Saturday June 28, 2014
Hello, this is James and Jermaine; today is Saturday June 28th and this is how we kicked off our day. Wake up call was at 6:15am and we had to meet in the lobby at 7:15am for breakfast. Today we had an early start, but the bus arrived late to pick us up. The bus came around 8:15am and our first stop was to visit the National Tea Museum where we arrived at 8:30am. There’s a sign that says the museum is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, but for some reason, we had to walk around for half an hour before we could enter. During that time, we explored the tea vineyards until they let us into the actual museum. After they let us in, we explored the history of tea and its importance to the Chinese culture.
We regrouped at 10:00am, after which we got onto the bus and made our way to the National Silk Museum where we arrived at 10:11am. We delved into the history of silk and how it's made from silk worms; we saw various ancient quilts and clothing, and how clothing in China changed from the early 4th century to now. We left the National Silk Museum and went to lunch at the National Cuisine Museum. We ate duck, popcorn pork in barbecue sauce, Chinese noodles, rice, cabbage, and a variety of other Chinese dishes. Inside of the restaurant, they had a display of multiple foods from various countries around the globe. After we were all satisfied, we went to explore the actual museum. We saw wax figures and paintings of families preparing and enjoying their meals. Then, we all gathered in the front lobby of the museum at 1:00pm wrapping up the first half of our day.
Our next stop was to the bank! We had to convert additional money so that we could get ready to go shopping. It took about 30 minutes to an hour to convert our US dollars to Chinese yen. We then shopped at the numerous stores along Hefang Street, which resembles an outside shopping center. After 2 hours, we all met up at McDonald's at 4:30pm. A number of us purchased food from McDonald’s and in our opinion it was, wayyyyy better than the McDonald’s back home. After working up an appetite from all of our shopping, our Chinese hosts led us to dinner which consisted of rice, steak, vegetables and other delicious foods. After we were done, our bus pulled up at the perfect time in the middle of traffic like something you'd see in a movie. One thing that sticks out to us is how dangerous Chinese traffic is! In our opinion, most of them drive recklessly and do not stop for ANYONE. To conclude our day, we returned to our hotel to enjoy our well-earned free time until it’s time to hit the sheets. Good night!
~Jermaine Shackelford and James Willis