The Latest from China

Aug 6 4:31am
Shanghai

End of the Beginning

by Jake

I quickly made my apartment my home when I got to China. My belongings are spread out all over the place: socks hang from a bungee clothesline along the window, various pairs of shoes scatter the apartment floor, the coins I accumulated throughout the summer litter my bedside table, a mound of dirty clothes dominates the floor space next to my bed.

Jul 28 3:53am
Shanghai

The Home Stretch

by Jake

It is currently Sunday afternoon, July 28th. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since over half of my group of friends left for America, and I already miss them. Shrinking from a group of nine to four adds an unexpectedly large feeling of loneliness and vulnerability.

Jul 17 2:45am
Shanghai

A Growing Bond

by Jake

The impending departure from Shanghai is starting to dawn on me. Although I have almost four weeks left, the majority of my group leaves in less than two weeks. Even though I have been having a ton of fun, I have mostly felt as if I won’t really miss China. Not necessarily in a bad way, but more so—what will I miss about China? What will make me wish I were still in China when I return to America? Up until this past Sunday, I had thought nothing.

Jul 9 10:24pm
Shanghai

Escaping the City

by Jake

First the Great Wall, and now more mountains! This past weekend, I embarked on a trip to Yellow Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This mountain is regarded as the loveliest mountain of China, and I can confirm. Even when we were two hours away from the mountain, I could feel its presence. There was a calming atmosphere surrounding the area. The smaller mountains along the way broke up low-looming clouds and fog, preparing us for the grand display.

Jun 26 2:57am
Shanghai

Laughing and Crying, a Fitting Chinese Idiom

by Jake

哭笑不得 (in pinyin: kū xiào bù dé). This is a Chinese idiom, or chengyu, meaning that one is between laughter and tears. The Chinese use this idiom to describe a situation that is both funny and embarrassing, or an experience or movie that is dynamically happy and sad. My coworkers taught me this idiom yesterday, and there is no better description, even in English, that could describe my past week.