This morning began slightly different from what had been our normal routine. The lobby was filled with bags and luggage as the students were prepared for a six-hour long train ride aboard the G41 Jet Train, which traveled at top speeds of up to 300km/h, en route to our next stop – Hangzhou. While at the train station we moved anxiously through the lines and made our way down the escalators to our train. Once seated on the train, we all decided to get caught up on some much-needed rest as we traveled through China’s rural areas. In between our naps we took in the country’s picturesque landscape, which featured spacious mountainous areas and farmlands with small settlements. It was very different from the bustling and jam-packed Beijing city life that we had become accustomed to.
Upon our arrival in Hangzhou around 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon, we were instantly reminded that we were now in the southern part of the country. The City of Hangzhou’s temperature was nearly unbearable due to the heat wave covering the area. The thermostat read 102 degrees. Our new student advisors from Wanxiang Polytechnic, who were just as thrilled to meet us, as were to them, greeted us as we exited the train. We then began our evening together with an opening ceremony filled with food, celebration, speeches, and introductions. The evening ended with a “sharing tradition” whereas our Chinese hosts performed karaoke, sharing songs with us that were important to them. We followed suit by sharing with them some of our traditions of line dances and even taught them how to do the “Cupid Shuffle,” “The Wobble,” and the “Cha-Cha Slide.” Overall, it turned out to be a great time for everyone involved.