We did it!!! We won!!!! Well, we won the B division anyway. They divide the teams into the good ones and the not-so-good ones, and we were the champions of the not-so-good ones. Also, we had some help. There were seven of us from Haikou (plus one friend from Nanjing) but three of our girls went to another team that didn’t have enough girls (you have to play 5 boys/2 girls on the field most of the time) so we didn’t have enough for a full team ourselves. We were the “traveling” team, which means we added any random people who came to play by themselves. Luckily, all our add-ons were fast and tall and awesome!
We also got to look around Nanjing and Shanghai a bit. All in all it was a great trip.
The world’s fastest train!!
We flew into Shanghai and then took the train to Nanjing. Part of the way we rode the Maglev – the world’s fastest train! It runs on magnets! It felt like a roller coaster, it was so fast. If you are into that sort of thing, you can read more here.
That’s right…300 km/hr. Too bad our ride was only 8 minutes long!
Michael, Jiaojin, Alex, and Daisy are soooo excited! World’s fastest train!
When we got to Nanjing we went to our hotel to check-in only to find out that they didn’t allow foreigners (i.e. me and Alex, and our Czech friend Michael) to stay there. We already had a reservation, but when they saw our faces they seriously back-tracked. Quite a weird feeling… Apparently up until 10 years ago, it was a national law that foreigners were only allowed to stay in special approved hotels (usually the really nice ones in order to keep up appearances). However, that law has been changed and now it’s just a few random places that don’t allow foreigners. We eventually found another hotel and settled in. Also, Alex and I brought our hiking backpacks filled with tons of changes of clothes and layers because it was supposed to be rainy and unseasonably cold in Nanjing. All our Chinese friends brought one normal sized backpack that was half full, and the two who were going to continue traveling for nine days brought a full normal-sized backpack. They made fun of us a lot, but they changed their tune when it was cold and windy out on that frisbee field…. Also, only two of our Chinese friends even own athletic shoes, and a few of them wore jeans to play during the tournament. I am SO confused by that. Ah well.
We also met up with a friend of a friend from Nanjing who showed us around. She took us to an interesting pedestrian street with cool restaurants.
There we all are – you’ll just have to imagine what we look like up close. We had Indian food here! It’s the first I’ve had since leaving America in August and it was soooo good.
This is another picture of that same street, and if you can’t see it, that big black and white sign on the building says “Lion King Dainty Community.” Love it!
Lion King Dainty Community! What does that mean? Who knows?!?
The next day was cold and cloudy and windy and yucky (naturally) but we met our teammates, played our five games rather well, and didn’t get hurt!
Yeah traveler’s team! Back row l-r: random guy (Mossi), Jade, me, Jiaojin, random guy (Neil), random amazing guy (Bob), Michael, random guy (Nick), Yuanyi. Front row l-r: Daisy, random guy (Pavel), Alex. So our friend Michael that we know from school here in Haikou is from the Czech Republic and he ALWAYS complains about how he never meets any other Czech people in China. And then the random guy who joined our team, Pavel, was also Czech! They had a little Czech love-fest all weekend. (Pavel works for a company that makes ginormous chandeliers…like 20 m across. Weird.)
Alex making an awesome and somewhat hilarious looking catch. We were playing the team from Nanjing Sports University. No one that I asked could tell me what people learn about at a sports university. They weren’t good enough to be in some kind of pre-Olympic training program (unless they were champion swimmers or equestrian riders or something just pretending to be frisbee players), so we eventually settled on physical education teachers. We lost the first game to them, but soundly trounced them the next day.
Alex did really well in the tournament with some very impressive diving catches and D’s. He also did such a good job leading the team and getting everyone involved and excited. He won the much-deserved sportsmanship award for our team too! One of Alex’s goals this year was to start a frisbee club…and he did! And that team went to a tournament! The people who came with us seemed to really enjoy the experience, even though they were all very intimidated by their first experience with real ultimate games. But I was so impressed with how positive everyone was and how hard they played. So great.
