Jan. 8, 2014
The past couple of days we've been training a lot of platform, seeing as how we don't have that opportunity in Reno. Usually we have to travel to Stanford to get platform practice in but here it's so nice because we can just practice it as much as we want! We got to watch the little Chinese divers train. Some of them were 5 years old and some were 8. Even though they were that young, you could tell that they are going to grow into champions one day.
A couple of days ago we visited Old Shanghai, however today we got to visit the other side of the river and see New Shanghai. It was cool that a river divided up two places that are so different on either side.
Old Shanghai consisted of a lot of buildings that looked very European because of the English control over Shanghai many years ago. New Shanghai however was very modern and almost futuristic. The area is famous because of all the different shaped buildings there. We also got to see the current tallest building in the world being built. That was really cool!
We also got to do some shopping in the famous markets with Jianli. She helped us with the language barrier and showed us the best place to get Chinese tea. Tea is a staple in everyones diet here. We noticed at restaurants that they do not serve ice water. They only serve tea and hot water. They get very confused why you want cold water when you ask for it and sometimes they don't even offer it.
One other thing that we got to do was be driven around in a car with a chinese driver. It was a very frightening experience! There are essentially no rules on the road when it comes to being a pedestrian, cyclist, or a driver. People honk the horn every two minutes and that is their way of saying get out of the way. Very scary!
Today we also visited a Buddhist temple. We got to walk through and see all of the buddhist statues and paintings from hundreds of years ago. It was very beautiful.
On the 8th of January, we leave for Beijing. We get to ride a train there, which none of us have ever done, so that will be a fun experience. We are going to tour the Great Wall and the famous Water Cube pool from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We will be getting to practice with the Chinese national team, which includes olympian Wu Minxia. Very very excited to meet them!