in their own way. One friend swiped his card for everyone to get on the bus, one bought us drinks, another the movie tickets, one person volunteered to pay for dinner, and yet another paid for the taxi on the way home. This night was composed of everyone offering up what they could to make this a great night for everyone. There was never someone asking for money or fighting over who would pay. I think this kind of generosity it not as common back in America. If this night was an evening out in America, everyone would have paid for their own drinks, food, movie ticket, and transportation. I have felt uncomfortable here because things are not split evenly the way I am used to, but as I have continually seen people being generous throughout this trip, I have begun to see the beauty in the generous culture of the people.
On Sunday I had a pretty relaxing day. I slept in and went on a run on the track in the morning. In the afternoon I went into the lab for a little bit to do some work and catch up on emails. Overall, this has been another amazing week!