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Sunday 22nd July 2018

A Day with a Chinese Family

Students spent the day with their new Chinese friends and their families. Below are their accounts of the day.

 

Adam Lewis and Adam Cole

Adam L: We started the day at Adam Cole’s buddy’s house. It was hard to comprehend the reality that both Peter and Jack have to ride an elevator up to their respective family’s home.  I asked Peter if he often visited Jack’s family home as they lived only two apartment buildings away from each other. His response was shocking to me as they were unaware that they even lived in the same neighbourhood as each other until recently, despite attending the same school. (In Glossop everyone knows everyone- where they go to school and where they live). This highlighted the dense population here in China. When we entered Jack’s home, we were instructed to take off our shoes and replace them with ‘house sandals’ and immediately were offered a peach. The offering of gifts such as fruit and tea was continuous theme of the day too. After making dumplings together we were offered to eat the feast that we had prepared along with beef, fish, noodles, broccoli and pea soup. Although this was kind of the family, there was so much food we couldn’t possibly eat it all. Food was followed by a trip to the biggest supermarket in Changzhou where Jack further bought us a range of gifts. When we arrived back in the neighbourhood, we went to Peter’s family home which was located on the 9th floor. As soon as we reached the apartment we were taken through the same routine of swapping our footwear. We sat at the dining room table which was beautiful and the view out of the window was equally as fascinating; a panoramic scene of Changzhou City. We taught our buddies some card games and like before, we were constantly being brought food and drink. At 6pm, Jack’s family arrived at Peter’s apartment and together we went to a Chinese Hot Pot restaurant for dinner. Whilst we were driving to the restaurant we gave our gifts to Peter and Jack. Peter said we should visit China again in the future and that we would always be welcomed and have a place to stay. We both enjoyed the Hot Pot experience, choosing from the many different meats and vegetables on offer. We enjoyed returning to the school and reuniting with everyone. It (Adam L) made me realise how much I had missed being with everyone, even Mr Redfern! It was nice to sit together in the school’s executive board room to exchange stories and experiences. I certainly do not look forward to not being able to spend as much time with my #TeamSPH family when we finally arrive home in Glossop. 

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Samuel Groarke and Amber Meigh

Sam: Firstly, we went to my buddy, Jason’s house via the bus. There we met Jason’s three cats and a cute dog, which happened to be frightened of the cats. Jason’s parents gave us some grapes, dragon fruit and a strange segmented white fruit that tasted like orange yogurt. Jason and Ollie (Amber’s buddy) took us to a posh restaurant/hotel for lunch. We ordered on iPads and received a Hot Pot each, unlike the one big pot we had in Beijing. I tried some Ox’s stomach which tasted a little like Velcro. The food cooked extremely quickly although we were both given sieves to help us take out the food from the pots because we failed to master the chopsticks on this occasion. Afterwards, Ollie and Jason led us to Ollie’s house via the bus. Ollie’s house was situated on the 8th floor of an apartment building. There we greeted his Grandmother, Father and Mother and watched half of the Transformer film (one of Ollie’s favourites).

Amber: In the house, we were given slippers to wear, but they were unable to find a pair big enough for Sam’s feet! They took us to the Global Harbour Shopping Mall where we went on a Ferris wheel, which happened to be on top of the roof of the shopping mall.

Sam: That experience was entertaining to say the least as Amber spent most of the time screaming in fear due to the height of it. We went into a few shops and Amber almost bought a giant teddy bear but didn’t in fear of the wrath of Mr Redfern.

Sam: We walked back to Ollie’s house and met his Aunt and Uncle. We were taught how to make dumplings, I failed, but they were still good to eat. Later, Ollie showed us how skilful he was with a Rubrics Cube, solving it in only 39 seconds! Amber even filmed it to prove to others just how quick he was.

 

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Alex Oswald and Emily Wood

Eric escorted us off the school campus and his dad drove us to a different area of Changzhou, to his friend’s home. His friend has a very large and impressive house with 5 floors. Firstly, Eric gave us a tour of the house using the elevator (they have their own house elevator!) and showed us the ancient Chinese artwork and Jade sculptures they had on display. After the tour, Eric’s mother and family friends taught us how to correctly fold dumplings in many different styles. We tasted dumplings that were steamed and boiled (both of us preferring the steamed ones). After eating the dumplings, we were greeted with many strange and exotic foods such as cheese ice cream, chicken feet and king shrimp. After lunch, Eric’s mother invited us to play a traditional Chinese game. Later, we were driven to a shopping mall. At the end of the day, we went to a restaurant known for its award winning roasted duck. We were escorted to a private room for our meal where we tried even more strange foods like fish heads, duck feet, prawn curry, bao (dumplings) and squid. In the car on the way back to the school, we exchanged gifts with Eric to thank him for a great day out. 

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Rebecca Rhodes and Chloe Dixon

Our favourite aspect of today was getting to know our buddies better. It was a day to remember and definitely enjoyable. We started the day at a coffee shop and then continued to the plaza where we went to an old bookshop. We then had a very bumpy bus ride to the shopping mall where we ate a lot of different foods, but always finished with fruit (like most meals here). We then visited an arcade where we won lots of prizes and cuddly toys. We then went to Jenny’s home; it was lovely.  Her Dad showed us his stamp collection and explained a little about Chinese history. Afterwards, we played different card games taught by both Chinese and English students. For dinner, we ate dumplings and were introduced to different specialities like chicken feet and red bean buns. Following dinner, we visited a supermarket and joined some locals for a dance in the public square. On the way back to school we all talked about music; we all have similar tastes and likes.  Clearly whilst our cultures are may be different, our interests remain the same. We had an excellent day today, we made friends for life and some good, life-long memories. 

 

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Samantha Bruce, Ella Hargreaves, Ella Jozefczyk and Katie Collins

Even though we were all a little nervous about being away with our buddies today, it ended up being an excellent day and we all had a lot of fun. We didn’t go to mine (Katie) and Sam’s buddy’s house as she lives quite far away from the school so we went to Ella’s buddy’s house. She lived in an apartment and it was amazing inside.  She told us that her parents had decorated themselves. After we greeted her parents, we sat down and we were smothered in different fruits and foods such as watermelon, peach and crisps. We played 5 in a row while the parents prepared the food. We helped to make the dumplings and then sat and watched a Chinese game show on television. We sat down to eat lots of different dishes. Some could be described as interesting… but, all were a little odd in taste to our Western taste buds. We couldn’t finish our food as we were given so much. After lunch, we gave family presents to thank them for having us and came back to school for a rest before we headed to the shopping mall. When we had finished resting, we met the buddies and got on the bus. The shopping mall was massive- a whole 6 floors. We were most excited about the Sephora, a beauty and perfume shop. Once we had finished shopping, we went to Starbucks (they even have them here in China!). After this we went to the 6th floor and visited a Hot Pot restaurant. As part of the meal, we ate cow throat and duck intestine. Overall, the meal was lovely but we soon had to depart and return to school.

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