The Pearl of China: Shanghai

February 13, 2011
Last fall, I went with my dad on a father-son bonding trip to the city of Shanghai. Born in the USA, I went to China almost every year up to the age of 6 to visit my relatives. I’m 15 now, it’s certainly been years since I last visited Shanghai. Though the 14-hour flight was treacherous, from screaming babies to the bland airport food, I was definitely excited. Reminiscing memories from childhood, a feeling of nostalgia overcame my thoughts as I remembered all the fun times I had as a child. I remembered eating the delicious signature dishes of China, watching the tall lit buildings, and afternoon boat trips in the river with my uncle. After a long uncomfortable nap, we landed at Pudong airport. Looking out the airplane window, I may have seen just buildings and cars like anywhere else, but it felt like being in a whole new world.
Throughout the course of the week, I ate everything from pig fat to egg custards; the assortment of food available was mind blowing. Each dinner was treated like a feast and each feast was treated like a celebration. In China, the spirit of the people was felt everywhere. Everyone displaced a sense of pride in the place that they called home. Walking the streets, it was also very crowded. There were many bikes on the streets as people walked quickly to work. The culture of Shanghai is an experience that I will cherish in my heart forever. Immersed in the daily life of China, I realized how strong of a work ethic they had. I also got to experience many traditions from Lion Dances to Chinese Operas. The scenery in Shanghai is breathtaking; an asset that separates itself from the rest of the world. I felt as if I was in the future as I stared in awe at the Pandora of lights staring up into the night sky.
As my trip came to an end, it was definitely bittersweet. Traveling in Shanghai was absolutely one of the best experiences in my life. Not only did I learn so much about the people of this great nation, I learned much about myself as well. America may be my home and place, but Shanghai will always provide me with strength, warmth, and happiness.

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