26
Jul
10

去舟山游行 traveling to zhoushan

Sorry  for no new posts…been super super super busy. It’s the LAST WEEK of classes so after this week I’ll have some time to write some more interesting posts and do really cool stuff (hopefully) as I have three weeks before my classes in Beijing begin.

ANYWAYS…

So this weekend I and 7 other classmates traveled to Zhoushan, a town/city made up of a bunch of islands off the coast of China. We rode a bus to Zhoushan for about 3 hours before jumping on a ferry that shuttled us across the narrow patch of ocean. The ferry ride was pretty exciting and the ocean was pretty big/beautiful/etc.

The boat ride was made even more interesting because of the interactions that I had with some locals. In a relatively big city like Hangzhou the amount of foreigners is relatively small, so when a white guy like me travels to more rural places like Zhoushan, I really start turning some heads. A bunch of people on the boat thought that I had hired a bunch of my Chinese friends to act as my translator (which they thought was hilarious) . Of course that wasn’t true as I can (kind of) speak Chinese. So when, I when I started speaking Mandarin people started calling me 很厉害 (really terrible) which more accurately translates to awesome or formidable. I ended up having a really interesting conversation with this girl who had just graduated from the college I am studying at. I ended up just telling her how much I love air conditioning and how cold Maine winters are (among other things) but it was still really fun. I even was invited (after some people took my picture) to go to the room with all the steering wheels and electronics and radio and stuff (bridge!). I asked them if I could drive but they didn’t let me. 😦

Look at that smiling face!

So after we arrived in Zhoushan my friend Chai’s parents picked us up from the bus station and shuttled us to the hotel. We checked in and took a look at our room’s which were pretty nice and definitely comfortable. However, the beds were not the most durable things in the world as did some serious damage to one just by sitting on it and playing cards.

After quickly checking in we were whisked off to the restaurant (I was literally starving at this point because I didn’t eat breakfast and only had a coke and tomato flavored cheetos on the bus) by those sort of carts where someone pedals and two people sit in the back. It was a really, really (stress the really) awesome experience to be whisked through the city past flashing neon lights, people selling fake brand shoes, and out of control traffic on the back of this bike.

At the restaurant I proceeded to eat more seafood than I have probably eaten in my entire life, and it was DELICIOUS. This night slowly transformed into one of those magical “Oh this is why I really love China” experiences. It was so awesome to eat dinner in an open-air restaurant, literally five feet away from huge fishing boats with fisherman cleaning up and hauling in the day’s catch, while watching the sun set in a pristine blue sky and the moon slowly emerging from behind these towering mountains. It was such a perfect experience I want to relive over and over again. I don’t think I can accurately convey how amazing it actually was. Also, why did I leave my camera in the hotel room. Pure stupidity.

The next day we woke up early (way too early, I may or may not have hit the person who woke me up multiple times with a pillow) and headed to the beach! The sun was out, water was exceptionally warm (especially when compared to my regular stomping grounds of Reid or Popham) and we had a fantastic time. Here is the beach:

Also you can totally catch a Taxi to the ocean if you really want to.

After swimming and hanging out for a few hours we returned to Chai’s house to eat lunch. It was here I discovered just how (sometimes overwhelmingly) courteous and nice parents can be in China. We had about a party of 8, but Chai’s mother prepared food for at least 30. This is what the table looked like:

Pure deliciousness! We were barely finishing the plates on the table while Chai’s mom was busy in the kitchen preparing even more food. More than once we all yelled 够了 (enough) or 不要 (don’t want) and urged her to sit with us and eat. It was really hard to get her away from that kitchen. I really wasn’t prepared for how parents act when they have guests in China. It is completely different than how my parents act (love you guys!) when friends come over. I definitely was not ready for how Chai’s dad kept filling my cup up with wine. We already had coke and sprite so when he pulled the bottle of wine out we told him we REALLY didn’t want it. However, he quickly opened it up and filled my cup and urged me to drink. Let’s just say this situation ended with me being more than a little buzzed.

During the night we went to the beach again, had a fire, and more importantly FIREWORKS.

Suddenly the small reckless child in me emerged and I really couldn’t control my banal urge to light things on fire and create explosions.  Once I told them fireworks are illegal in Maine they even let me light ALL the fuses. So much fun!

The next day we woke bright and early and headed off to a local scenics/touristy spot that is pretty famous, 双和石壁 (read: giant rocks all over).

It was such an awesome place to hang around, climb these stone steps and wooden pathways and see some beautiful ocean views. It really ended the weekend on an amazingly high note.

That was it, soon after we headed back to Hangzhou on a super comfortable bus. We arrived in Hangzhou in the dark. Dodged the woman urging us to stay in her hostel, and attempted petty thefts (my friend’s purse was zipped open but luckily nothing stolen) and made our way to a restaurant by the school’s West gate. After that I hastily did my homework and quickly fell asleep (knowing that I had to wake up in a few hours at 5:30 for my kungfu course). What an awesome weekend!

If you read this all the way through you deserve some embarrassing pictures of myself:

SUNBURN

No idea about this one.

Someone doesn’t want to wake up. YAY!

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5 Responses to “去舟山游行 traveling to zhoushan”


  1. 1 Amber Dostie
    July 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like SO much fun Chris! Just think, in a few years YOU could be leading an excursion of innocent tourists to China and translating for them!!! And if this happens, count me IN!!! SO happy for you!

  2. 2 Jared
    July 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Looks like an amazing time, buddy! I really liked the pictures in this post. You should post more photos in your upcoming entries.

  3. 3 Mark Houdlette
    July 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Hanging on every word son… this sounds like SOOOOO much fun. Worth every penny to see you grow and enjoy this experience.

  4. 4 Stephanie Houdlette
    July 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Christopher it is so nice to see a picture of you….you look like you are enjoying every minute of your studies.

  5. 5 Katie GN
    July 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    the last 3 pics in this are flawless.


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