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My top 20 favorite cultural adventures I’ve had so far in China through my own travel and my time teaching with SABEH:

  1. Ordering dinner when the only Chinese words we know are “Hello”, “Thank You” and “Beer”.

  2. Staying in a hostel in an alleyway called a “Hutong” in Beijing.

  3. Watching our sweet van driver try out his newest English phrase with Cheryl each night.

  4. Successfully using my first “squatty potty”.

  5. Hearing my young students call my name, “Ms. Ahme”, across the courtyard.

  6. Sharing the history of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with my Chinese teachers.

  7. Visiting a room with paintings of Chairman Mao where members of a local town would have held meetings during the Cultural Revolution.

  8. Trying a dish of rabbit’s head during a food tour of Shanghai.

  9. Riding the overnight train through rural China from Xi’an to Shanghai.

  10. Walking the Great Wall on one of the hottest days of the year.

  11. Visiting a large Buddhist temple in Beijing while people were worshipping.

  12. Celebrating July 4th internationally by eating paella at a Spanish tapas bar in China.

  13. Experiencing Chinese showers that don’t drain and air conditioning that blows on you all night.

  14. Riding bikes on the city wall in Xi’an.

  15. Riding in a packed subway train watching Chinese dramas on people’s phones.

  16. Noticing that we may be the only European or American faces in the Chinese National Museum.

  17. Avoiding meat on a stick in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an.

  18. Experiencing the vast size of Tiananmen Square while standing in the middle of it.

  19. Negotiating prices for souvenirs with shopkeepers while communicating through the use of a calculator.

  20. The incredible kindness of the Chinese people


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