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LOLHS Takes On Chinatown

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On the morning of Friday, February 16th, instead of hopping on the school bus, about 30 students boarded the bus to New York for the annual Chinatown trip. The trip, organized by Chinese Club, occurs on Chinese New Year every year so students have the opportunity to experience authentic Chinese celebrations. New York City has multiple Chinatowns, and in the past the trip has always been to the Chinatown in Manhattan. However, this year, to mix it up, we went to the Chinatown in Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens. This Chinatown is actually the second biggest in New York, so you really get the full Chinese experience.

 

 

 

To kick off the trip, we went to the New World Mall, which is well-known for its large food court. Since we arrived a tad early, only the J-Mart was open in the mall, so we browsed around there for a bit. J-Mart is a Chinese grocery store, and it was definitely interesting to see what kinds of food people would buy at a grocery store in China. The whole store kind of smelled like the lobster tank in Big Y, so it came as no surprise when I saw the wall of fish tanks at the back of the store. I guess seafood is very popular among the Chinese, as all of the tanks were full of eels, crabs, and fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was relieved to finally leave the chilliness of J-Mart when the rest of the mall opened. We decided to grab some lunch down in the food court. The New World Mall definitely puts other mall food courts to shame- there were just so many stalls. I’m not the most adventurous eater, so I just settled for some vegetable and egg fried rice (which tasted amazing by the way). I also grabbed a smoothie, and I honestly could not tell you what was kind it was, other than that it was bright orange and tasted overwhelmingly like banana.

 

After filling up, we decided to  check out the rest of the mall. It turned out that the rest of the mall was actually pretty small. The stores were all rather small and none of them had changing rooms or storage areas. I’m not sure if this it what malls in China are like, but it definitely was different than American malls. I can say for certain that they like their makeup stores, though.

 

Not long after, we found ourselves back out on the streets in search of dessert and interesting shops. We ended up spending quite a bit of time in a dessert restaurant called 520 Desserts. I’d have to say this was probably my favorite part since the food both looked and tasted great. I tried tong sui, which is essentially ice cream and fruit in sugar water. I know it may not sound too appealing from that description, but it tasted amazing and I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you get the chance. We didn’t really see any shops that caught our eye, but we did stop in a bookstore, which had some interesting titles to say the least.

Overall, it was a really neat and fun experience. It almost felt like we weren’t in the US anymore since everything was in Chinese and we were surrounded by Chinese people. It was a nice way to have some exposure to authentic Chinese culture without the 12+ hour flight, and I feel like I learned a lot about Chinese daily life.

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LOLHS Takes On Chinatown