As a last hurrah to the semester, the Alliance staff treated us to an amazing overnight trip to a nearby water village, called Wuzhen. It wasn’t just the Alliance students who got to go–our Chinese teachers and roommates got to go too!
Like basically every place in China, Wuzhen has a rich and incredible history. We were lucky enough to stay overnight in a beautiful hotel located in the Western part of the old city. It was definitely a touristy destination, but the way that the original buildings, canals, and bridges had been preserved was absolutely beautiful.
We got there in the evening and after exploring our beautiful hotel rooms, went to dinner with everyone.
Afterwords, we walked around the historic little town. It was COLD.. very cold. And I don’t exactly have a great coat, so that was annoying! But nonetheless, I had a blast. It ended up being me and the rest of my Chinese class just walking around and joking with one another. Eventually, we all got super cold, so we decided to buy some chocolate yummies and head back to the hotel and enjoy some nice warm tea.
We ended up having a kind of final hurrah as a class with Gao Laoshi once we headed back. We are going to miss her SO freaking much! We bought her a present that represented our class to a “T” and gave her hand written cards (in Chinese and English) that expressed how much we love her and think she’s awesome!! I think we nearly made her cry, but we managed to be our goofy selves. We had to say goodbye to one of our classmates yesterday, Nicola, and I BADLY DID NOT WANT TO. 😦
The next day, we awoke around 8:00am enjoyed a magical breakfast, and then went to a different location to enjoy a “farewell ceremony” for us Alliance kids. They put together a little video of all the awesome times we’ve had this semester and gave us a copy of it. SO NICE 🙂
Finally, we went to the Eastern part of Wuzhen and explored around there a bit. Again, it was SUPER cold, but they had some awesome museums that we got to explore, including a bed museum and a really really cool textile museum.
The textiles were so awesome. They were just hanging from these 30-foot bamboo poles and blowing in the wind. IT WAS SO PRETTY.
I’ve seen a lot of these blue cloths everywhere in China, and I couldn’t figure out where they were from, but the museum finally put a bit of clarity on the matter. It’s actually indigo dye; a dying practice that has been around basically since dying became popular.
Nowadays, there are much faster ways of dying the material, but it didn’t stop me from appreciating all of the beautiful patterns that were offered.
I decided to buy a few, because they really were cool. And make for a really, really nice tablecloth…
I’ll have a more reflective post in the very near future…for now I need to enjoy the last bit of time while it lasts!!! 😦