View Post

Biting the Bubble

In The Art of Travel, 8. Bubble, Shanghai by Rachel1 Comment

I am a big fan of making impulsive decisions in the name of expanding my comfort zone. I decided to go to school in New York because I knew it would scare me the most, but give me the most opportunities. I decided to study abroad in Prague because I got a little bit too comfortable in New York and …

View Post

Coffee, Bon App, and Mr. Bean: One Girl’s Attempt to Have It All

In The Art of Travel, 7. Travel 2.0, Shanghai by Rachel2 Comments

“Life is a difficult challenge for Mr. Bean, who despite being a grown adult, has trouble completing even the simplest of tasks. Thankfully, his perseverance is usually rewarded, and he finds an ingenious way around the problem.” — IMDB There is a commonly used Yelp-like app in China called “Bon App,” a punny play on the French phrase bon appetit. …

View Post

The Dark Underbelly of China

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Rachel2 Comments

The key to understanding China is that there is always something more going on behind the scenes. In his collection of short stories, Jack Livings takes the representation of China that most travelers have heard of, like high work ethic, gang violence, and the myth of locals eating dogs, and flips it over, exposing a more nuanced and stirring portrayal …

View Post

A Hopeful Future

In The Art of Travel, 5. Politics, Shanghai by Rachel1 Comment

In my Chinese class, I learned that the Chinese language doesn’t use gendered pronouns. Instead, the word ta refers to he/him and she/her pronouns. According to The Economist, it was sometimes hard to tell if 9th century Chinese love poetry, during the Golden Age of Chinese literature, was directed towards men or women. Currently in mainland China, homosexuality is no …

View Post

Thank you, little girl

In The Art of Travel, 2. Communicating, Shanghai by Rachel2 Comments

Briefly tutored by a Chinese-American friend, I knew approximately two Chinese phrases before arriving in Shanghai: xiè xiè, meaning ‘thank you,’ and xiǎo mèi, which roughly means ‘little girl.’ Whenever I’d do something stupid, my friends would shake their heads at me while calling me xiǎo mèi. Somehow, it never crossed my mind that getting around in Shanghai with only …

View Post

Sleepless in Shanghai

In The Art of Travel, 1. Introductions, Shanghai by Rachel1 Comment

The first time I studied abroad, I fell in love with a city through the eyes of someone else. Before I began dating a boy from a different program who had already been in Prague for almost a year, my perspective of Prague was only what NYU had shown me: Old Town Square’s bustling, con-artist-like resemblance to Times Square, the …