ALP – Random collection of random things!

4 Jun

By Tan Guan Rong (Theme 1)

Random thing 1: Rain

Now I know what on earth 毛毛细雨 means.
Imagine plucking out fur from your carpet strand by strand, ironing them straight and then dropping it down on earth. That’s what the rain here looks like. It’s so 细 that you don’t really feel the rain hitting you, but rather just touching you. And so.. 毛毛 that sometimes the rain doesn’t even fall in a straight line! The other day the rain was so light and so fine that it came spiraling down like, dust? Or particles. Or maybe like how I would imagine how tiny snow flakes spiralling in the wind would look like. Though it was very intriguing, it also proved to be pretty annoying because it made our umbrellas more useless against the rain since it came spiralling up towards/around us under our umbrellas anyway. In fact, the rain is so fine that sometimes you only know you’re that wet because of the cold when the wind blows.

Random thing 2: Walmart!

Our recent trip to walmart proved to be quite interesting! We got to make some comparisons between  some common household / day-to-day use items that we are so familiar with, and it was a pretty fun experience.
Firstly, they love mass packaging (pic stolen from previous post 😀 Thanks!)

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And we love it too because it usually means it’s CHEAP 😀

Secondly, they sometimes have SUCH a larger variety of flavours of whatever snacks we are familiar with than back at home!

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That would be pretty annoying for me because I love snacking D: And I’m always itching to buy and try every flavour there is. However! Thankfully, in contrast to their mass packaging, they also seem to love buying individually packed things by weight.  (In fact, the other day we saw a second hand bookstore that sold books by weight! Like 10元 for 1斤 or sth hahah so cool) So they always have these huge area with shelves of small individually packed 1 serving size snacks you can just grab and throw in a plastic bag and weigh to get those printed price tags like when you buy fruits. So I still get to try every flavour of each snack.

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And to end of the experience, the staff don’t help you put your items into plastic bags! Mine just helped me open the plastic bag and proceded to pile the things on top of the bag and I was a little bewildered until I realised that I was supposed to put the things in myself. So embarrassing.

Random thing 3: Environmentally friendly?

With all the reports about the horrible air condition in Beijing, ‘cancer villages’ and whatnot, China really seems to be in a bad state in terms of efforts to be environmentally friendly. However, since arriving here, I’ve come to realise that I actually have been having quite a biased mindset all along. Let me give you some examples of some things that have surprised me.

1)      We’re all very proud of how beautiful Singapore is, with roads lined with refreshing flora, but it’s actually really quite nice here too! There are plants along the road as well and since they just generally have much more space, there are always large patches of greenery here and there everywhere!

2)      Default assumption: No plastic bag

In many shops, if you don’t ask for it, they won’t give you one!  If you ask for one, it’ll cost you 0.2 yuan –

3)      Really thin plastic bags

– When you get one, it’s really thin. Not the thick strong ones we have here in Singapore. If you want to complain it’s not strong enough to take your bottles of shampoo and detergent. Bring your own bag!

4)      Cycling!

They have an awesome bicycle rental system.

Since our class made a trip down to get the transport card that allows us to rent the bikes, we’ve been using it for travel when going for dinner, doing laundry, buying groceries and whatnot. We have 2 small bicycle rental stations within 100m of our hotel, with capacity of about 12 bikes, and another larger one across the road with about double the capacity. The bike is unlocked from its station with a tap of your card, and has its own chain and lock system attached! Whatmore is that it is so affordable! First hour is free, 2nd hour costs 2元(SG 40cents), and 3rd hour onwards is 3元(SG 60cents) per hour. If I’m not wrong overnight is just 8 元! For those who don’t have the card yet, head to longxiao station at 胜利局shengliju now!

Cheers!
Guan Rong

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