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Sarah in China part 7 July 31, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Family, Travel.
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July 22nd

I awoke tired but rested and repeated the schedule from yesterday. We ate breakfast and then went back to the rooms for about a minute, before going to the buses and more martial arts and Tai Chi. It was cloudy, and there was supposed to be an eclipse, but I never saw it. (I think it’s ironic that the only two eclipses I have known about have been when I was in England, and now China. Does the US not have eclipses?) The clouds slowly let out sprinkles, and we stopped and switched to a Chinese game as the rain got heavier. After the game, while groups still did Kung Fu around us, our group partied. One of the instructors, who are all college age, and could kill you in a second with probably their thumb, brought out his iPod and speaker. Our group started dancing, right there in the Shao Lin Temple! This really drew a crowd. I went over to talk to a little girl, who was about two and really adorable, and laughed when she started dancing too. The rain got too hard so we went back to the hotel and are now waiting for an afternoon of shopping and more martial arts.

We ate lunch, stole spoons (plastic) and then played spoons. I was the second finisher but lost to Tyler. We were in the lobby way before one o’clock, and boarded the bus on time, ready to shop. We were slightly disappointed when they told us we were going to a supermarket, with no bargaining. It was like a Wal-mart, but with two levels and Chinese things. I bought more gifts and some amazing food. A hot dog looking chicken thing and some spicy potato chips, some candy, and pudding things made for a fun bus ride to the next location. We held our breaths as we drove near the temple, aka, kung fu place, all wanting to do some more shopping. We did turn into the temple, but a different entrence, one with little touristy places. My favorite purchase was Kung Fu shoes for 18 quay, or three dollars! (Most everyone bought these so we plan to all wear them when school gets back.

We were pleased, but surprised when we were told to get off at the same temple, but a different side, to watch a Kung Fu show just for us. It was amazing! These men, boys, (and two women) did flips, jumps, swung swords, were extremely strong, and awed me thoroughly. In my opinion the best part was not the animal moves, or the dramatic retelling/reshowing of a fight, but a performance by just six males. The first person broke an iron bar with just his head, another popped a balloon, which sounds easy, but he used a needle, and there was a thick piece of glass that he penetrated! I thought it was a scam at first, but they showed us the cracked glass. My favorite was scary, they laid three swords standing upright on the ground, and one man laid on this. On him they put an actual bed of nails, which another man laid atop. On this they placed a plank of metal, which they then sledgehammer on these poor people. They hit it hard enough to break it, they did break it, but then the people got up unharmed! Another little boy suctioned cupped a cup to his stomach, and was then dangled by two other men who were holding him by a small bamboo stick. This continued and when it was finished we all took pictures with them. I am learning that Chinese are big on photographs! We rode the buses back to the hotel, with our new friends/ instructors coming to eat dinner with us. We had an amazing meal in which I made a dumpling! It was fun, but then we had to say goodbye. We all exchanged emails though.

After dinner we went to the surprise internet room, where Rahsheeda tried to straighten Tyler’s, and hers, and Maria’s hair with the straightener she bought. It too failed slightly. Now we are packing up, about to go to another dorm and host families!

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