Buddy day! Today, as part of our cultural exchange program, we had two ZJU students, Ruby and Curly brought us on a short tour around Xihu!
We originally planned to go BeiShanJie but were unable to do so because there was some construction going on. Hence, they brought us to ZhongShanGongYuan and GuShan before bringing us to sample some local Hangzhou dishes.
Our guides were very knowledgeable with regards to the history of Hangzhou and of the attractions that we visited, providing us with a very comprehensive summary of the history and background of the places we visited. They were also able to answer all our questions and even provide additional snippets of information that weren’t listed in the tourist booklets.
It was a fun day learning about Hangzhou culture as well as exploring the local eating spots with our guides!
On the 22nd of May, the inaugural Hangzhou Chili Cook Off was held! Being deprived of curry and tomyam and all sorts of spices that we usually have at home, we decided to head down and enjoy the (free) samples and whet our curry cravings. (Although Hangzhou has 麻辣, which literally means numb spicy, the taste of home-cooked food is still something that we miss).
There were a variety of samples on display, including Texan chili, American Chili Con Carne, Chinese Mapo tofu and most importantly, indian vindaloo/masala which was in our opinion the best curry of the day. It was a day filled with free samples and spice, of fun, laughter coupled with sweat and tears as the spice kicks in. (No pics of indian masala though because it was just gobbled up).
We had our very first theme lessons! This week’s lessons was on the history of Chinese Art, and we went through an analysis of several famous chinese paintings and sculptures. Through these, we hope to be able to produce a better final product during our 1 week pottery making visit and be able to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Chinese Art and its History and Culture!
(no pictures because we were busy listening and taking notes though)