July 04, 2007 EditionAlso in this issue...
News from ChinaJohn Bland
Nephew James P. Girolamo of Brooklyn, N.Y., left June 17 for a five-week study trip to China. James took a course in the Chinese language during the past school year at St. Ann's in Brooklyn. His teacher for the course, a native of China, and her husband, are leading the tour. James is now 15 and will be a high school junior in the fall. His parents are Beth and Paul Girolamo.
James sent the e-mail below on June 29. He is 13 hours ahead of our time zone.
Hi from China! Sorry I haven't been able to send you any news for The TD, but I had problems with my Gmail account, and I haven't had many chances to get on the computer.
So far my trip has been very hectic. I have, as well as other places, stayed in: a dorm in Shanghai, a Chinese student's house and an overnight train. The train was especially exciting because there was a criminal hiding on the train and police had to make routine searches of the halls. I'm not sure if they caught him ~ they seemed like they wanted to keep it under wraps.
Something that I think will interest people back home: American food is the most expensive food available. Papa John's doesn't serve slices ~ only pies. Haagen-Dazs is extremely expensive and has a customers-only 'lounge' ~ complete with couches and foot rests. Pizza Hut is also very expensive and has a maitre d'.
Speaking of money, everything is extremely cheap here. A deluxe hotel suite is 360 kuai, which roughly translates into $35 American. One can of Coke (called Ke Ko Ke Le here) is 2 kuai, which is about a quarter.
The weather has also been very different. Isolated thunderstorms seem to constantly drift around the country, as we have encountered at least one at every place we have stayed. When it isn't raining, however, it is very sunny but surprisingly not humid at all.
I hope everything is good in Arkansas, and I will see you all soon. I'll keep you posted.
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