In Sickness and in Health

Lucy Swett
February 22, 2017

Being sick isn’t fun. I rarely get sick, so it makes me really nervous when I do get sick. My mom told me not to be worried because the reason I rarely get sick is because I was probably exposed to many sick children when I was in the Chinese orphanage. Therefore, I have a good immune system, and I shouldn’t be worried about my sickness now.

After three days of not feeling any better, I went to the doctor in China. It actually wasn’t as scary as I was expecting it to be because I went to an international doctor. There weren’t long lines, or tons of sick people at every corner like I had imagined. Everyone spoke English, and they were really nice. I think I spoke the most English I have spoken this past month with the doctor when I was explaining my symptoms!

If I hadn’t gone to the doctors, I wouldn’t have seen the little bit of snow that fell in the morning. I was told that it didn’t snow in Shanghai, but I was really excited to see even the tiniest flakes fall from the sky. Even though I go to school in Pennsylvania, I am glad that I can still be excited when it snows.

I also got to see people practicing tai chi in parks because I was outside earlier than normal. It looks like it takes a lot of patience to practice tai chi because the movements are so slow, but it is cool to watch. In Chinese class, we were talking about how Chinese want to imitate turtles because they are one of the longest living animals, so that is one reason why tai chi consists of many slow movements.

The other IES Abroad students and I actually woke up early one morning, and went to a park to see people doing tai chi. Once Chinese people retire, they have more free time, so many practice tai chi. They also want to stay healthy for as long as possible so that they don’t burden their children with medical bills, so tai chi is a good way of keeping their bodies healthy. Anyways, we joined some of the people doing tai chi, and I felt really clumsy. The regulars made it look so easy as each movement flowed to the next, but I don’t know how everyone was so in sync because I couldn’t find a pattern to their movements.

Last weekend, we went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. It was a Chinese musical, but there were subtitles on the sides of the stage, so I didn’t have to rely on just watching the play to understand everything. I didn’t know what to expect when I went into the theatre, I just wanted to see what a Chinese play was like because I love Broadway, but I thought that seeing Romeo and Juliet would be a good choice because I know the plot.

It ended up being a Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet, which was really cool. They incorporated Chinese history and culture into the play, which kept me on my toes. Romeo was so convincing that I thought they had changed the story, and Juliet would wake up before Romeo killed himself, but alas it was a tragedy indeed.

Next weekend we move to Jiao Tong University! I am really excited to see what a Chinese university looks like. I think it will be nice to be back on a college campus, where things are hopefully more familiar!

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Lucy Swett

<p>Hi all! My name is Lucy Swett, and I am a sophomore at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chinese. I was adopted from Hubei China, when I was one year old, raised in the United States, and now I am excited to go back for the first time! I hope you join me in my adventure!</p>

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