Tuesday 22 October 2019

Day 11 - Last day in Shanghai

On the 22nd of October the wake-up call was organised for 7:30 am with an 8:30 meet time in the lobby, after which we took a normal and boring 1 hour ride to the science and technology museum in Shanghai. Huang Lao shi and I wanted to watch a 20 min 4D movie named “panda go wild” and weren’t able to buy tickets as we needed WePay (a special Chinese paying system). So we asked a fellow tourist (a Chinese man) to help us book the tickets and sadly they were booked out. 

After this we went to an illusion tech based invention sector where Huang Lao shi tried the floating bike and we tried many different games. Then we had run out of time and went back to the meeting spot set by the tour guide. From there we got on the bus and traveled to the underground shopping mall which was an hour drive away. 

When we got there we went to the KFC and had lunch. There I ordered an ice cream float - when I got my order I sat down and took the lid off the float and tried eating the ice cream. The cup slipped and it fell all over my white shirt and shorts. Luckily I had spare clothes I could change into. Afterwards we went to shop around the fake / copied item stores. There we bargained a lot, for all sorts of items and got shouted at, as well as chased. One of us tried to bargain but started with a too high price and tried to go lower than the price they started at. This made the shopkeeper mad and he shouted at them “You joking price, get out my store, you bad girl, you bad girl”.

After the underground shopping mall we went to the oriental Pearl towers. Which was 30 mins away on bus. There we waited for the tour guide to gets tickets and in that time we took some photos out side the tower. Then we entered the tower and window shopped the expensive souvenir shops inside. After we lined up to take the lift to the 269th floor to the viewing deck where we took lots of photos and after 20 mins went down a level to the under viewing deck. Where the outer circle had a glass wall and floor and could see all the way down to the bottom. There we did the Nutbush on the glass floor and I got an ice cream. From there we went back to the bottom and looked around a small store called “Mumu So”. After we got on the bus we head to the restaurant for dinner. 

On our way there we ordered some very special bubble tea called “Hey Tea”.  As we were running early, we decided to go to the supermarket near by. There we bought lots of snacks for our planned journey the next day. After buying many snacks we went back to our meeting point where the tour guide had already got us our bubble tea. Then we had dinner at a very spiced restaurant made to look like an old Chinese village with cherry blossom trees. The restaurant's name was “an lian Tao Hua yuan” which means “love secretly in the Peach Blossom Valley”.There we had noodles, many types of chicken and pork, as well as many other dishes. From there we went to an acrobatic show which was 15 mins away.

When we got there we took more photos outside the arena. Then headed into the show and as it was called “ China’s No.1 circus world” it was amazing and spectacular so I won’t give any spoilers for people that come on the next trip. Then we headed back to our hotel and packed all our stuff ready for tomorrow and went to bed. 

Daksh Gupta 

Monday 21 October 2019

Day 10 - Shanghai

On Monday, the planned wake-up call was 9am as we had to endure a 1 and a half hour bus ride to a traditional Chinese water town. However, the bus managed to leave at 9:30 and we arrived at the town just after 11am. It was a hot and sticky day, so ice-creams were bought and some tempers were high as the group had to weave their way through narrow streets filled with other tourists and shopkeepers trying to get our attention. There were many tourist-type shops, as well as many different types of foods, some making our eyes water as we had to cover our noses as we walked
past. Afterwards, we visited the Cheng Huang Miao temple and purchased a wishing ribbon to wish the Year 12’s academic success and hung it on the tree inside the temple with the thousand other ribbons that had been put up before us. 

We had lunch at the water town, and were lucky enough to taste the village’s traditional food whilst being all be able to sit at the same table, which was a pleasant surprise to most day’s lunch and dinner seating arrangements. There were a lot of pork meals, including pork belly wrapped in
bamboo leaves, which disappeared quickly. After lunch, it was time to hop back onto the bus for another hour and a half to head back into downtown Shanghai to continue with our day.

