May 18, 2008

CHECKING IN: Lauren Carter's China Trip Journal

May 18, 2008

SHANGHAI, China -- Our day started off bright and early this morning at the Beijing airport. We were on our way to Shanghai for the second half of our trip.

We were served breakfast on the plane, and, I have to say, it was my first experience with porridge and a pickled deviled egg. But it wasn't what I expected. It was no pancakes and bacon, but it was pretty good.


Lauren Carter takes in the surroundings Sunday, May 18, at a Buddhist temple in Shanghai.


Once we arrived in Shanghai, we met our new tour guide, Eddie. Of course, that's not his Chinese name, but I don't know how to pronounce or spell his real name. He gave us a brief history of Shanghai, which means "city above the sea," and we also learned that Shanghai has 32 million people living in it. And we thought Beijing, with 20 million, was bad! Eddie then let us know that they speak with a different dialect in Shanghai than in Beijing. And we were just beginning to master our Chinese in the Beijing dialect!

Our first lunch in Shanghai was delicious. We got big plates, our own pop and soy sauce, which we did not experience in Beijing. So we were off to a good start.

After lunch, we went to the Buddhist temple, where we learned about all of the different Buddhas and watched some monks do one of their ceremonies. It was the coolest thing I've seen all trip. After the temple, Eddie took by a small "fake market," and we all, once again, left with full hands. I am very impressed with our bargaining skills, and so are the bargainers.

Next, we went to visit Bund Street, which is an area that looks over the city of Shanghai. I had déjà vu of our team trip a few years ago to New York, where we visited Brooklyn Heights. Bund Street is beautiful, but our trip there today was cut short because it started to pour. So, we stopped off at a little ice cream shop and watched Allison Raguse stumble all over as she tried to roller skate in skates we all bought from a street vendor for $2.50. And they light up! So, next time you come to Greeley, don't be surprised if you see the entire volleyball team roller skating down the street with light-up roller skates.

After dinner, it was off to an early bedtime to get a good night's sleep for our match tomorrow.

And one last note: Happy Birthday tomorrow, Dad!