No, not the end just yet…  I have one more to post that will mostly be pictures…  The last few days in Shanghai were fairly uneventful.  Cleaning up a few things at work, making sure we bought the last few things, packing, and a farewell dinner.  Oh, yeah.  The farewell dinner.  One thing about China – you can definitely get some things to eat that would be, um, let’s say ‘uncommon’ in the US.  Knowing we’d have this final dinner, the rest of the family avoided more of these unusual foods for when we would have locals ordering for us and, thus, would have someone to tell them what they were eating.  For this dinner, we had jellyfish (it’s crunchy), eel (everyone liked this one), tripe (mixed reviews), intestine (again mixed), pig tongue (winner), squirrel fish (winner), fermented tofu (not a winner), and a host of other foods.  Ketti took to calling China LOAF, or Land Of Amazing Food.  Noah was big on the soup dumplings and he also loved the soup dumplings.  Oh, and the soup dumplings were OK, too.  I’m kidding (not really), but the family did me proud by trying everything that was put out on the table.

I’m gonna admit one more time that being the center of attention isn’t really all that bad and, OK, I do sometimes like it.  There weren’t quite as many requests for pictures in Beijing and Xi’an as I got in Shanghai, but there were still a few.  In total, I have about 150 or so pictures of me with random people.  For every one I got, there were 5-10 taken of me.  It really was surreal and comical at times how people would pretend to take pictures of other things and swing their cameras towards me or boldly just point and shoot.  The volume of pictures that I do have, however, I think as much as anything is a testament to the warmth and openness of the Chinese people.  Or maybe just a nod to my circus-freakishness…  I’ve put together a video of 100 of the pictures that I have – you can see them here:!An8ia3LmeI2WgcF4u_ElkXqyhiycqw.  I manage to get them all in just about 41 seconds. One picture I didn’t get…  Most times when I would go out, I would wear my Mizzou stuff, you know, just in case.  Because of it, I met 4 other people from Missouri and one Beaker.  On learning this person was from KU, I said “I’m 8 weeks into my trip and you are the first Jayhawk I’ve seen.  Thanks for ruining China!”  Her reply?  “Anything to f*ck with a Tiger!”  OK, I laughed at that one.

I happen to have a few pictures from that last week, as well as a few others that for various reasons didn’t make it into a previous post, so click on the first one to enter the gallery… Zia jian!