My personal favorite play was a terrific throw I made to Daisy (who’s only been playing for a few months), who caught the disc in the endzone for the game-winning point! I also made two pretty impressive D’s myself, as the other team threw the disc right into me while I was standing still – once in the bum and once in the back. I win!
Chillin’ out – eatin’ some bananas and some ALOE VERA juice. Yeah – I stuck with the pineapple juice. Suyi, Jiaojin, Jade, Daisy, Yuanyi, and Alex.
After the tourney, we spent a day looking around Nanjing. It’s rather a tidy city, and less tropical-ly than Haikou. Here’s a few pics of random parts of the city.
Ran across an adult playground while walking around. These are all over China, but this is a good example of one. They are always just on the street, usually near residential neighborhoods. Daisy and Alex on the see-saw.
A tiny fruit shop. Those tall stick looking things are sugar cane. They cut it into foot-long pieces, peel it, and sell it like that. I haven’t tried one yet, but apparently you chew each bit for awhile, like gum, and then spit it out.
We also went to a really neat park on a bunch of little islands in the middle of a lake. It was pretty rainy, but very lovely.
Daisy and I and the view. That tall building in the background is the 7th tallest building in Asia. Random fact of the day.
Michael’s magical long arms actually got everyone in the pic! Suyi, me and Daisy on the bottom – Yuanyi, Alex, Jiaojin, and Michael on the top.
The next day we headed to Shanghai and saw a few friends. This building is famous and we saw it, but I’m too lazy to look up what it’s called. We ate lunch in the financial district and it was SOO fancy-schmancy. Everywhere we went in Shanghai seemed to be fancy and super nice and full of foreigners and amazing food. Pretty unlike Haikou!
Yeah, it was actually as foggy and yucky and this picture makes it look like.
It was also Alex’s birthday! He got to pick the restaurant for the celebratory lunch and of course he picked a tomato restaurant. It was called Celeb de TOMATO : The specialty store of the selected tomatoes. Literally all the dishes had tomato in them. We had a “set lunch” with pureed vegetable soup, salad with tomatoes, and margharita pizza or spaghetti bolognese. A couple of our friends got the dessert course too, which turned out to be a tomato/caramel mousse. That was just about the weirdest food I’ve ever tasted.
We met our friend Pengyao there for lunch. We know her from IU, where she got a master’s in the same program as Alex. She now has a fancy job in Shanghai, and our friends (who are both college students) were really impressed with how sophisticated and successful she was! Hehe, you rock Pengyao! But we knew you when…:)
Also, if it looks like I have something weird on my nose, it’s because I do. It’s a band-aid. We got sun-burned really bad on Sunday during the tournament, which hurt enough. Then, that night, (because our twin bed – yes, we both had to fit on a twin bed- was in the corner of the room) I rolled over and scraped my sun-burned nose on the wall. I felt very sad about it and it was very gross for awhile, but now I am better. But I still appreciate some sympathy, because really…that is the weirdest way I’ve ever gotten hurt ever.
Pengyao got some cakes for Alex’s birthday lunch and I couldn’t resist a picture. China is full of bakeries that make these beautiful and delicious cakes, and because it’s China they are so cheap! They also aren’t as sweet as they would be in America and they use a lot of fresh fruit, especially in Haikou.
Sooo lovely. Of course, Alex’s was the chocolate one and mine was the fruit one.
We also went to visit some of the Burches’ family friends who moved to China for work about the same time we did. (They are also Alex’s brother’s wife’s family. They live in a super nice area of Shanghai and have an amazing 24th floor apartment. Their view was better than ours! They also have a dishwasher! And a bathtub! Our minds were blown. It was great to catch up with them though!
Alex, Scott, and Sharon. This is proof we were all in China together!
A really amazing trip altogether, but now we’re back in Haikou. Looking forward to another national holiday next week though! But national holidays are really a double-edged sword, because we get off school Monday-Wednesday, but have to go Saturday and Sunday to make up for it. Also, because everyone gets those holidays off, all the vacation spots are super crowded and busy. So we have to go to school on a weekend and then don’t want to go anywhere during the holiday. Weird.