Friday, November 13, 2009


I have always considered Halloween one of my favorite holidays. I love the fact that for one day you get the chance to escape all of the chaos and stress of reality and make up your own fantasy world by transforming into anything and anyone that you want. Back home my friends and I get really into Halloween. We go all out with our costumes, raiding any thrift or arts and crafts store that we can find. We have even been known to stretch our Halloween celebrations to not just one day but numerous weekends. As a matter of fact, if we could we probably would make the whole month of October into one big Halloween celebration. However, this year was a little different. Though Halloween is not celebrated in Chinese culture I was not going to keep it from getting in the way of my Halloween traditions. Of course I didn’t get to go with my family to pick out the biggest pumpkin in the patch, but I did get to dress up and partake in other festivities. My roommates and I decided to be the 4 seasons, with me being fall. We went to the near fabric market were we got to design our costumes and have them custom made. When Halloween came around we went to Shen tan de, a western street in Shanghai, where we paraded the streets and were met by a mob of Chinese onlookers that went into a frenzy of camera flashes whenever we walked by. Here are a few pictures from my night:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Botanical Garden

The other week my Biology class took a trip to the Shanghai Botanical Garden. Here are a couple of pictures that I took when I had free time after our lab.


To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, which was last month, we got 6 days of school off. So three other students and I took advantage of this time off and decided to take a trip to Yangshuo. Yangshuo is in southern rural China, nestled in the beautiful mountains split by the Li river. Its scenery is so stunning in fact, that it is depicted on the 20 dollar Yuan. Now it may not be a surprise to many of you that I am not the biggest outdoorsmen. I mean I’ll choose a hotel over a tent any day, but seeing as this maybe my only chance to live in China, I decided to break outside of my comfort zone and try the outdoorsy thing. To my surprise, I ended up having a BLAST.
These are a few activities I partook in while on the trip:

Mud bathing in the natural caves,
- where we also swam in the natural hot springs and climbed the side of the cave

Bike ride into town
-where I almost got knocked off my bike by a bull

Bamboo Rafting on the Li River

Hike through a secluded town

and much much more...