Carolyn Farny- China Diary

June 23, 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. Senior Carolyn Farny writes the last entry.

I hope you have enjoyed our journal entries of our journey to China. That is what it has been, a journey. The reason I use this word is usually on a journey you aren't the same person at the end as you were in the beginning. That was the impact of China.

The group of people brought together spanned backgrounds and travel experience. Most had never been out of the country before. So to coming to China was not only a culture shock, but a realization that on the other side of the world there are real people that are more like us than different.

To keep you updated with our travel log, today started out with a wake-up call and departure that was a little later than the last couple days, so that was much appreciated by all. We than ventured out into the 35 degree Celsius day (which was so hot and humid that you were immediately moist when you stepped outside) and made our first stop to the Bund. This is a great view of Shanghai's waterfront.

From there we went to the TV tower located downtown. This was amazingly similar to our very own space needle. Then we all decided to take the challenge and climbed 263 meters of steps to the look out tower. Just Kidding! Thanks to the invention of the elevator we just had to deal with our ears popping. From there our group split for a day shopping and exploring the markets of the city. Half the group went to a market very similar to Silk Alley in Beijing, and the other half went to one which had a lot more arts, crafts, and Chinese cuisine.

Our day ended with a farewell dinner. After we were done eating several people stood up and shared their thanks and some great memories from the trip. Our wonderful tour guides shared their thoughts, Victor shared how the parents' bus 'embraced the culture' everyday, and then Linda Thompson surprised Darla and myself with a senior gift (pretty jade necklaces). By crowd request (believe me this was not by my own doing) I sang my rendition of `Somewhere Over the Rainbow' that probably had Judy Garland rolling in her grave.

Finally Christal and I ended the night with a little game that we made up to express some of the things in China that we found humorous. The game is called 'You know you're in China when...' Let me preface by saying that We LOVE China and are so appreciative of the hospitality that we have been shown. The cities couldn't have been more beautiful or filled with more welcoming people. With that said... there are quite a few things that are different than back home and they made us laugh.

You Know You're In China When...
· you can't drink the water
· the street vendors can spot you a mile away and swarm you as soon as you get off the bus
· people have umbrellas not for the rain but to shield themselves from the sun
· everything you buy you are bargaining down in price· your bed is a foot off the ground and a little harder than the one back home
· people take pictures of you even when you are not looking· you have to take your toothbrush through a complete cleansing process because you accidentally ran it under the sink in the bathroom
· to communicate with the locals you suddenly find yourself in a game of charades
· Starbucks feels like the U.S. embassy
· Everyone at the market knows your name... 'Hello Nice Lady'
· At dinner all you recognize is the rice and McDonalds starts to sound quite good
· Pedestrians DO NOT have the right away. (In fact traffic laws don't exist)
· The toilets are usually a hole in the ground and you have to being your own TP from home
· And our favorite- your warm-up music before a match is a sweet lullaby by Kenny G (UW alum)

We have loved our time here. While we are anxious to get back to the sweet soil of `The States' as it's called here, and eat food that we recognize, we want to give a huge thanks to our tour guides and culture liaisons: Lily, Jack, Carrie, and Maggie. Finally it wouldn't be complete without thanking the man that blessed us with this experience, Dale Brannan. Thanks Dale!

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