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Words and pictures from some BC students recently in China…

Bell tower in Central Xian

Bell Tower in Central Xian (Carolyn Rock)

Street Caligrapher in Beijing

Street Calligrapher in Beijing (Lulu Wang)


What I remember [about Shanghai] the most is this incredible sense of discovery, of moving effortlessly through this wholly-foreign world that was gracefully unfolding before me... Everything was so new and so beautiful.  Even a sign on the street for a restaurant or a hair salon seemed to enrapture me.  I was so aware of everything around me. And this was refreshing because back home in Boston there is a lot of architectural beauty, but I don't really notice it that much.  I never stop and look up at buildings.  I go through my day to day routine and become bored so easily with it.  But here it was different.  It was almost too overwhelming, like a sensory overdrive.  I felt very much alive in Shanghai-- a feeling that is taken for granted way too easily and much too frequently.  I think that I will bring this feeling back to Boston.  Maybe this awareness won't be as powerful as in Shanghai, but it is a new realization that has changed my life and brought me out of the thought that I am always living in a routine.
Beth Totman, Shanghai, 2004


On the canals of Suzhou
On the canals of Suzhou (Lulu Wang)


I went to a poetry slam this week at this local cafe called "sculpting time". It's one of my favorite places EVER...last month was Chinese poetry slam, this month was English. It was great. They serve amazing rose & peppermint tea with whole rose buds in your tea. Pretty AND refreshing. The poetry readings were also good. Every Sunday we also have open mic at this lounge called “Lush". It’s a pretty interesting crowd. People perform in a variety of languages, which is so amazing. This one guy did a piece about things in Beijing getting "chaied" ('chai' meaning to tear down) to the tune of Don McLean's "American Pie". "Bye bye, Beijing's getting 'chaied'..." I find the combining of Chinese and English really odd…but hilarious. And his cover of McLean’s song? Well, it was quite touching…Really.
Lulu Wang, Beijing, 2003


The Great Wall

The Great Wall, “unreconstructed” (Carolyn Rock)

Gauard tower at the renovated Great Wall

Guard tower at the renovated Great Wall (Carolyn Rock)


We arranged with our hostel for a van to drop us off on Monday morning in one location and pick us up the next morning in another spot along the Great Wall.  We hiked the Wall, going up and down between guard towers for about 7 hours.  Parts of the wall have been restored and are relatively easy to walk but others have not and are so steep and crumbling it was like rock climbing, but without the ropes.  By 6:00 p.m. we picked a guard tower to use as our home for the night as we camped out illegally.  Once the sun went down it was pitch black and freezing cold.  We laid outside for a bit looking at the stars and then climbed into sleeping bags we rented from our hostel when it got too cold.  At 5:00 a.m. I woke everyone up and we hiked up to a higher spot along the wall and watched the sunrise.  While it was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done, it was definitely one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.
Carolyn Rock, Shanghai, 2003


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China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad
China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad