Our group gathered at the front of the campus around 9:15 am to take taxis to the Shenzhen Bay Port. Though I had a moment of panic when the security officer looked quizzical after I said my name and then asked if I was sure that the picture in my passport was really me, going through the border was a pretty painless process. I was delighted to be surrounded by simplified characters and being able to decipher the meanings. We took a coach bus to a place called Qianhai, which is a “Modern Service Industry Cooperation” between Shenzhen and Hong Kong (essentially, they are building a new city there and it is supposed to be built by 2020) and we also went to a Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub in the district. The district and hub reminded me so much of Dream Town and Funds Town in Hangzhou that I had visited over the previous summer, so it was interesting to see a similar model applied to another Chinese city and the differences between the two.  This one seemed to be a lot bigger (a city rather than a town with many levels below and above ground), more environmentally friendly, and protected from some natural disasters.
We made our way to OCT Harbour for lunch, where Adriana, Yu Laoshi, and I had some yummy noodles (I tried goose in mine). After lunch, some students went back to Lingnan, but some stayed and took the metro to Old Street, a place full of food, clothing, and accessory stores. With a bit of help from Yu Laoshi in decoding what we wanted, Adriana and I successfully ordered bubble tea in Mandarin! We wandered through the streets and came upon a bookstore. It was so fun trying to read the titles and comparing their literal translations with the English translations on the cover. Also, I found out that reading a children’s book in Mandarin may be even harder than an adult one when Yu Laoshi comforted me after I failed to read a Peppa Pig book a four-year-old beside me was flipping through.
We reconvened as a group and had dinner at a hot pot place. I thought it was cool because we each had individual pots and a conveyor belt with food above, so we could choose our own broths and what ingredients we wanted to try. Harry introduced us to a concoction of soy sauce and a raw egg that we could dip food into. Once we finished eating, some people stayed for KTV, but I joined the group that headed back to the university. We took the metro to Luohu, went through customs, took the MTR to Sheung Shui, and then a bus to Fu Tai Estate. I definitely enjoyed our excursion to the mainland today!

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