Over the weekends we made yet another weekend trip to Fuzhou. If you were following me on my posts, you would know that I’ve been to Suzhou a few weeks ago and it was a series of walking and talking. Fuzhou, was slightly different— it was walking and panting as a result of buying the 武夷山风景名胜区游览券 which allowed us to visit various scenic spots in the tourist attraction together with a bamboo rafting ride. At this point, i feel like there is no other way to illustrate what i did other than sounding like TripAdvisor, so here it goes…
Here are the scenic spots we went and my two cents worth reviews:
At this point I hope we all understand the meaning of 峰 because we’ve been in China for a sufficiently long period of time. And that’s right, upon our arrival at Wuyishan Dong railway station…. settle down in our spacious Airbnb,lunch, start our immersion into nature with almost no time to lose.
Apparently, this is the main-est of main scenic spots in the area and I would have to agree with that. Not only do you have to climb steep stairs (at least there are stairs), you also get to see fit elderly climbing as fast as us, 19-22 year olds. And most importantly, you get your cardio fixed for the week and a breathtaking view of what seems like those prehistorical landscape you see in Jurassic World. *inserts the appropriate sound track, if you know what I mean*
TLDR: this is what your eyes need to really see
竹筏码头 (bamboo rafting)
Our first full day started of with bamboo rafting. In case you, for a brief moment thought we were the ones doing the rafting, we were not the ones rafting ( someone was “paddling” for us). We easily overtook 10 other rafts not because we were a light-weight bunch, but probably because we did not “tip” the locals for them to give us a overview of the landforms along the waterbody we were bamboo-rafting through. Not only were the locals thrusting the raft with their upper body strength , they were also thrusting forward with the will to make our “tipless” ride end as soon as possible. Oops.
In terms of view, you basically get to see the 人海 in人山人海 as there were many people of the rafts as well ( which we overtook ). Okay, but for real ,you get to see the bottom view of all the rock forms which look as majestic as the view from the top of the peaks while soaking in some peace and serenity. You also get to touch the cold water and for the thrill, touch the rock forms while the raft is moving to feel somewhat blessed and rebellious.
More climbing. Just that now we were heading to a part in nature where, when we reach the top and shout LOUD enough, we would be able to hear our voices echo through the other peaks. For me, my voice was not loud enough so I guess that was underwhelming on my part but the echo phenomenon is real as I witness it when my friends were shouting in their loud enough voices. So that was pretty impressive…
This was the scenic spot I was looking forward to the most, just because it required us walking through a narrow “nature’s slit” ( as narrow as 30cm) between two rock forms and because its truly rare. This was also where I developed some suspicions that I MAY be SLIGHTLY claustrophobic. Not only were we restricted to the narrow gap between the two rock forms, there were just too many people in such a small space – either shouting loudly to ask the rest to move faster or taking pictures. After what I would describe as an exhilarating time, we were out, with my heart rate feeling like it was higher than when i was climbing the other peaks ( yay claustrophobia ….. )
A badly taken photo:
The attraction directly translate to the name of the tea grown in Wuyi mountains which is a heavily oxidised, dark oolong tea. Without saying, we saw tea plantations after tea plantations.
Most common meal taken here : McDonalds ( fun fact )
CIP AT HUSHU SPECIAL SCHOOL
And finally!! The day has come where the TFI people get to interact with the students of Hushu Special School. Today, we carried out a paper plane flying competition ( idea credit to Keng Hin , also the person who tried to make dabbing a thing among the children )
To kick start this activity, each of us, SUTD students paired up with 1 to 2 children and teach them three different ways to fold a paper plane. For me, I was interacting with an 11 year old boy, 郑翔 who was the most enthusiastic and energetic person in the room.He eagerly hurrying me to proceed to the next step in the paper plane folding that I cannot really keep up because I never really folded paper planes when I was younger. At the end of the folding, he made some throws with all his planes. And for some reason, he blows the tip of the paper plane before making the throw. Maybe it makes it fly further?
