Weekly Wrap Up: Calligraphy and Longhua Temple

April 11, 2016
So, it's that time again where I wrap up what I've done all weekend. On Friday after school, I ran some errands with Lauren like going to the bank and picking up breakfast food. On the way to the bank, she started to tease me because she knows I like milk and there is an entire shop that sells nothing but milk and ice cream. We thought that was pretty funny, but it didn't stop us from each getting a Magnum bar for our walk home!

On Friday evening, Scott and I headed to our next Chinese cultural lesson. This time, we asked our instructor Rita to teach us calligraphy. She showed us how to use the brush and we practiced with some easy characters first like numbers and 山, which means mountain. After that, we started with harder characters. Rita said she thought it would be a good idea to try harder characters because they look more beautiful, and she got us a fresh sheet of paper so that we could try to make the characters for five Chinese Confucian principals: Benevolence, Justice, Manners, Wisdom, and Credit. Calligraphy was fun, and I was able to leave with a great souvenir. I'm probably going to hang up what I painted in my bedroom since my walls are pretty bare.

On Saturday, I convinced Scott to take a trip out to Longhua Temple with me. Last week, I was reading my Lonely Planet Shanghai and saw that Longhua Temple was the closest major temple to where we live and that the best time to go is during the fair. It's supposed to be a time when wishes come true and when the peach blossoms are in bloom. The fair just happened to be this Saturday, so off we went! Outside the entrance to the temple is a pagoda, which made for a lovely photo when paired with the flowers below it.

To get in, we had to pay an entrance fee of 10 RMB, or $1.60.

The temple was decorated with red lanterns, and statues of lions had red bows around their necks. I'm not sure if it's always like that or if those were decorations for the fair. There were many older women hanging around chatting, eating, and folding paper decorations, too. After a bit of people watching and seeing the main part of the temple, Scott and I decided to take a look at the rooms on the side. To our surprise, one of the rooms was full of statues of golden arhats, or Buddhist saints.

The temple is the oldest and largest temple in Shanghai. It was first built in the year 242, but over the years many of the original buildings were damaged in war. At any rate, it is pretty amazing that Buddhists have been coming to this spot for so long.

We discovered that there was also a restaurant serving up a tasty-smelling mushroom noodle soup. We weren't planning on eating there, but the soup smelled so good and we were starving and it was only 15 RMB ($2.40) for a big bowl.

After the temple, we took a taxi to the Fabric Market so that we could get what we had ordered last week. Scott looked dapper in the suits he had made and highly recommends shop 233 for men's clothes. I picked up a navy blue spring jacket from shop 253, and love it!! It's really flattering and fits me perfectly. I went down to shop 126 where I got the rest of my stuff made, and only two of my blouses were done, so I have to go back to pick up my shorts, romper, and dress. It's kind of annoying because the Fabric Market closes at 6, so going on a school night is not ideal. At least we get out early on Fridays, so I'm going to try to go then. The blouses were just okay. I'm not in love with them like how I am with my spring jacket.

Scott and I took the subway to Xujiahui and stopped at Starbucks. It was so crowded in there that it was impossible to find a seat, so we headed out. We went to Wagas so that we could get take out for dinner later. I got an avocado chicken sandwich and a piece of cheesecake. We got in a taxi and headed back to near where we lived, but went to the foot massage place again. All the people that work there do such a good job besides one man...He is the WORST, but I don't want to hurt his feelings and say,"No, I just would rather have anyone but you." He's so nice and is the only one that speaks some English. Scott said he didn't mind him that much and would take one for the team since I had to have him twice already, but halfway through, he admitted that the other ladies in the shop were much better. Our plan next time is to peek in the shop and see who is working first and whether or not he already has a client so that neither of us get stuck with him. During our massages, we sat right by the door, and we felt entertained because we could both people watch. You never know what you'll see in China. A random lady walked by holding a guinea pig. She saw me looking at her, and then came right up to the shop window and pressed her guinea pig up against the glass and started kissing it. I was dying...

Scott insisted that his dinner was not enough food for him and that he also wanted a snack, so we walked over to the wet market and each bought some dumplings. I need to do this more often because they're delicious and so cheap!

We went back to Scott's place, had our dinner, and planned our entire two week trip to Andalucia, Spain. Here's what we are thinking we will do!

Day 1: Arrive in Tarifa from Morocco. Explore Tarifa for a few hours. Take bus to Vejer de la Frontera.

Day 2: Jerez de la Frontera

Day 3: Arcoz de la Frontera

Day 4 & 5: Ronda

Day 6 & 7: Malaga

Day 8, 9, 10: Granada

Day 11 & 12: Cordoba

Day 13, 14, 15: Sevilla

In the beginning of our trip, we'll be a little rushed, but we wanted to go to three white villages, so it's going to have to be like that. We also booked a beautiful Air Bnb for next month when we will spend a night in Hangzhou!

After our planning, we decided to watch the movie Regression. Some parts were creepy, but it has also been awhile since I saw anything even remotely scary.

Sunday was a chill day for me. I just stayed in and binge watched episodes of Scandal and cleaned my apartment. Oh, and I updated my About Me section on my blog, finally. It no longer says that I'm living in Savannah, yay!

What was the best thing you did all weekend?

Weekly Wrap Up

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