Our First Day in Dalian

     "Today we ate sea urchin!"

Mary's Presentation

     An hour before Mary's presentation we were picked up at the hotel. (More on the hotel at another time.) We drove around the north campus and then the south campus which was essentially across the street. We are continually impressed with the first year students' ten days of orientation (army training). Although the laundry made a mark also. Some dorm rooms have as many as eight students.

     As expected Mary did an excellent presentation to about 80-100 students. While most of the students were glued to her every word some probably found it exhausting to listen and translate for one and a half hours. This was a group of students who didn't require a translator. Very few questions were asked but they took all the literature and some had questions about advanced degrees in America. They are always impressed that students in America could choose their classes, and we were equalling impressed with the fact that we could not enter a building if we were not a student studying in that building.

     Off to lunch, followed by an offer of an hour rest in the hotel. That is the first midday rest that we have had the entire trip. At 2:00 we headed to the largest town square in Asia adjacent to a massive convention complex where the 2007 Summer Davos meetings were being held with 1700 top executives from around the world. We hear that Bill Gates is here. The square is large, beautiful, full of sculptures and light, and was build on an area that ten years ago was a landfill. Architecture reflected the early influence of Russia and the controlling influence of Korea and Japan. Construction is everywhere and while it is very modern and very rich, there remains a contrast with some of the locals.

     From the largest town square in Asia we headed along the coast. The scenery was similar to that of the Oregon coast with the exception of large mirrors on the hairpin corners. The park along the road was lined with large sculptures of sea life and at one point the road resembled Lambardi Street in San Francisco. The beach was manmade and covering with large pebbles and no soft sand. Additional sculptures kept showing up as we continued to drive. Then there was our second hour break of the trip from five to six when we were met by our guide's parents and ushered off to an elaborate restaurant and experience. What a day.

Updated September 13, 2007
Denvy Saxowsky©