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Caucasian 6 foot 4 inches Rhode Islander going to studying in China his Fall semester Junior year of college. Full of anxiety and excitement, follow me through this personal adventure! Contact me: enorman@bryant.edu

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So this is it...

As the hours tick away in my last day in China, in between packing procrastination breaks, I've got some time to really just think back on this whole three and a half month experience to really see what it was all about, what I was doing here, and just in general how grateful I am for this whole adventure. My goal was to find some independence here is Shanghai, go as far out of my comfort zone as possible and see what I was able to accomplish. While here not only did I manage to not starve on a daily basis, as I can not cook to save my life...literally...but I was able to really learn my surroundings to the point where I was leading my friends with directions back to our dorm.  Something even driving back home I can not do. I took some initiative as well and traveled to Beijing, an ordeal in some instances, however being able to travel on my own without family booking everything was a rather new and educating experience.

My life in two suitcases
This post will mostly consist of my thoughts as they pop until my head in a confusing order, going to jump topics a bit here but stay with me here!

I wanted to have an adventure here, live my life in a new land as if I did really belong here. After the first month things started to turn that way. I had my new Shanghai life, my new friends from the IES program, as well as those living in the international dorm. Coming here I never figured some of my better friends would consist of people form Russia and Korea. I am grateful for all the people I have met here though, if things were any different, if the group were smaller as IES has had in the past, then this would not have been as amazing an experience as it was. I am grateful for the friends I have made both from Bryant and not, the Bryant friends I can't wait to see again next semester, and the others, well, hopefully one of us is willing to make a drive and have a small reunion.

Special mention here to all the food I ate. I had quite possibly some of the most bizarre flavors of lay's anyone will ever see in their lives. Ranging from the worst, Wasabi and Shrimp flavored, to my personal favorite, Sizzled Barbecue Flavor. Which, while not tasting like barbecue in the slightest, I still find it rather enjoyable. One of my fondest food memories comes from my rice guy. So some background information, Street Food is delicious and cheap here, and if you keep going back to the same person everyday for lunch they tend to learn who you are and that you really like beef rice. It was a good feeling too when I walk up to this man and he greets me with a rather monotone “你好朋友”, meaning hello friend. SomethingI have yet to find anywhere else. And he easily has the best fried rice I have ever eaten in my entire life. Going to miss that.

My rice guy
Lastly the Eric Mobile is going to find a new home with one of my RAs, I refuse to sell it back to the person I bought it from as I know one of the RAs will treat it better. And I also will not get a lot of money for it anyway.

It had a basket but that rusted off...it served me well though
All I can say in closing is thank you. Thank you to Bryant University for putting this idea into my head. Thank you to IES for helping this plan come to fruition. And most of all thank you to all my friends and family all over the world, if not for any of you then I can honestly say this whole experience would not have been as memorable as it is. Your confidence and support in me has helped me find the confidence in myself, to take every hardship in stride and return back home with a new found excitement for the wonders of the world.
谢谢你们, 我最近要回来了。

Eric Norman,
15 Hours Away

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Storm Electronic Music Festival

I expected a few things in Shanghai, traveling to some rather exotic locations, maybe going to see The Great Wall (check), eating some weird foods, chicken hearts from a Korean BBQ (check), improve my Chinese (核实). I had all intentions of having some fun mixed in with all of the studies and traveling as well, but what I experienced last week was something I would never have expected from Shanghai. The title of this post says it all, I went to an open air music electronic music festival that went by the name of Storm. Me and about 15 of my closest friends all decided to attend this seven and a half hour showcase of some of the best electronic music DJs out there. There were a few unfamiliar names to me such as Headhunterz and Fedde LeGrand, who turned out to be amazing at what they do. One member of the super group Swedish House Mafia, Axwell, was there are really got the crowd excited. The one who really stole the show was a small 24 year old by the name of Zedd. If you have listened to a top 100 radio in the last few months then you have either heard his hit Clarity, or his new single Stay the Night. Both amazing tracks, but even better when blended seamlessly into an hour and half set which went by way to fast. All in all I could not have wished for a better way to start to bring these last few weeks in Shanghai to a close. A city I've come to love with music that I have always loved. It will be bitter sweet leaving Shanghai, the memories I've made, the friends I have, it will be hard to leave them all behind. However, we all knew this day would come. The best thing to do now is hold on tight to the time we have left, forgetting about the number of days left before we board those planes to our homes, and enjoy the life of a Shanghai citizen for these last, final, fleeting moments.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Taiwan photo dump

As the title says, a selection of some of the hundreds of photos I have taken while in Taiwan.

Confucius temple

 Papers adorned with wishes of the visitors

Mascots for the 2010 Taiwan flower festival I think

Delicious snacks from one of the many Night Markets

Cool little toy Gundam from a prize grabber

The Lanyang Museum in Yilan, Taiwan

Turtle Island located right next to the museum

Me and Juan carved Bryant China into the black sand near the Museum

Taiwan loves seafood, I do not

Nature walk

 Paper lanterns with wishes of the sender

Religion Museum 

 Religion Museum kid's zone...it was creepy

Taiwan Parlament

Chiang Kai-Shek memorial

Little dog park and arts area

Alternative arts gallery

And a local skate shop! I was impressed and happy by the selection