By ◆ Juppie on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 3:44 AM

I'm so glad. I think I am going to either go mentally insane or get sick from staying here. (I've starting sneezing and coughing a bit. This is bad. I could've caught a cold from one of the many people in Shanghai. If you've ever seen the railway stations during rush hour...)

Yesterday was an interesting yet boring day. I went to Wuxi, which is a city in China. It is much smaller than Shanghai but still would be a big city if it were in America. There I had to play the good girl for my relatives (I am far from delighted to see them. It means I have to crack jokes, smile, and behave well in general) since my grand-aunt and some others were present. Two of the guys were smokers, and my mom called them a Chinese term for fat.

We ate at a restaurant, I think it was called Skyline Harbor... Or something along those lines. I ordered some noodles, thinking it would be kind of like ramen, but it turned out to be much different. These were dry, big/short noodles. They were still okay but I was much disappointed.

Then we went to visit my great grandma's grave. I have never met her since she died before I was born. My mom had actually lived with her for quite a while rather than with her parents. So my mom was particularly close to my great grandma. (Mom says great grandma is much nicer than my grandma. Maybe that is true XD) We had to hike through some "wilderness" (I was surprised to see it after being in Shanghai so many times) to get to the grave which is just a rectangular stone with a name on it. Plants and dirt were collecting on it. (We just ignored the other graves and went to my great grandma's.) We put out some food and flowers and burned candles and incense. Then we burned fake money (It's a tradition. But a weird one. I couldn't stand the smoke and had to walk off a little ways.) I tried to talk to my great grandma's grave...But I don't know if she can hear me. In China, at that time, the law had been changed so you could no longer be buried, but just burned. So the grave is merely symbolic.

Today I was expecting a relaxing day since the only official plan was to eat dinner with my relatives one last time. But it turned out not to be. In the morning we went to visit my dad at his hotel. My mom and dad talked a lot about strange topics like my grandpa (Dad's dad) being stubborn and not wanting to move to a new house. (Dad and his relatives want to buy him a new place since he is getting old but he might refuse to move to it.)

My parents deciding they wanted to visit Pudong which is a section on Shanghai on the other side of the river. So first we went to look at the river. From a distance it's really shiny and pretty. My dad thinks it's really cool because there are many tall buildings around it. (He likes the city skyline.) But the water in the river is really dirty. It looks like nobody tries to clean it up much. (And the sky was blue today, surprisingly, because it didn't rain...But it was kind of a faint blue, not as blue as California.) And then there was this guy trying to sell us stuff. Even when my dad shooed him off he came back. I guess people can't stop trying if they want to make a living.

We walked for a while (Almost got lost because we're not that familiar with this part of Shanghai) and eventually reached Pudong. I wanted to go into this shopping mall place. It's called Cloud Nine Shopping Mall. (This is really odd because my mom says the Chinese characters written above it mean "Dragon Dream" or something like that, nothing like Cloud Nine.) It had a lot of different shops since it has many floors. Some of the shops are Chinese brands but a couple are ones we know, American/European brands. And there are some restaurants. My parents took a long time just to choose one. They couldn't eat all the noodles. I wasn't hungry because I'd eaten some buns earlier.

I shopped around with my mom since my dad isn't that much interested (Because we are looking for female clothing, not anything he could wear. And he wouldn't let us buy a shirt for him in the first place) and we bought a few things. My mom is kind of worried about the prices of things so I can't buy anything too expensive. Oh well.

Finally it was dinner time. My grandma (on my mom's side) invited my other grandparents to dinner. This turned out not to be a good idea. Not only was I upset at having to be a museum exhibit again but the service in the restaurant wasn't so good. The table hadn't been wiped so we had to wait for a lady to clean it. Then I ordered some sandwiches and they looked nice but they had peanut butter in them (Bummer! I thought it was just ham and egg). My parents bought me a strawberry milkshake but it was lame because it didn't look or taste that much like a strawberry milkshake. (If you want one, I suggest you go to Iceason, the gelato shop, instead.) And my parents say that even if it has nice lights on the ceiling the food wasn't particularly good. (So they don't understand why the restaurant was so crowded.)

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