A strong possibility with Zhejiang University
Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
15Trip End Jul 24, 2007
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To those of you who have sent your thoughts, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I knew some of you would be worry sick after reading my posting, and I apologize for the delay in posting follow-up reports. Internet access here is just not as easy as walking into a Starbucks (as Bobby knows very well). By the way, there are plenty of Starbucks here. I was trying to look for the Chinese "Starbucks" called Xing Ba Ke in Shanghai, but I guess it was shut down.
For the past few days I have been fine. I still remember all the login IDs and passwords to my email and Travelpod accounts! My left cheekbone was a bit sore all of sudden this morning; other than that, I feel normal.
Back to Hangzhou. I went to Zhejiang University (ZU) the day after the car accident and met a group of very energetic staff at the International College. We connected only a couple of days before my visit, but, boy, were they ready! I got a nice tour of the facilities and a clear picture of the short-term Chinese language and culture program.
Speaking of connection, later we did discover there is one. Dean Wang used to be an Education Consul at the Houston Consulate in the 80's. He still remembers the fun of fishing the crabs at night at Galveston. What a small world!
Before I left ZU, I received a sample orientation packet for students. Ms. Zhou also gave me two sample course schedules, which include language lessons in the morning and cultural seminars and tours in the afternoon. I was also told that all students, especially beginning level students, live in the dorm and take courses at the International College. From what I saw, ZU's staff know what they're doing and are on top of things. I'm also impressed by the facilities. Complementing the language instruction are a lot of sightseeing and historic excursions that students can take while studying language there, including the well maintained and world famous West Lake, which is just 5 minutes away from the college by taxi.
I had thought that West Lake was a tourist trap, but as it turned out to be a really beautiful lake! The history of the lake is long, dating back to the Tang Dynasty in the 10th century. One of my favorite Chinese poet, Su Dongpo of the Song Dynasty, was the governor of Hangzhou, and his legacy can be seen in the Su Causeway as well as the two streets that are named after him. There is also a dish named after him: Dongpo Pork!
Another story that has to do with West Lake is one of the most romantic Chinese stories that I've known: the Legend of the White Snake.
That's it about Hangzhou. I will report from Shanghai next.