Weihai: Saying Goodbye

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» Weihai: Saying Goodbye
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Posted on: July 14th, 2010

Today’s been both tiring and emotional…

Having gone to bed at 7am last ‘night’, only to wake up again for our last Chinese class at 9am; I was pretty exhausted for the majority of the day! For our final class, as well as learning a few more basics (or re-learning for some of us!) we did a little calligraphy which I found much harder than I expected it to be! After our Chinese class, we had enough time to head back to the hotel and grab our things before making our way to the Observatory (yes the observatory we were supposed to be going to last week!)

Unfortunately, since I took a few minutes more to leave the hotel, everyone had already left by the time I got down to the lobby! Determined not to miss out on the observatory, I grabbed my bike and cycled full-force along the coast. I had no idea how to get there, but all along the journey I could see the observatory towering up above; so eventually I found my way round to the entrance. That alone probably took 30 minutes. Then I spent another 20 minutes from the entrance, taking my bike up a VERY steep, long, winding road all the way up to the observatory in searing heat. Needless to say, by the time I reached the top I was completely drenched in sweat! Then, to my horror, I couldn’t find any of the group in either building! Thankfully they were just really high up and after five minutes of just sitting outside trying to catch my breath and thinking about what to do next, I heard them making their way down and breathed a sigh of relief! I had just enough time to run up to the top and get a few pictures of the observatory before they closed up. The group then gave me the wonderful news that the route they took to the observatory was through the university campus and took only 10 minutes….typical! Still at least I got some exercise and it definitely woke me up from the night before! 😛

Obviously the whole ordeal left me dying for food and water so we all went down to the canteen (via the short route, rather than scenic this time!) to grab some lunch…for less than a quid, as usual! 😉

After lunch, it was time for our last organised activity with our friends from the other countries: Calligraphy. Like the dumpling-making, we were all on groups on different tables and had a teacher showing us what to do. As we’d already had a taster of calligraphy in our class earlier, I was sure I’d do better this time round. I was wrong! I mean it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Let’s just say all my strokes came out a bit too thick and smudgy! 😛 I spent most of the time watching the professionals do it instead. On a side note, the korean girls were really good at it and even did some brush artwork!

'Frindship'....Hmmm 😛

Our group along with some of the Swedish and Japanese students eventually resorted to smudging ink over each others faces and painting moustaches. Sam, Rex and I decided to opt out of that, too messy! 😛

The night came to a close with the part we were all dreading; the leaving ceremony and farewell dinner! Tonight was our last chance to see all our new friends from Sweden, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Joon had prepared a speech for the ceremony which he checked through with Rex and I, then we all headed in to get things started. Up on the big screen was a video/slideshow prepared by the university with hundreds of pictures from the past couple of weeks and the whole thing was really touching! During the ceremony, everyone (except our group, we have a ceremony in a week’s time) received certificates. A few of us also exchanged gifts (thank you Taeko and Ryoko for the Naruto keyring!) before going for our final meal together. We had the usual Lazy Susan arrangement on the table with food coming dish-by-dish throughout the meal. We had some great conversation and some priceless photos (see the picture of Deniz and Keita in the gallery below!) before saying our final goodbyes, exchanging contact details, taking photos and all getting a little bit teary-eyed (Bhavneet especially!) 😛

It’s gonna be a real shame to say goodbye to everyone, but at least we’ve made loads of new friends and it means we have people we can get in touch with if we’re ever travelling in Sweden or Asia! Plus for me, it’s not quite goodbye to everyone yet as I’ll be meeting up with Joon in Korea next week!

While tonight is a little sad because of everyone leaving, it marks the start of our group’s awesome trip to Qufu (Confucius’ birthplace), Mount Tai and Jinan. So I’m also quite excited! The downside is, we’re going on a 7 hour journey by coach and it’s leaving at 6am tomorrow morning! So it’s an early start, plus I haven’t packed….better get started with that!!! 😛

Everything we get up to in Qufu will be on here tomorrow 🙂 ‘Till then, 再见!

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I'm a 21-year-old university student currently living in Oxford, UK. I love travelling and hope someday to move abroad permanently. The best part about travelling for me is having new experiences, soaking up all the culture and making new friends from around the world. As well as travel, I love music (live or otherwise), gaming and cinema.
Marc
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