I'll never understand why it takes the Chinese so long to make a decision--I guess it's because every decision must consider the group, but even for your individual dinner order? Three teachers and 11 students went to a Chinese "fast food" restaurant. It took the teachers 5 minutes to decide what to eat and the students about 40 minutes. In every restaurant, the waiters give you the one menu they have (or one per table) and stand by the table waiting for your decision. To us, the decision is simple--rice or noodles, but I guess it's much more complicated. Similar situations occurred for choosing a bus to take home and where to walk to.
It was actually a very nice time. The restaurant wait was fine given it was 100 degrees out so we cooled down a little at the one hour dinner. We went across the river on a ferry that also allowed bikes, scooters, and motorbikes. When the door opened to let us all out, the motorized vehicles won the race, as usual. The river walk is more beautiful than the Bund (really, Stewart) because it has a lot of trees, kite-fliers, and entertainment. At one point, the students took us to a couple who were singing to a crowd. They told us it was "traditional Chinese folk music." They started singing "Red River Valley" in Chinese. Then, they made us three American teachers get in the center of the circle and sing. First, I don't sing and (b), I don't know the words. The song went on for about 10 minutes. Everyone applauded loudly and acted like they were thrilled to see Americans. There were many fancy kites flying, including a lot with lights. My students say old people and children fly kites.
On another day, we went to a park in Wuhan with the biggest Lotus Pond in the world and a few temples. Luckily, we were able to rent golf carts and were driven around the park to see all the statues, etc. The whole weekend showed me a different side of this city, outside of the university and the ugly old shopping part that's close to the school. I know Wuhan is becoming the new economic center of China, but really...couldn't they choose a cooler spot?