Colonels Abroad in China: From Beijing to Shanghai

Níhao,

Today, we made our way from Beijing to Shanghai. We checked out of our hotel and left for the train station at 7 a.m. in order to make our 9 a.m. departure on the Fu Xing train.

It is about a 4-hour train ride to Shanghai, but considering that the train was also going over 200 mph it is very impressive. At the most, I noticed we were going 345 km/h, which is about 214 mph. During the trip, Dr. En Mao shared an assortment of Chinese snacks with us. Aside from the Chinese version of Vanilla wafers, among these snacks were mushroom chips, dried beans, apple discs and dried squid. Some of these were a bit more appetizing than the others, but it was very neat to be able to try out and compare the snacks. Among the ones I listed, I’d say my favorite was the mushroom chips. As odd as it may sound, I absolutely loved the flavor of the seasoning in addition to the mushroom taste. I love to eat mushrooms in general, so it honestly wasn’t much of a surprise to me that I liked them. Even the dried squid wasn’t bad, once you learn to look past the scent of it. It almost tastes like beef jerky, with just a hint of seafood flavoring.

In comparison to Beijing, Shanghai is a more modern city. When touring Shanghai, one of the tour guides referred to Beijing as being more of the “countryside,” as it had a deeper history. I found this rather striking considering the population, but I can definitely see what she meant by it being a newer and more booming city.

Although we didn’t do as much touring of Shanghai today, our group has noticed the more westernized influence within the city. Some of the buildings here don’t even look like something you’d see in China, which is a very considerable difference in comparison to Beijing. Many of the buildings, like our hotel, look like something you’d see in Europe.

Tonight, the group will be heading out to see the nightlife Shanghai has to offer. I look forward to seeing the drastic difference since we are definitely not in Thibodaux anymore. We’ll see how this experience goes in the next post. Until next time, zijian!

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