Monday, December 6, 2010

First Week in Shenzhen

November 15, 2010

My first 48 hours in Shenzhen would best be described as surreal. After a long flight, which lasted well over 10 hours, I arrived in Hong Kong at 9 in the morning. Unfortunately, my luggage had been lost in flight. My flight in Salt Lake was over an hour late. When I arrived in LA I had to run to catch my flight to Taipei, which was unfortunate because I had planned to see my sister and her family. I was still able to see them, but only as we all ran to the international terminal. I made the flight, but I am sure that is where my luggage was lost. I arrived on Sunday, and after attending church I ate the strangest meal I have ever eaten. I ate pigskin, raw fish, and some other unknown animal byproduct. I was also so exhausted I wanted to collapse.

The next morning I went with school administrators, Dr. and Mrs. Allen, and Mr. and Mrs. Yang to the school. Dr. Allen is an English as a second language professor at BYU, and Mr. Yang works with the school to arrange its foreign needs. He finds English teachers, helps arrange campus tours in America for the students, and he found Dr. Allen to help develop the English curriculum. At the gate there were a handful of students with flower bouquets. Everyone received one as they walked up the stairs to the school. When you enter the campus there is a large courtyard. The school surrounds the courtyard as a half circle. When we arrived there was a red carpet running up the stairs and across the courtyard to the door of the school. All of the students were lined up in perfect lines on either side of the carpet. It was peculiar. I don’t remember the students in my high school ever acting with such precision and decorum. We went to the third floor of the school, and the principle and Dr. Allen spoke to the students from a balcony. It was like a scene from a movie.

Another excellent experience from my first few days in Shenzhen was a leg massage. My back and legs were massaged for about an hour. It was very soothing. Then the attendant brought in a large bowl of ground ginger, and she plopped it onto my legs starting from a few inches above my knees to my mid-calf. Needless to say it burned. After smoothing the ginger to about a half-inch, she put on a few layers of steaming hot rags and then covered my legs with plastic wrap. She took the ginger off after 15 minutes. By that time my knees where red. She said that was because I had too many toxins in my body, and the ginger removed them. I think I will need some reliable quantitative evidence before I believe the ginger removed toxins from my body, but the massage did feel very good.

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