Back in Shanghai, we visited a street much like a market version of Rundle Mall, with a few “20 yuan” stores, the Chinese version of a dollar store. Lots of little souvenirs were purchased, and our haggling skills definitely showed improvement, as Lauren and I managed to go from getting one shirt for 100 yuan to getting 2 for only 70, which
we were incredibly proud of. After this, our amazing tour guide Roxanne tried to introduce us to Shanghai dumplings, however 30 minutes later we were sitting inside of McDonald’s ordering from the screens we were far too familiar with, feeling incredibly happy with ourselves whilst downing our surprisingly good burgers and chips. Afterwards, it was time to go on the cruise, until Lauren realised she had left her phone in McDonald’s and had to make a desperate dash back to the restaurant to retrieve it. A little while later than planned, we made it to the pier where
after a long queue, we were able to get on the cruise. It was a beautiful sight along the top deck, with the large buildings including the Oriental Pearl Tower on full display. Many photos were taken as the view was soaked in, giving us a good idea on just how large and modern Shanghai truly is. The buildings along the waterside were impressive and bigger than anything we had ever seen in Adelaide, providing a big contrast to the country town we had spent many hours at today, showing how diverse the country can be. After getting off the cruise, many photos were taken,
including some with Japanese students who weren’t as happy to be taking a photo with us as we thought they would be, and of course, many selfies were taken on BeautyCam, until it was finally time to get on the bus after an incredibly long day. We arrived at the hotel just before 10pm, a lot later than last night, not overly excited for our early wake up call for the next and last day on our tour. Much to Huang Lao Shi’s dismay and the students’ delight, no Nutbush was done today.

Alannah Begbie

Day 9 - Shanghai

On the 20th of October the Pedare students were all eager to fulfill a day of endless shopping streets and finally eating some western food. With a decent lobby call of 10am, which some of us found difficult to understand (me), we were able to make our way to the bus and enjoyed an hour and a half bus ride filled with long naps as we got to our hotel at 1 am in the morning the night before

Once on the bus, we went to a shopping street made for tourists like us who were wanting some western shops rather
than being pressured into buying a 80 yuan bracelet from pushy Chinese men and women. The street consisted of shops such as Starbucks, Fila and the extremely popular H&M where fluorescent green puffer jackets and sparkly slip dresses were purchased. After meeting back after an hour of shopping, we all were excited to see a piece of home come out of Mr. Pearce’s backpack, a Haigh's chocolate frog. After dividing the frog into questionably even pieces and receiving some strange stares from Chinese ladies sitting next to us, it was time to move on to the next destination, lunch. 

For lunch we were all keen to get some western food into our system in the form of Burger King (It’s pretty much Hungry Jacks). Once sitting down and waiting to order, Huang Lao Shi realised that the kiosks to order on were not something she was familiar with but since I have experience with using the machines as I work at a fast food chain I was able to use the images and the machines format to take educated guesses on what we were ordering. Once receiving our orders everyone demolished their food and once again hopped on the bus.
 The next shopping street we went to was a French market street filled with fancy stores such as Tom Ford and Cartier that left everyone feeling poor. But this didn’t stop us from walking in and having a look around which was most likely a bad idea looking back as Lucy had an encounter with some expensive silk pyjamas that are now missing a button. Some of us also took some photos for Instagram in front of the impressive storefront of Tom Ford but were closely watched by the manager as we were told not to get too close to the sacred TF sign. Once capturing all the photos of us posing in front of storefronts and sneaking some pictures of Korean tour groups (Deniz was extremely excited to add this to her collection) we were able to move on to our final shopping street. 
The final street we explored was a Chinese shopping street with multiple food and souvenir vendors yelling
out what they had to offer. Some favourite experiences from the street was Molly and I buying way too many enamel pins, trying some White Rabbit ice creams that I would rate a 5 out of 10 as they tasted pretty much like vanilla ice cream, Lucy and Brianna walking through a posh store outside the market by mimicking the way “fancy people” walk and Deniz dancing to the music coming out of a bar.  Once completing the whole street (we think, it was pretty big) Molly and I needed the bathroom. We where pretty sure it was going to be a squat but we had seen them before and they weren’t too bad so we made our way to the toilet, but boy where we wrong. Once entering the room we were hit with the smell, I don’t think I could even describe it and then the cubicle opened and that’s when we saw the horror. It was so bad that the lady who was in their previously stumbled out of the toilet with her hand over her mouth and gagging. We ran out of there with speed and decided it would be best to hold it until we could find another bathroom. 
After a long day of shopping everyone was pretty hungry and tired, and with a special request from some of the group, we were able to have Pizza Hut for dinner where we had mass amounts of mozzarella and experienced Lucy wash her hands in her cup of water as we weren’t allowed to drink it anyways because it was from the tap. It was quite traumatising. Although the day was long and our feet are still aching everyone made some exciting purchases and loved the experience.

