In just a few days I will be back at home in Florida and my adventures in China will be over. It seems crazy how two months have gone by so quickly, yet it feels like a lifetime. I have done, learned, and seen so much that I never imagined I that I would get to. Even so, I found myself cramming everything into my last few weeks here, there was still so much I wanted to experience, and time was running out.
This week I went to Tianjin, a city near Beijing. We woke up at 5 am in order to make the trip. Stepping out of the train station we were welcomed into a very European city. It was interesting to see how much influence foreign lands had in this city. We started our day by eating Tianjin style jianbin and walking around the city. Later we saw some of the landmarks, like a house made entirely of Chinese pottery. A full day was not enough to experience all that Tianjin had to offer.
Another day, I visited the olympic stadium. We expected to find it nearly empty, but there was so much going on. A friend that went with me remarked how it seemed like the olympics were still happening in Beijing, because there were so many people visiting. We entered the stadiums and made jokes about how we were standing where some of our favorite athletes had stood before. We even played ping pong right outside the Bird’s Nest. This may have been one of my favorite trips because the Beijing olympics were on when I as very young and that was one of the first times I had learned about the city. So it seems fitting that it was one of the last things I got to see.