Shanghai Times
BJM 02 - 21 - 2010

We just got back from an awesome experience of original Chinese acrobatics. The level of talent demonstrated by the performers was immense. I had high expectations for the show, and in no way did it disappoint. The acts ranged from playful, to amazing, to downright scary. My favorite playful act was probably the straw hats act, which combined the most intense juggling Iíve ever witnessed with some rather impressive acrobatics. The overall best act has to go to the Ball of Death. Five people on motorcycles inside a 30 diameter sphere. I felt that at any moment something couldíve gone terribly wrong. After the show our guide, Chin, told us that during one of his previous tours a woman had had a heart attack while watching the Ball of Death; I donít doubt it for a second. Our time spent in China has so far been quite landscape architecturally focused. We have visited three separate Chinese gardens, all with rather similar design principles. I have been very impressed with the style of these gardens; it is the most successful design of nature Iíve ever seen. The gardens create intriguing passageways through rock crevasses and stunning views of traditional architecture at every meandering turn. Tomorrow I plan on making it to a museum with models of all of Shanghai. It should be a pretty great look at some urban design elements to round out the interdisciplinary view of Shanghai. The trip has reached a point where we are quite used to having no idea what is going on around us. We arrive in each new place with no real idea of how to get around, what to eat, or what to do period. It makes arriving in a new city stressful sometimes. I think one way that some people have begun to cope with this is through getting food from good old American franchises. I have done this a few times out of utter confusion with what is going on at many of the local culinary vendors. I quite enjoyed a meal at Pizza Hut after struggling through streets filled with the stench of fried tofu; honestly the worst thing Iíve ever smelled. This trip is truly turning us into global travelers we are becoming accustomed to handling every city as if it is the same as the one from the day before, very cool.

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