Hello from Hangzhou, China!
Did you know that this is the very civilisation which first harvested green tea for consumption? That’s right. And that’s why the 12 of us who picked this theme are so excited to be embarking on this journey.
The name of our theme is Ecological Tea Garden, and from that name alone you can see how TEA-centered our learning experience would be. However, when we first met our mentor she gave us a taste of exactly how much hard work goes into Tea plantations and the entire scenery of Hangzhou. I use the word taste here as we literally sat down in our first meeting to have the best longjing tea (龙井茶, a type of green tea that Hangzhou is known for) of the season – the ones hand-plucked right before the Chinese qingming festival. Moreover, we found that we were now enrolled into a landscape architecture module crafted specially to open our eyes to China’s scenery.
Even on the way to our classroom (unfortunately, it is a 30min walk away from our hostel block) we are treated to a PROPER breath of fresh air. There are two routes – the scenic route, where you admire a family of geese and the insane visualisation of landscapers; and the super sunny route along the main road, where you marvel at the impossible number of bicycles, ebikes, pedestrians and cars all naturally avoiding each other as they zoom to their destination. It’s a struggle for the typical Singaporean at first – we are too used to road rules, not road rage; but after a while, you assimilate into the structured chaos.
Personally, I already feel that China gives me a most beautiful vibe after being here for just one week. There is a lot to see. There is no time to waste. Stay tuned for more on our weekly adventures!