Today was our first full day in Hangzhou. After eating a breakfast of eggs, fried rice, glutinous rice balls, and cereal with milk, we went to school to attend a few classes. The first class I attended was General Technology. The teacher was teaching the class how to build a desk, and had the students sketch certain parts of the desk. Then I went to math class, in which the students were solving problems using trigonometric functions. I understood some of it, but I could not understand the Chinese characters in front of the functions. In general, I noticed that the students and teachers did not engage in two-way conversation like we do at Winsor. Furthermore, it was interesting that the students did not ask their teachers or peers questions as frequently as we do.
After the classes, our group learned about Chinese tea art. The process of preparing and serving the tea is intricate, detailed, and graceful. The tea making process entails rinsing the cup with warm water to ensure that the temperature of the tea is exactly 80 degrees, soaking the green tea leaves in the water to absorb the flavor, and then pouring in the hot water. When serving the tea, the server must now to the receiver, place the tea cup on the table, and then step back and bow once again.
After eating a delicious lunch of eggplant, rice, chicken, and sugar snap peas, we departed from the school and went to visit the renowned West Lake. We walked around and explored the area, and a few of us even went out on the lake in a boat. The extremely large lake was evidently a central part of lifestyle in Hangzhou, for the area was filled with people strolling and talking with friends, eating snacks, going out in boats, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery, and going for runs. The lake is also a popular tourist destination. I took many pictures of the lake (attached below)!
For dinner, my host family took Lilia and I out for 面条 (noodles) with 猪肉 (pork) and 汤 (soup). It was delicious! When we returned home, our host mom showed us her jewelry collection and how she makes necklaces using different types of stones (turquoise, agate, Baltic Sea beeswax, etc).
Below are some pictures and videos.
1. Hangzhou’s West Lake (taken from the boat).
2. Host mom making a necklace.