I have been here in Hangzhou a week now and I am finally starting to get used to things! My first few days here were spent meeting everyone in the lab and getting used to the environment, but mainly getting over my jet-lag!! For the first few days I was tired all the time! All of the graduate students that I am working with in the lab are very friendly and inviting. They are taking us out for lunch and showing us places that they enjoy both inside and outside of campus! This week we toured around the West Lake Cultural square where we watched the new Spiderman movie and walked around the river. Now that the grad students have shown us how to get around using public transportation, the other Western students, Ali and Alejandro, and myself are taking advantage of that and exploring the city on our own.
This weekend was the first real weekend of tourist activities. On Saturday the other Western students and myself decided to explore. We decided we wanted to go to the Linying temple on the outskirts of the city. We had no idea how to get there so I texted one of the grad students are he explained to us the bus route to getting there and we actually made it to the temple on our own! Once we got there we explored the scenic part of the temple which had many Buddhas carved into the face of the mountain as well as caves to explore. We entered the temple itself where we saw several Buddhas standing at over 25 m hight! It was a sight to see. On our way back from the temple we couldnt figure out the busses so we decided to take a cab! It only ended up being 7 dollars to get across a city of 8+ million people. That cab ride would have been $100 easily in London! Once we returned to campus we decided to go off to a street market full of outside food vendors for dinner! We found this great place that fries noodles, eggs, and your choice of meat together along with the house spices! I am finally mastering the art of chopsticks and I will definitely be going back there. On Sunday two of the grad students took us to Beita park which is off to the side of West Lake, here we walked around and ate lunch. Next we bussed to West Lake. West lake is the most notable tourist attraction of Hangzhou. It is known for the beatuful lake surrounded by mountains. Here we walked along the lake, stopped to enjoy the scenery and then had dinner. Unfortuntely it was very rainy so the views were not the best! I will definitely be returning here. We had dinner downtown Hangzhou at a restuarant called Grandma's. We were told this is where you get the traditional Hangzhou flavor, and it was delicious! There were many obscure things on the menu such as assortments of bullfrog. We let the grad students order for us as the menu was entirely in Chinese. What they ordered ended up being delicious and I am excited to say that I do enjoy Hangzhou cooking. After dinner we had some time to kill before the music fountain began on West Lake. To kill the time we wandered the streets and shopped a bit! They have much of the same stores as we do in Canada along with their own local brands. We stopped to watch the music fountain which is much like the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. The fountains seem to dance to the music, it was breathtaking!
This past weekend was jam packed but now I am back in the lab! My lab day generally consists of working 8:30-5:30 where I work with the grad students on an industrial waste water treatment program. I am slowly getting into a nice routine here. Right now the research is mostly in the lab and not based in the reactor. Experiments are done in the lab to simulate the reactor. Currently we are testing the absorbancy of the waste coke particles with the contaminants.
My weeknights are mostly spent with my fellow Western students, getting dinner or exploring the places around campus. I also have two roommates from Mongolia who are here studying the Chinese language. Apparently that is a very common thing to do here for international students. One of my roommates speaks good english so that makes things alot easier! They are also very eager to show me their favourite places to eat, shop, and party!
The above picture is from the lookout area at the Linying temple.
The abover picture is one to the carved Buddhas.
This picture is at West Lake with Jhonny, Ali, myself, Alejandro, and Beike from left to right. Jhonny and Beike are two of the grad students from my lab!
Well that's all for now!!
I hope everyone back home is enjoying their summer just as much as I am!
Zàijiàn (goodbye) for now!