Today began with a very strange lemon meringue pie tart that had no lemon filling. I ended up eating very little of it. After class the eight Williams students and Yu laoshi left for the walled village of Yuen Lang, found on the outskirts of the neighboring district. After admiring the wall and the atrium hall, we entered together and began exploring. The village was set up with a wider (yet still quite narrow) main drag, and very thin paths running perpendicular to this road. We walked one-by-one, criss-crossing between homes adorned with couplets and occasionally lit red with a shrine inside. The exercise was kind of meditative for me, as we avoided speaking too much around the homes. Exiting and trailing around each of the four corners of the wall was also a quieter exercise, with only the faint sound of canto-pop nearby. A bit later in the day, we travelled into the town for my favorite meal of the trip. The food was really fantastic, and it really felt like a warm-hearted meal with great company and lots of laughter. The restaurant specializes in Shanghai cuisine, and is found in an enormous shopping mall called YOHO (I and II), running for multiple blocks. Anything but quiet, the mall was filled with small children running awry, grand stores and fancy restaurants, as well as a gelato shop that caught everyone’s eye. This very wholesome day finishes with a very long reading for tomorrow, to the degree of a few hundred pages. I am really grateful for the academic piece of our trip here though. I think it gives our movements purpose, and learning about this amazing place makes me realize how precious my time here is.

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