ALP – Bittersweet Day 1

13 May

By Chia Zhong Ying (Theme 1 – Traditional Crafts and Artifacts Design)

It was a bittersweet day, because I was going to leave my family and friends behind in Singapore while I embarked on an expedition to China with my “second family” – my awesome mates from SUTD!

We took two flights which included a transfer at Hong Kong International Airport and I can tell you – this was the longest sleep I have taken since I joined SUTD one year ago. I slept entirely for both flights and I think it was enough to cover the sleep loss I experienced during the long nights studying in school.

Finally, after about seven hours in the heavens, we descended onto Earth again to be greeted by a gust of warm (but not so humid) air and a very aggressive bus driver who journeyed us from Hangzhou Airport for Zijingang Hotel.

Preparing to board the bus at Hangzhou airport

Preparing to board the bus at Hangzhou airport

I was lucky to sit next to the driver firstly because I got to take this nice shot of the moon overlooking the route towards our destination and secondly because I could save up on sleep as he was swerving in and between cars like a rugby player avoiding incoming opponents.

Moon ahead

Moon ahead

I took a walk around the proximity of the hotel with my room-mate, Yam, and it seems that Zhejiang University is actually just a 5 minutes-walk from our hotel. We explored the nearby provision stores and bought Subway for dinner. The beef tasted like soft chicken… hmm – something wrong there? Just wait 24 hours and I can tell you the answer. 🙂

Near the hotel

Near the hotel

For now, I have only a couple of expectations for this trip:

  1. My experience in the next 105 days would be made meaningful and interesting by my friends and mentors.
  2. I hope to dwell deep into how traditional artifacts can have a positive or negative influence on modern industrial designs, or vice versa, in the context of Chinese culture.
  3. I want to forge deep and lasting friendships with my fellow exchange students and especially with those in my theme-group.
  4. I want to look forward to every single day!

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