Shannon Kaine goes to China!
By Ally Kampel
Senior Shannon Kaine took the trip of a lifetime to China on March 26 through March 31. Kaine’s sister, Alyssa, a 2012 Seton graduate, is studying abroad in Chongqing, China through the University of Cincinnati. Kaine and her dad took the trip to visit Alyssa who will be is in China for six months.
On the first day they arrived in China, Kaine and her dad visited the Great Wall of China and hiked from tower number six to tower number 14. After the hike, they traveled to Tieneman Square, where the famous Chairman Mao, a Chinese revolutionary, died. From there, they shopped at a Silk Market where they bargained at a variety of stores with the salespeople. To finish the day, Kaine and her dad flew to Chongqing to go see Alyssa. Once they arrived and reunited, Kaine sat in on and observed some of Alyssa’s classes, and then went to Sunny Block, which is a huge shopping area with many different things to buy. Kaine said, “The ironic part about Sunny Block was that it was written in English so no one knew that it was called Sunny Block.”
The next day, the Kaines went to Ciquikou, which was an ancient fishing port transformed into many shops and stores. Kaine added, “They had everything from bracelets to kimonos to squid on a stick!” Ciquikou was very far from the college campus so many people there never see foreigners. Kaine said, “We were celebrities!” Many people came up to them asking for pictures because they looked so different. The day after their trip to Ciquikou, they hiked a mountain. “The mountain was so rough at the beginning because it was just a bunch of steps and it felt like I was climbing a never ending flight of Seton stairs! After we passed the steps and were climbing the mountain it was smooth sailing!” Kaine continued. Many locals would hike the mountain in high heels and dresses to get fresh water that ran from the mountain. “The water was nothing special, but when we reached the bottom where there was a resort, there were little fish to eat the dead skin on the bottom of our feet, and that was pretty cool.” After the resort, the Kaines went to an Irish pub for “American food.”
On the fifth day they were there, Alyssa had previous commitments to school, so Shannon and her dad were on their own. Kaine decided to go shopping, so her and her dad took a long train ride to Shapingba and shopped for hours. When they arrived back in Chongqing, they went to dinner on the college campus with Alyssa’s classmates. Kaine says, “We ate ‘hot pot’, a famous meal in Chongqing! There was a burner in the middle of the table and a giant bowl of hot oil was placed on the burner and we picked meat and vegetables from the oil after it cooked! The oil had a lot of spices so it was super spicy!”
The next day was Alyssa’s birthday, so they had a nice lunch at Sunny Block and rode roller coasters that were about seven minutes long for each ride. Kaine adds, “It was super scary and I thought I was going to die, but I made it!” To continue the celebration, they went to a fancy restaurant close to the hotel and were the first Americans to ever eat there. They got pictures with the chefs outside of the restaurant. After the dinner, they visited a karaoke bar where Kaine jumped on stage and sang an Avril Lavigne song with a random Chinese girl. Kaine adds, “This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip, and after I sang with the Chinese girl, she was super excited and gave me a big hug. The next day the Kaines said their goodbyes to China and to Alyssa, and came home.
Kaine said, “I had an amazing time on this trip! Even though I missed a lot of school, I could never learn what I did if I was sitting in a classroom. The trip was a learning experience in itself.”