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Andy Charlton - USA Pavilion Student Ambassador

USA Pavilion Student Ambassador from Macalester College, now serving at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo
July 21, 2010

Getting on a Jet Plane                                                          July 21, 2010

So I get on a plane back to China in 6 hours. I have said goodbye to everyone, packed everything, and eaten all the cheese-related food I can (pizza, bagels, quesadillas), and took one last long glimpse at Facebook. Still, I feel unprepared for tomorrow. It's been over two months since I've had any consistent source of Mandarin practice, much less any motivation to study characters and in a few days I will be expected to work in those languages. I initially was interested in Chinese because after years of studying romance languages, they all blended and became one big easy, but Chinese was supposed to be a challenge. I soon get to find out whether or not I am actually up to such a challenge when push comes to shove in the queue line at the expo and it's up to me to line up the unlineuppable.

And while I'm very curious about the Expo and the goings on there, I'm perhaps even more interested in how Shanghai will compare with my hometown, the biggest, most diverse, and let's face it best city in the universe: New york. A friend of mine from high school whose parents live in Shanghai told me it's more modern than New York, has more people, and is busier. These things all defy my reality because I have never been anywhere (in my not so modest travels) that comes close in any of these categories. Good thing is I have a New York friend also working at the expo, so we can be elitists in denial together. Over the course of writing this entry it has become july 21st, the day I leave, I will catch you all on the flip side!