Walk Around the University

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This post was originally published in 2007
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

The second night, after dinner, we went for a walk around the University.  In China, if you don't go for a walk after dinner, your food won't be digested. The Shanghai University is so big it has a road running through it.  It really is BIG. Each dormitory building is big, and there are 26 of them.  That is a lot of students. I have to say, at night time Waikato is more pretty, as Shanghai University doesn't have any spanking-new lights set up. Yvonne and I got no more funny looks (per Chinese person we passed) than we do in NZ.  Some openly stare, and I stare right back.  They don't seem to notice or care, they just want a look.  A few give you that slack-jawed, wide-eyed OMG A WHITE PERSON look, which makes me laugh every time. On the way home we stopped at a small corner store, and Yvonne's parents bought a whole sugar cane.  The sugar cane was about 2 m long, and cost 7.20 RMB.  It tasted good, and I enjoyed watching the shopkeeper peel the skin off with his intimidating knife. The next day  Yvonne and I went for a walk around the uni, and into the Baoshan suburb shopping centre.  The uni looks a lot nicer than Waikato during the day, mostly due to the fact that there was recently a flower show, and the flower arrangements are all still set up.  They look pretty, and I took some photos to prove I wasn't hallucinating. The library is worth a mention.  WHOA it is big.  Massive is probably a better word.  It is bigger than probably 6 of the Waikato libraries put together.  If this building was in the middle of Hamilton, our tourist 'attraction level' would most likely triple.  Not only is it big, but it looks nice too.  Yvonne's Dad says it looks like a book.  He loves books. To get to the Baoshan shops, one must walk through the uni.  The title: "Baoshan shops" implies a couple of dairies on the corner...  Actually it is a mall bigger than Chartwell Square.  It was also incredibly hot, so hot that we quickly found what we were looking for (mint Sprite, a razor and some shaving gel) and got out as soon as possible.  The people in charge of the airconditioning must be recieving bribes fromt he power company, it was that hot in there. Mint Sprite is my new favourite drink. On our way back to the uni I saw three beggars, and Yvonne remarked that they were just lazy.  Everywhere we go we see people sweeping the street, and Yvonne says that the beggars are just too lazy to do that for a living, and/or they make more money begging.  I sniggered at a western couple who were trying (failing) to ignore a beggar as he trailed after them bleating for coin. Not only was there a mall there, there was also a large amount of little shops.  Most of them seemed to sell crappy pink plastic 'things' - think cellphone accessories.  We didn't actually go into any of the shops though, so it could be that they all read the same Store-Window Advertising Instructional Manuals. We also needed to buy a USB cable for Yvonne's camera.  We got one of those at a store on campus.  Guess how much it was in NZD? NZ$2.  The same cable, in NZ, would have cost in excess of NZ$15! When I started gushing over how cheap it was, Yvonne reminded me that the majority of the population earns a pittance.  I agreed, but still kept going on about the price.  $2! A USB cable the same price as a bottle of coke.  There was a guard standing at the uni entrance, and Yvonne speculated that she would get paid about 800 RMB a month.  That put things into perspective, but as I come from NZ, and never intend to earn that little, the USB cable still seemed cheap.  I think it always will. On the way back we also passed the same shops that Yvonne's parents bought the sugar cane from the night before.  Beside sugar cane store there is a tropical fish store, and I demanded we stop in for a look (I love fish).  The fish were of good quality, though there were not so many types.  They were far, far cheaper than their contemporaries in NZ, further cementing my desire to live in China one day.  Oh the aquarium I will have. Later that day I felt I was coming down with a cold, thus the reason for late posts.  It's been a few days now, and it has gone away.  Tomorrow we're going into town proper, I'll try to get some photos of beggars and shops selling cellphone accessories.
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