The hotel in Hangzhou gave me a “broken bridge” model every day when they cleaned the room, so I left with three.
All in all, Hangzhou has been a fantastic experience, and although unplanned things just worked out perfectly. The Lord is in control!
Hangzhou hasn’t really helped me improve my Chinese, though. I mentioned several of the staff are from European countries, and one I spoke with who is here for a short time can’t speak Mandarin, but another seems to be here permanently/long term and doesn’t seem to think learning the language is necessary. He seems to think that all Chinese will be speaking English in ten years or so anyway, and was speaking as if the Chinese language would die out! I pointed out that there are more native Mandarin speakers in the world than there are native English speakers, and that the language is strongly bound up with the culture and way of thinking. He didn’t seem to get it, and was rather dismissive of the history of the country. Either naïve or arrogant, I’m not sure which.
My next stop today is Xiamen for the weekend. Leo took me for lunch and then to the train station, and Leah and Mia met me there to say goodbye.