Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another Long Day

I had another long but good day today. I started the morning ordering some more water. I’m actually getting pretty good at that. My Chinese classes have helped me with my pronunciation and my understanding of what I’m actually saying. Bethany actually wrote down what all the words mean in my little script for water, but it is amazingly helpful in having learned them in class too.

I played some volleyball this morning. I can’t remember the last time I played, but it was a lot of fun. It was all very non-competitive so when I (and everybody screwed up it was all laughs instead of groans.)

I have learned that I am rather bad with my depth perception. For the most part I see really well, but I have a good deal of difficulty determining how far away something is. This completely comes out when I play sports. Often I’d run to hit the volleyball and find the ball landing way up on my forearm instead of my wrists like I expected, or I’d completely miss the thing.

I went home quite sore, but happy. I was sore not only from taking a few dives for the ball, but also because I wound up sleeping on the arm wrong and woke up with a good deal of pain.

Oh well, we still had fun.

After we decided to eat lunch at Taco Bell. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, Taco Bell here is much different than Taco Bell stateside. The food was quite good. I had some chicken quesadillas and Amy took in a big nacho plate.

We then dug in some ice cream from Cold Marble. It was quite funny because my ice cream server decided to do a little playful move by trying to throw the ice cream blob into the air and catch it with the waffle bowl.

He missed.

Plot, it went right to the floor. He started over with new ice cream and gave the throw a second try. This time he hit the bowl. Mostly. A little bit of it slid off and landed on his arm.

Since we were very near one of the museums we decided to go. The museum is all about urban planning and we’d heard really cool things about it. Urban planning is something that fascinates me a great deal, and with a giant city like Shanghai I was hoping to be wowed.

I mean how does someone go about deciding where commercial zones should go? Or which way a city street should curve? Or how quickly a red light should turn? Its like Sim City on an enormous scale.

Sadly, the museum was a bit of a letdown. One large chunk of it was dedicated to some future city in development. Actually I wouldn’t even say it was in development. It had the feel of all those sci-fi magazines from the 50s where they predicted we’d all be in flying cars and everybody would have videophones and jetpacks.

It was all about how we cold design cities like mountains so that the rooftops could have angles and collect solar energy and how we’ll all be living in these fully recyclable and energy conserving complexes.

It didn’t seem realistic or very interesting.

Most of the rest of it was pretty generic information about the different sections of Shanghai. The main problem for me was that most of it was written in Chinese and I really don’t have a very good concept of the city yet.

Yes I realize I’m in China and thus their museums are going to be in Chinese. I understand this concept, but as a dumb English speaking American I had trouble understanding what they were trying to tell me.

Some of it was translated, but still it was a little dull. We simply haven’t lived in Shanghai long enough for me to have much of a bearing on any part of it. It was kind of cool to see the different districts, but as I haven’t really been to them, I couldn’t put a picture with the description.

The really cool part was that they had one giant room with a model of the city in it. It was amazing to see the city laid out like that. It is really impossible to get an understanding of the enormity of the city while walking in it. Even on the small scale it took up a huge space.

I’ll post pictures of that later.

We came home exhausted and sore, but it was a fun day.

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