Welcome!

This will be my blog for the 2017 spring semester. I’ll try to keep this first post short. There won’t really be a ‘theme’ per say to this blog. Instead I’m just going to write about whatever strikes my interest: food, sights, people, pollution, toilets, whatever I think it worth talking about. I already have some ideas.

I’ve been in Shanghai for a week at this point and it’s been a pretty jarring transition. So many little things that I take for granted I just can’t do anymore. Everything from reading street signs, to be able overhear the little conversations that give that personal touch to a city. However, far and away the biggest challenge has been the lack of communication with food staff. I can’t read the signs for food in the cafeteria, I can’t tell anyone what I want. I can only point and make guttural noises, and then give a thumbs up when they also point at the thing I want. I make me feel pretty helpless.

On the less negative side of things, the city is a sight to behold. It’s astounding how many things there are. Every single city block is the biggest downtown area I’ve ever seen, and I haven’t even been downtown yet. There are malls, food, and people galore. The mere fact that this city, or any huge city for that matter, is an incredible feat of civil engineering and human endeavor.

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One more specific thing that I’ve been impressed with has been the effort made to incorporate trees into the city. Almost every single street is lined with trees. The parks are filled with trees and all of the major public spaces are very well landscaped, with a conscious effort to include greenery. It really adds a lot to the look of the city, and hopefully helps a bit with the pollution.

I’ll stop here for now. More to come later. My rough plan for right now is to focus these blog posts towards impressions and comparisons for now, and then move to being more travel focused in March and April once my engineering class start.

More to come!

 

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