Paige Warrington

Sunday 20 October 2019

Day 8 - Xi'an (to Shanghai)

Today was a good day. It was a good day because we were in China, for starters, but it was also a good day because we didn’t need to be ready until 10:30. “Finally, the sleep in we’ve been waiting the whole trip for!” (Sung by Brianna).

The plan for today was to sleep in, go to the city wall, go to the Muslim part of Xi’an and then fly to Shanghai. After the average breakfast in the buffet that advertised pancakes as waffles and century egg slices, Deniz and I got to the lobby on time (surprise surprise). That’s the first time that’s happened on this trip. Go us👏
We drove to the city wall, where we all enjoyed the strong smells and amazing views spoilt somewhat by the pollution at 11:30am.

We walked up a flight of 75 stairs that nobody over the age of 60 should attempt to walk up, and finally got to the bikes. Everyone went on the single person bikes, but Brianna and I being the super quirky and unique people we were, decided to go on a tandem bike.

Tally of bike ride: 
Broken bones: 0 
Deaths: 0 (good effort from us)
People nearly hit: you don’t want to know
People we said hello to: way too many to count
Photos taken with random old Chinese men: 7

Highlight of the wall was making it further than anyone else and disobeying the signs saying we couldn’t ride down the ramps. (We did that really fast). Obviously, this trip to the famous city wall of Xi’an wouldn’t be complete without our group doing the Nutbush and having everyone take videos of us doing it. 

We went to lunch, and enjoyed the cold noodles and the endless refills of sprite, coke, and I think our lovely teachers put the beer dispenser to good use. Lunch was at the same place as last night, so everyone enjoyed the free wifi and talking to our buddies from Jinan; Kevin, Todd, Frank, Samuel, Samual and the ever so handsome Rambo. 

Leaving the restaurant included running out of the toilets after realising they don’t flush and the doors don’t lock after making eye contact with the old lady in the bathroom trying to peacefully take a pee.  

We got back in our bus to travel to the Calligraphy lesson, when we had a minor..uh..accident. Our bus driver with 10 years of experience (we were told this) decided to have a run in with a light pole and a car using the back of the bus. 

When we arrived and my oh-so lovely-friend Brianna decided to wake me up from my “nap time” we had arrived at the calligraphy lesson with the man who said everything I tried to write was “a mess”.

We left the pagoda and made our way to the Muslim markets, which was very loud and colourful. Cuttlefish and squid on kebabs was advised not to eat, however the nitrogen puffs that tasted like stale fruit loops and the rolled ice cream was recommended. 

Most of the stores were food or traditional Chinese hair jewellery shops. The lottery was won by Alannah and Lauren, while Deniz, Brianna, Molly and Daksh bought head massagers. While walking back, Daksh, Deniz, Brianna and myself decided to get some more stale fruit loop nitrogen puffs and the rolled ice cream. 

We ate the puffs while waiting for the ice cream, and much to our horror, the shop keeper took the cardboard bowl they were served in and refilled it with puffs and put it back on the shelf. We all tried NOT to think about that as we ate the ice cream from the bowl with the suspicious stains on it.

After the markets, we headed to the airport for our flight. We ate dinner at a restaurant close to the airport. All of us collectively agreed that we were just craving some western food and did not want to eat anymore rice or dumplings. 

Checking into the airport was a bit of a catastrophe. First, we realised that we had to choose our seats when we checked in, meaning that we all wouldn’t be sitting near each other. Second, was that the check in machines weren't working. Third was that Hannah and Holly’s boarding passes was incorrect and had to be changed. Fourth was that all of our bags were overweight. Fifth was that Molly, Deniz and myself got left behind by the group as we had been caught in security for water bottles, then having a bit of a meltdown in the airport because we had 20mins before our flight left. Sixth was that Brianna kept crying next to me while watching Five Feet Apart with me (10/10 would recommend to watch)

Today was really good and we are all really looking forward to looking around and shopping in Shanghai tomorrow. 

Lucy Slater