Still, there's a lot to like. I was initially situated in the Sunflower International Hostel, which was a bit of a drab place to stay in all honesty. I played Ping Pong with a Chinese guest, and practised conversing in the language. Ping Pong sounds pretty much the same as Ping Pong in Chinese, which may not surprise you. I ventured out into the old, gorgeous buildings of the local area Fuzimiao (夫子庙), only to be met with the hysteria of thousands, excitedly carousing around sites so significant to them. Nanjing has been the capital of China at various points in history, and there is a feeling of fondness towards it in the Chinese mentality. This area in particular has a high concentration of traditional architecture, which are brought down in my estimation by the number of merchandise stands lining them. The impression of old town is hard to conjure when there's plastic pink glowsticks sparkling everywhere. However, make your way to the farthest ends of this area and there are some spots with lower decibel levels.
There is also a large wall that gives you the opportunity to walk a long distance through the city. From it, you can see the lake, and various modern towers within the city. Aside from some blossoming trees, the cityscape is quite uninteresting, although I have to admit, I like the Zifeng Tower, which is at time of writing the 13th tallest building in the world. It dwarfs the surrounding buildings much like the 101 in Taipei, giving a gravitational center to the city.
Most interesting to me was the Librarie Avant-Garde (先锋书店), a bookshop that from the outside looks like the entrance to a car park. I bought some Seneca. My guide was a wonderful Jiangsunese from Couchsurfing. Having spent some time in Durham, she has developed an extremely idiosyncratic accent, and she shows me so much kindness here. Together we have visited the University, and cooked some dumplings （饺子).