Sam Bronckers ’20 reflects on his time in China and expresses his gratitude to trip leaders, Ms. Feng and Mrs. Kelly.
My last day in Shanghai technically started right after midnight when Nathan and I were still watching the nerve racking unfolding of Spain vs Russia. This game in the round of 16 followed this World Cup’s trend of surprising results and easily kept us wide awake for the whole game.
I set this energy forth with a workout in the gym of our hotel in the morning and later refueled with a nutritious breakfast before leaving for the Shanghai tower. I sat down with Feng 老师 and Kelly 老师 as we savored our last breakfast and reflected on our time in China together. I particularly enjoyed hearing more about my teachers’ experience and being able to both relate to- and learn from them.
Before we entered the Shanghai tower, our tour guide Kelly told us about the tower and the area and their history. The tower is 632 meters (2073.49 feet) tall and it is the second tallest building in the world. Kelly explained to us that the area of the tower was mostly only covered with rice fields only 30 years ago. At this time, people would rather live in different parts of the city. Now however, this area is covered with skyscrapers and is an inevitable part of everyday life for thousands of people. This is a tangible example of not only how quickly the city and its planning have changed, but also of how quickly the people and their mindsets have changed.
Going up 193 floors only took an impressive 54 seconds and we only climbed up one more flight of stairs to reach the top floor of the Shanghai tower. The view from up here was simply breathtaking and also a little bit scary when you look down. The city’s layout was clearly divided into different sections such as a finance, residential and shopping area.
After this we went down to the Yangtze river that we had also just seen so clearly from up the Shanghai tower. We visited the river both in the afternoon and later at night on a boat. Again, the views from these places were simply magnificent and I wish I could have enjoyed them for much longer.
This trip has gone by unbelievably quickly and I am sad to have to say goodbye for now to both all of the spectacular places we have been to and the amazing people with whom I had to opportunity to explore them with. Luckily, I know that a part of me will never leave China as the many experiences I have gained here will always stay with me and I will be forever grateful for this. I am sure that I am also speaking on behalf of our whole group when giving a special thanks to Kelly 老师 and Feng 老师 for everything they have done to make this trip unforgettable.