Friday 6/22/12 (the day before)
Friday was a holiday for the Dragon Boat Festival, so we decided to go to Houhai and watch it. But once we got there there was no festival going on whatsoever (turns out the actual dragon boat races take place on the Saturday of the holiday weekend). We split into two groups, which seemed to be a divide between high school and us college kids. The others bought tandem bikes and went off on there own. The five of us just walked around the big lake, people watched, ate cotton candy and went to see the Lotus Appreciation Area. It was such a pretty area, older and more traditional, which was different the other areas we’d been to. On the way back to the dorm, we got fried chicken from a kiosk-type of vendor by the Wudaokou subway station. so so good.
After resting for a bit and freshening up, NSC took its entire program out for a roast duck dinner at a very fancy schmancy place in a very upscale area in the second ring (i think). The duck was amazing of course, and the ambiance and interior decor of the restaurant was really really awesome. very much approved.
After dinner, a bunch of us went to a bar in Wudaokou called Pepper Bar. It was quite empty, and a bit more “lets sit down and have a drink” than ” hey we’re at a bar” but we were a rather big group and we just had fun talking and chilling until midnight. Another girl in the program has the same birthday as me so we both rung it in at 12am.
*side note: CULTURE SHOCK #1*
This girl was turning 15 and was talking about drinks and taking her birthday shot like it she was 19… what…. She’s from Hong Kong and apparently that whole thing is normal for high school kids in Asia, but still, WHAT…..
I’ve spent every single birthday with my family, 85% of them in Iran. So for the first birthday away from home in a new and awesome place and pretty cool people? Check and approved. :)