By Zac Vierra — Copy Editor
While most students spend their spring breaks in tropical locations south of Lasell, junior, Sam Awezec went east — far east. During his break, Awezec took a 10-day trip to Beijing and Shanghai to experience Chinese culture.
Awezec began his trip in Beijing, where he visited the Forbidden City. “It was one of the oldest things that was preserved,” said Awezec. “Everything was original, like an old city that hadn’t been touched.”
He then walked from the Forbidden City to Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world. He desribed it as the size of four football fields.
Awezec said the police presence in China was high, but this wasn’t because of the communist government in China, according to Awezec. “You felt like you were traveling in a secure place with a different culture,” he said.
Awezec said he stuck out in the crowd. He only saw about 10 Westerners while in Beijing, and he also noticed the height difference because Americans are often taller than members of the Asian community. “It was the only time in my life I ever felt tall,” said Awezec.
The public transportation was excellent in Beijing because people could go anywhere via subway, and it costs roughly 32 American cents per ride. Awezec also said the subway maps were in English, as were some food menus.
While in Beijing, Awezec visited Junior Sam Awezec traveled to two cities in China over spring break. Awezec experienced sights such as the Olympic Park from the 2008 Summer Olympics. He visited the Bird’s Nest, the stadium that held the opening and closing ceremonies, and the Aquatics Center, the venue where Michael Phelps won his record eight gold medals. A part of the Aquatics Center has been converted to an indoor wa- ter park, according to Awezec.
After Beijing, Awezec took a bullet train to Shanghai. The train went a rapid 190 mph through the Chinese countryside. He mentioned the differences between the two cities. “Beijing had old parts, and then you walked around the corner and there were high rises,” said Awezec.
“In Shanghai, every building looks like it was built yesterday and there were neon lights everywhere, like Las Vegas.”
While in Shanghai, he spent time in a silk market, which he said was roughly the size of the TD Garden in Boston. “You could barter for the prices of items, and it was a great place to buy souvenirs,” he said. “It was also a great place to learn about the culture of China.”
Awezec went to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, where he stood on a glass floor that overlooks the city, 1,000 ft. in the air. “It wasn’t scary being on the glass floor, but it was kind of wierd standing with nothing underneath you,” said Awezec.