Snow on the Last Week on ShanghaiShanghai, Fall 2010 - China in the 21st Century

It's the last week in Fudan and we are setting in for our coldest and last week in Shanghai. I heard that it snows in Shanghai before, but not this early. I dressed up warm (considering the thin clothes not appropriate for winter that I have; I never got around to buying any substantial winter-wear) early morning to go to Chinese class, but when I stepped outside in just a hoodie (I wasn't even wearing socks...), I didn't expect it to bits of snow floating around in the frigid gusts of Shanghai wind. Though the weather is numbing and chills right down to the bones, it allows us to settle more readily into our apartments to race towards the finish line. Monday was quite a relief as we turned in our last assignments: a short paper, long 12-pager, and for some, a presentation on one of the seven aspects of Shanghai (mostly urban planning). The weekend had been hard, and most of us pulled something near an all nighter, there was some ouye-ing for sure. While we have been putting in some long hours for the past couple weeks -we have 3 essays and 2 presentations under our belts, 2 essays in the process of finishing, 1more presentation and 1 more essay in the future- we have been cramming in other ways too. We all got together for cake and a nice night out for my roommates birthday on Friday, squeezed in some dinners at cozy restaurants in Pudong and Tianzifang, and last minute shopping at Qipulu, Yuyuan, and People's Square. We are all scrambling to finish our last restaurants in hopes of having some tight packed fun starting from our Farewell Dinner on Thursday up until we squeeze into a taxi to ride to the airport shuttle station and board our flights. Today, I met up with fellow students from Metropolis. Though it is our last sort of meeting to have lunch together, it is only the second time we have met up. The first time was we when interviewed one of the girls Pink, who is from Taiwan, about the education system in Taipei. That was a mere week ago, and it was probably the event that made us realize we needed to take advantage of the little time we had left. When we went to interview Pink, like all the other Chinese students, she graciously offered to come to Tonghe. I secretly wanted to see what the international student dorms looked like (like all the other aspects of local student life I was fascinated by), so I insisted on stopping by. The set up there is quite different, and they feel lucky just having hot water (as to other students who have to go to a different building to shower). Through our Taiwanese friends, we were able to meet other international students from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Now they are sitting in class, and I've sunken into and become one with the sofa I'm sitting in procrastinating the paper that awaits me.
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