October 12, 2015

Shanghai 2015

My last school trip to Shanghai! The keyboard was littered with tears as I wrote this. 

If you remember last year's Academic Bowl trip to Shanghai post you'll be glad to see a similar one again. This year instead of being in the middle of the pack, I was the only Senior! No more Katya or Benny to follow, this time I was the most adult-y person (excepting our actual adult chaperone of course).
If you've been keeping up with my Insta posts (which I highly suggest) you'll be familiar with the Citadines Hotel in which we stayed, the same as last time. Managed by the Ascott Limited company, I have absolutely no complaints anytime I stay with Citadines--and love how close they are to my personal destination. While further from the Bund and more popular tourist attractions, this is an affordable apartment-style hotel room complete with a balcony, separate bedrooms, and a kitchen! They offer rooms for long-term stays as well--cannot suggest them enough. They have apart'hotels all over the world, check them out!
Annika having fun with the doggie rhino seat thing in the lobby
The funky decor of the lobby is perfect for selfies!
And my bathroom lighting practically begged for me to take selfies...I had to oblige!

While the actual competition this year was a low point of the entire trip (rude other competitors namely the problem), the team bonding more than made up for it! We played cards everywhere, performed impromptu piano recitals, walked to the convenience store literally every 4 hours, and cuddled with the cutest puppies at a puppy cafĂ©! We even prayed that we would miss our connection in Hong Kong on the way back from the trip so we could bond even more, waiting for a 2 am flight. (Believe me, we picked the longest lines, walked extra slow, fumbled around--anything we could to miss the flight and we still made it! We were all so sad we made it.)
Chinese food level up
Can you guess the particular reason we picked this location for a picture?
Our trip down the Bund was another highlight of our trip. This time we had over an hour to make our way down the waterside walk--allowing opportunities for tons of pictures! I'm still in love with all the art deco architecture on the street and so those photos took up a good chunk of my memory. There was a bit more smog this year, however the tower was gorgeous as ever and we thoroughly enjoyed the significantly cooler weather than Manila.
It was a very emotional trip for me, this being my last trip with Academic Bowl (my 'lasts' continue unfortunately) and I could not have asked for a better one. Honestly I love everyone on this team so much and I'm so grateful they were with me for this last trip to Shanghai. It's not just anyone that is not only willing but excited to spend 8 hours with you in an airport after a missed connection! My roommates were the absolute best and our practice/kwento session with everyone was a total blast. We ate ice cream at 8 am before our flight together, lusted after Popeyes biscuits together, went scarf-hunting together....I'm going to miss them so much and I have so much confidence in them as a team to continue next year. 

If you want to see even more chronicles of my life, including my experiences with street food in Shanghai, friend me on snapchat! Username: madlock445 I can't recommend Shanghai enough, if you're ever in Asia stop by! I promise you'll love it.

Here's to next time Shanghai, I promise I'll be back. 


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