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***Although I have since returned from my journeys abroad, I thought it might be nice to do a few posts on the experience for those of you I wasn’t able to keep in touch with over the past few weeks. These are loosely based on the emails I sent home at that time, except these will have pictures! That is all.***

Wanted to let you guys know how things have been going out East. China does their New Year in a big way. Our first night here, we watched fireworks explode all across the city from “The Bund,” a boulevard overlooking the river and much of the Shanghai skyline. Fireworks were lit off in the streets, off of balconies, and off of the roofs of the buildings. Craig and I left the Bund after about a half an hour and found quite another large fireworks display off the beaten path.
The past two days we’ve spent wandering around the city and taking in the sights. The metro here is very manageable and has been helpful in navigating the city. I won’t recount the entire trip minute by minute, but here are some of my impressions so far:
  • Many of the shops and restaurants here have been closed, as most people get a week off for New Year’s
  • There are a lot of people in Shanghai – but I think most of the crowds we’ve seen have been Chinese tourists
  • There’s a convenience store just about every block
  • People like to stare at westerners – I usually just give them a wave
  • The piece of advice that has served me best so far is: “If it looks good, eat it” (Soup dumplings and hotpot are my favorites so far)
  • I’m not so good at speaking Chinese…and I haven’t a clue how to read it
Fortunately for me and Craig, our friend Joe (the groom to be and reason we came to China) arrived in Shanghai last night. It’s been great to get to see him again and spend some time learning about the country he’s lived in for the past 2+ years. We’ve got dinner plans so I’ve got to run. I love you all!

As always, feel free to forward to anyone I may have missed.
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