Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
18Trip End Dec 22, 2007
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I have had so many experiences so far during this trip, that it is hard to believe it has only been a week! I met the rest of my group on Wednesday the fifth due to all the delays of flights and the long drive from Shanghai to Suzhou we arrived at our dorms at midnight, exhausted and excited
But back to more important things... China is SO different to the US. Every aspect of life comes as a culture shock. From driving to eating, life is completely different... this combined with not really knowing how to speak the language, being overwhelmed by the constant flow of people (there are 6 million people in Suzhou) and being started at constantly makes life hard to get used too. This is not to say, its not awesome, just stressful at times. Everytime you walk across the street you see your life flash in front of your eyes. Driving, is insanse. cars dont have seat belts and everyone just goes wherever they want whenever they want. All you have to do is honk and flash your lights and then go. Somehow the other drivers seem to know what you are doing and nobody gets hit. You can pass in the other lane, on the right side, turn from the farthest lane out and drive pretty much any speed. The speed limit signs say 60-100 km on them... I cant say its not exciting. However the craziest experience yet was probably visiting Aushan.
I think the best way to describe Aushan is Walmart on crack. Its this gigantic store with EVERYTHING and pretty much every person in Suzhou in its compound. We walked over to Aushan at probably 8:00 thinking you know it cant be THAT busy. Yeah, we were wrong. You can barely walk and everyone just hits each other to get through. Oh and the Chinese dont have a word for "excuse me" so it really is just push through until you get where you want. Then finding things is near impossible. Of course all the signs are in Chinese, and then if you find the aisle you need there are so many people in front of the item you can't really grab anything. Its pure insanity. We each had a long list of shopping items and decided that it wasnt worth our lives. So we grabbed so mattress pads and ran.
Well thats probably enough for now!!!!! I miss everyone and hope everything is well!!