January 11th

We’ve officially reached the halfway point of our two-week tour, and what better way to spend the day than to do whatever on our own free time? It’s about this time that people start needing some time to decompress and to take it slow, and today, after our early flight from Xi’an to Shanghai, the only thing he had planned for everybody was a “hot pot” lunch.

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A “hot pot” meal is where a group sits at a table with a boiling pot of water and many plates of raw foods. Each person can boil and flash-cook themselves any of a large variety of vegetables and meats. It was a totally new experience for us, and many found it to add a particular “challenge” to the meal! Turns out, it’s not so easy to boil thin slices of beef while holding it with chopsticks!

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We made it to our hotel for check in, where we had a brief meeting for a few people to speak to the group. We left this meeting excited and encouraged to keep up the great work!

From this point on, we were free to do what we wanted! Many of our tour participants took advantage of this time and explored the city! Many students opted to do dinner on their own, finding local “hole-in-the-wall” shops, and many just went to see what was around the hotel. Some even went as far as “the bund,” one of our destinations for the coming days, just to see the East shore lit up at night. There was even a group of students that went out for some karaoke!

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We’ve asked for people to feel free to contribute pictures of them and their friends on their free days in Shanghai so that we can post them on the flickr page with the rest of the pictures, so hopefully, we’ll be continuing to update the photo sets as more photos come in from different sources, but for now, feel free to check out the rest of our photos of our first day in the New York City of the East: http://www.flickr.com/photos/113489266@N06/sets/72157639648249436/

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