Jill Collymore- China Diary

June 21, 2006

The Huskies left for China on June 12 to kick-off a 12-day tour of Beijing and Shanghai, including four volleyball matches. Each day, a different Washington team member will write a diary entry and post a photo gallery to share her experiences with the UW community. Sophomore Jill Collymore writes today's entry.

Wotcher mates! OK, so China is AWESOME! It's such a great experience being here cause everything is so different! The architecture of buildings, old an new, is exquisite! Shanghai, in my opinion, is particularly futuristic looking. If given the opportunity, I know some of you, like me, would love to jump into a time machine and see what's kickin' in the future. I think you'd see buildings constructed in the current Shanghai style. All the buildings are very tall, and I even saw one building constructed around a large hole so it looked like a huge chunk was cut out of it!

Anyhoo, we've had some great times in China so far. Today, we visited the Shanghai Museum. There we viewed scrolls displaying ancient texts demonstrating the evolution of calligraphy. Also displayed were various works of art including carvings, painting, and even military seals. My favorite room contained a private collection of precious gems. Ladies! Holla at me! If diamonds are your best friend, hop a plane to China and see this room. Check this, I saw a 400 carat yellow sapphire necklace set in an enormous gold flower, and emeralds the size of my fists! Wah! Let your mind rest on that for a little bit......

There was a group of female monks in the museum. They had shaved heads and wore traditional garb soft smiles on their faces. Behind their eyes was a sort of steadiness and confident calm. They were just beautiful.

After the museum, we checked out the Nanjing Road shopping area, of course! I must reveal, we're all a bunch of shopping addicts. Next, we went to a theater and saw Chinese acrobats perform. Three words....OH MY DEAR LORD GOD IN HEAVEN. Ok, so that's more than three words, but these guys were A-MAZING! Just imagine everything completely inhuman and impossible. No way it could ever be done. Wrong! These acrobats did it, everything from (get ready for a long sentence) jumping, tumbling, flipping, contorting amazingly flexible bodies and balancing bodies on top of bodies in human towers, ALL at the SAME TIME!...while spinning 8 plates between two hands each on a rod, forming speeding bicycle rings, tossing dozens of hats and snatching them from each others heads, catching incredibly heavy pots on the back of a neck, flying through the air, all with amazing muscles bulging in tiny bodies....yes people, it goes on. My favorite act was the Ball of Death! Does the title tell you anything? A huge grated metal ball was set on stage. Suddenly, a bunch of guys on motorcycles zoomed out onto the stage. The first one entered the metal ball and began zooming around in the ball upside down, round and round, diagonally, all at very high speeds on his motorbike! It was crazy! Then another one went in with him, then another one. Eventually, five motorcyclists were in the ball at the same time, all zooming around. I have no idea how they didn't hit each other. Of course I was screaming in delight and terror the entire time.

If you happen to have any extra money on you, or maybe you're stressed out because of school or the job, buy yourself a ticket to China and watch these incredibly talented performers. It'll be an experience to last a lifetime. Alrighty, thanks guys! Over and out!

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