A Trip to China: Part 5

Yesterday’s blog was all about what we worked on during the course of the summer school.  To finish, I just want to say again what an amazing time we had, and to say a massive thank you to everyone involved.  You know who you are.

12374784_10156252426455543_6912660767449057567_oI’ve used this photo several times already.  It was taken on Sunday, our first full day In China.  As luck would have it, the start of the Winter School was delayed by one day because some of the academics ran a half-marathon, so instead of being at school on Sunday, we were free to explore.  In the afternoon, we went into Shenzen but in the morning we had a good wander around the grounds of the hotel.  The weather was warm and sunny, and this photo, taken by Paul, perfectly encapsulates the entire trip.  We laughed, and extracted the maximum joy from every moment.  We were where we were meant to be, on time for everything, and made sure that we represented the University of Southampton in a professional manner.  To be able to go on such a trip is an enormous privilege, for which I know we all thank the Web Science DTC, and Wendy.

Our hotel was beautiful, especially the walk-in shower with the huge ceiling rose!  Breakfast was unexpectedly international, so along with the usual noodles and chickens’ feet, there was fresh fruit, yogurt, croissants, cereal and various other things which meant we could fill up.  On the whole, the weather was warm and dry every day, apart from one when it rained really hard all day.  Food as Tsinghua University was…. um…. different.  Hygiene is clearly not quite as important as it is here.  Everything felt greasy and as if it hadn’t been washed in hot enough water.  Sadly, one of our number succumbed to food poisoning on Tuesday night, following a rather grand meal provided by our hosts.  He ended up going to the Chinese equivalent of the out-patient department of the local hospital, but was well enough to travel back to Hong Kong on Friday.

Hong Kong was absolutely stunning, as I mentioned in part 3.  We intended to explore much further than we did, but ended up spending several hours walking through one of the big open-air markets – Ladies Market in Mongkok.  Lunch was a relatively risk-free pizza (the smell of the street food vendors made us feel quite ill).  Even in daylight, Hong Kong is something else.  The streets are narrow and the buildings are tall, making you feel as if you’re enclosed in a small space.  Have a look at the photo gallery and I hope you’ll see that I mean.

If I never go anywhere again, this has been an amazing experience, shared with the best people.  Thank you.

 

 

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