Sunday, June 3, 2007

Tony the Tour Guide and Water Town

We left Shanghai for the day and headed to a small, more rural area called Zhujiajiao, or "Water town." It's a quaint little town that attracts quite a few tourists for it's thin streets (full of vendors trying to sell all kinds of stuff) and the rivers that flow through the town. Besides the amazing things we saw today, I'm sure none of us will be able to forget our tour guide Tony. He is a native of the town and traveled with us throughout the day and kept us laughing all the way through, but as I'm sure you can imagine he had to put up with a lot from us.

Things we saw in Water Town: a bridge built over 400 years ago, we then walked up through the streets that were so thin that Tony joked that, "a boy could leap from his 2nd story window to his girlfriends 2nd story window (across the street) and his mother would never know." They gave us 30 minutes to shop here, which we all took advantage of. The locals were so polite and nice and I think we all enjoy the bargaining that goes on in the market. It was a great place to buy silks and jewlery.

Tony also took us through a couple tiny museums that taught us how Rice played such an important part in Watertown's History. A highlight of today was a chance to ride in a Gandola type boat through the canals that run through the city. Although it is very touristy, much of the city is untouched by it's effects so we got the chance to see how people live...killing and gutting eels on the street...small living spaces...and washing their things in the river, as a few examples. We then toured another Garden. I wouldn't say it was a fancy as the one yesterday, but beautiful all the same.

We then left Watertown and headed for the Oriental Youth Activity Center. This place was more or less a huge park, with acres and acres of lakes, grass, flowers and trees. But then as you go along there are boats to rent, toys to play on, a water park and tons of bike trails. This place was a riot. First of all, we went to these obstacle course type things that are built over a if you fall off the course you fall in the river. It was amazing to see this sort of thing cause in the U.S.A. this sort of thing had lawsuit written all over it. Some of them were easy and some were difficult, but they provided all of us with some good laughs.

Before we left the professors told us to be prepared for the unexpected. Our next event of the day was just that. We saw the boats on the lake and we knew it was something we had to do! We rented four "Dragon Headed Boats" and divided into teams of ten and raced around the lake (often times around in circles because we couldn't figure out how to straighten out the boat) and got very wet. But it was all so so so funny. It just wasn't something we anticipated for the day.

We ended our time in the park walking through a huge Air Craft Carrier that they've set in the middle of a pond. It's filled with all sorts of tanks and jets and is open for the public to kind of paruse through. I wasn't completely sure what the purpose of that whole thing was, but it's not everyday you see an aircraft carrier in a I say, "Why Not!"

Enjoy the pictures...
His one group on their Gondola. That little rower on the back could get the boat going so fast. It was amazing.
As mentioned above...this is the 400 year old bridge (in the background) and the good looking group in the picture is the MBA and MSIR students...
This is a shot of one of the streets in water town. Notice the woman in blue trying to sell us a nice fan. By the end it was like "senses overload!"
Here is Dr. McInture saying hello to the folks back home.
PROFESSORS GONE WILD!!! Dr. Chow decides to take this bull for a spin. It was part of a museum teaching us about the production of rice.
Roger, Allison and Chris standing on a stair case in the Garden.

This is Adam hanging from one of the obstacle courses I mentioned. As you can see it is pretty difficult to get wet (on most of them) but as Adam can tell you from personal experience "It can Happen!"
This is us at the evening dinner. Notice the lazy Susan in the middle where they bring out plate after plate after plate of different dished, and just as you can't eat another bite they bring out 3 more's crazy. And Tony...he's the guy standing in the back.
Alex Criss standing next to a statue of Chairman Mao who controlled China until about '72. Alex is sporting a Red Army cap that was established by Mao and has since felt a close kin ship with him.
Here is an example of what the big garden area looks like. There was acres and acres of a similar landscape.
Jessica, Jake, Jeanette and Derrick standing in front of the carrier in the probably didn't believe me...but there it is.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you so very much for having this Blog!!! After getting a phone call from my mom (Katie Warner's Grandma) Worried that she may have been near the China Earthquake....I remember her email about this blog. Seeing a few pictures of her and what all you guys have been doing was GREAT!

I realize you guys are in Shanghai...But this is all that we have heard so far....

Earthquake was in BEIJING - A strong earthquake hit a tea-making city in southwest China, killing at least two people, injuring 70 and causing houses to collapse.The quake hit at 5.34am (9.34am NZT), meaning most people would have been asleep when the houses collapsed, a local official said.

Power was cut to the city and the only communications were by cell phone. Tremors were felt 200km away to the north and south, the Chinese news agency Xinhua said.

As a parent...we appreciate you taking the time to post!!! Thanks again...and we can not wait to see and hear more about the trip!

Tell Katie...we Love her and to Call us!!!!

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if Jason has dysentery yet?


Anonymous said...

Don't worry, the place where the earthquake took place is thousands of miles away from Beijing.