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China: Tuesday-Thursday

"Nǐ hǎo" (Hello)

After over 36 hours of travel the team arrived safely in Nanjing. The journey was filled with adventure and surprises—this is fluffy writing but actually true!

Along the way we stopped in Tokyo, Japan. Taking a break from sitting on airplanes, some of us enjoyed delicious sashimi while others marveled at the unique toilets in the restrooms. We landed in Shanghai to discover that we were too late to take the last train of the night; however with Ling and his girlfriend Elma as our trusty tour guides, we were well prepared for other arrangements. From 11:00pm to 5:50am, we wandered the streets of train-station-adjacent Shanghai, exploring unique sites and smells.

Allison, Gavin, Justin and Michael enjoyed a heated game of dominoes on the sidewalk in front of the train station while a crowd of Chinese onlookers gathered. The rest of the crew—Aaron, Craig, Ling and Elma—enjoyed some World Cup soccer in a nearby 24-hour McDonalds. The restaurant was packed, even at 3am (with sleeping people).

As the sun rose over Shanghai, the entire group met for an authentic Chinese breakfast of dumplings, churro-like fried dough, and an unidentified but delicious milky drink before boarding the train to Nanjing. The train ride was a grand experience filled with sleep, Chinese candy, and a very smooth train moving at speeds topping 218km/hr.

Once in Nanjing, a brief but exhilarating taxi ride and some walks around the city found us finally in our hotel, where the GP team of 5 were left alone to experience communications in China. “The 5” managed to mime their way to internet access, shower curtains and a delicious Chinese lunch.