Today was another travel day where not much happened. It started very early because we had to go to the airport to catch our flight to Jinan. The flight was three hours, so I took this to my advantage and took a nap. I apparently missed some rough air “The flight was really scary, and the landing was even worse” – Karlie *Mrs. R nods head. After we landed and retrieved our luggage, we walked out to the bus that would take us to Qufu. Just walking from the airport to the bus I noticed an extreme temperature change. Just from the little time we spend in the south, my body had adjusted to the warm weather.
The bus ride from Jinan to Qufu was another three hours, during this time we listened to music, enjoyed the scenery, and played just about 50 games of B.S…. I think we have an addiction. Looking out the window I saw many hills and fields used for farming and agriculture. In those fields there was also many villages, many of which looked abandoned. It was unclear if the families were forced to move out, or if they moved on their own, because we also noticed newer looking apartment complexes right next to the abandoned villages.
Early in the bus ride, we stopped for lunch. Since being in Qufu, I have noticed a slight change in the food. It is a lot less spicy and I can easily identify what I am eating. As opposed to when we were south, I just ate everything unquestioningly and sometimes was surprised by what I tasted. Because the textures and spices were something I am not use to. Also, the spices there were very different from the spices we have home.
We arrived at the hotel, which is on the college campus (Qufu Normal School or Qufu Teacher School). We settled into our rooms and prepared ourselves for a banquet dinner with the director of the International Exchange center at the university. This dinner was my favorite one we have had so far. I have really enjoyed trying all the new foods, because the dishes are nothing like the Chinese food we have at home. Though it was so good, I was super overwhelmed by all the food that was being served to us I had no idea how I was going to fit it all on my plate. For dessert we had watermelon and dragon fruit (which is now my favorite fruit). After dinner we were all very tired from out busy day of traveling, so when we got to the hotel we all went to bed.