济南JINAN

My time in JINAN was so short. However, I’m so glad I was able to stop by just for a couple of days to see part of where my friend, Ryan, is from. It was so nice to see the college town he departed from when deciding to come to the U.S. for his studies.

Right when I arrived, he told me he booked a hotel for me already right next to his college, Shandong University. Honestly, one the best guys ever! After dropping our belongings in the room, he took me to an AMERICAN STEAK SHOP. It was so American I couldn’t stop laughing. Country music was playing the whole time, and I just couldn’t help myself but bust out laughing because I just wasn’t expecting this here.

After this American lunch, he showed me around campus. Compared to the U of M, it was pretty small, and the atmosphere was so different. It seemed like during the weekday, it was still a tranquil area, which was a nice change from crazy and crowded Beijing. The dorms there are divided between males and females, and in one room there are eight people. It’s definitely not as sanitary the dorms in the US, so American students would not be able to handle this kind of environment, especially for four years.

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For dinner, he took me to eat BARBECUE. It was definitely one of the best barbecues I’ve ever had in my life! Ryan ordered this huge lamb leg that we roasted as well as some other minor things. It was just cool to see it being cooked over embers where as in the US when we have Korean barbecues, it’s just over some gasoline grill.

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Jinan is known for its beautiful hot springs and a lake as well called DAMING HU大明湖. We spent my second day touring them, and after, just touring more of the city and SNACK STREET 小吃街. We got some delicious bubble tea that only cost about $1.33 US dollars. This made me so excited for Taiwan because they’re known for their night markets! Although Jinan considered a smaller city in China, it’s still definitely very bustling and lively.

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The whole time with Ryan, I was not allowed to pay for anything. He told me he promised his dad that he wouldn’t let me spend any money. Honestly, it was just getting annoying because I felt like a little kid. No matter how much I complained, he said I’m in China now and have to abide by his rules. I guess it’s just part of the culture thing. I’m so glad I have such a caring friend. I can’t thank him enough for the great time I had! Can’t wait to see him when I get back in the U.S. for the school year!

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