Then came to the designing of paper plane which he wasn’t too eager but did it in the end and said he was just going to decorate it and give it to me :’) ( touched ). With some time to spare before the start of the paper plane flying competition, 郑翔 introduced me to one of those “games” the school has along the classroom corridor. WHICH I FIND PRETTY GENIUS! Basically this “game” teaches the students emergency numbers of the police, fire brigade and ambulance (when the student presses the emergency number,119, a light would appear on the police car) It really shows that the school makes it a point to inculcate basic lifeskills in their students when 郑翔 could smoothly recall the emergency numbers to me. Which was a shameful moment for me because I still had to think twice of what number to call when I need the ambulance in Singapore (LOL)
Fast forward to the competition, his plane flew the furthest and he won a thing!!
That was such a tiring day having to match up with the energy level of 郑翔 but it was some hours of fun and much-needed innocence.
We went back to Hushu Special School this week for the second time. Today, we carried out dance lessons which was led by Weeson, Kenji and Timothy. Shout out to y’all for carrying us through this day seriously :’) – I can imagine that it was quite scary to teach a big group of students how to dance… in chinese. Turns out the kids picked up the dance much faster than expected so they danced it all together multiple times, getting better and better at it each time.
Bonus: Among us, talented Kenji, Timothy and Marcus spontaneously performed some wushu, dance and songs for us (WOW). The kids were pretty stoked.
This week the school arranged a trip for us to visit YAMAHA’s factory. No photographs so I guess my post-visit Reflections and Questions report shall suffice and sum up my experience there:
“First of all, I would like to thank YAMAHA for giving us all the privilege to visit their factory. I understand your factory can only accommodate small groups of visitors, so I am truly lucky to be able to visit YAHAMA’s factory while I am in China.
While it is not my first time in a factory, it sure is my first time in a factory where I was able to see almost every process leading to the assembly and packaging of musical instruments – namely the guitar and piano. Was able to see the factory workers hard at work, see materials that made up these instruments that I never really took notice as an instrument consumer myself. The level of dexterity and professionalism displayed by the workers (they barely acknowledged our presence because I think that was how focused they were) made me gain newfound respect for factory workers like them.
What impressed me even more, on top of the scale at which instrument assembly and production, was some of the infrastructure in the factory that enable the assembly line to be done efficiently and seamlessly. The thing that caught my eye was the “tracks” on the factory floor that allowed factory workers to transport items on trolleys from place to place almost effortlessly and efficiently.
Another thing I learned from the factory visit was that while technology advances, there are just some jobs that can only be done by humans and cannot really be replaced with technology. This was evident in one of the manufacturing process where factory workers are found to be in sound-proof rooms tuning the keys of piano. While she had a device that displayed the sound waves of each keys, we were told that the human ear is needed in the process.
It is really humbling that YAMAHA is so willing to continuously improve the way their factory is run. So here are my questions I was not really confident of asking that day:
I understand that the workplace accident rates are low in YAMAHA factory, but what are the measures that the company takes to reduce workplace accidents and how do they handle cases of accidents should they happen?
Is there anything unique to this particular factory that we cannot see in YAMAHA factories in other countries?”
The meeting where we present the three ideas we narrowed from 18. Our TA and Prof gave us many insights and areas for consideration which guide us to a clearer direction to head with our project. The three proposed problem statements and products we had in the meeting were: 1) Creating optimal lighting system for room sharing individuals , 2) Making use of light intensity and shapes to assist breathing techniques to tackle anxiety-induced insomnia and 3) Exposing elderly to natural lighting while they are indoors. After much discussion with the TA and Prof, we learn the most important thing in product innovation — the smartness of the product is one thing. The more important consideration when trying to ideate is to think of the scenario in which the product is being used. Is there are need for this in the market? Are there really consumers who need this product you are going to spend the next few months prototyping?
After the meeting, we discussed among ourselves and came up with the details of the product we are headed towards. Tune in next week to see where this light takes us.
We have officially taken a break from toaster videos. Now on to the final video we are going to make which is due the next week. The topic for the video is documenting the lifestyles of the Z generation. So, this week’s lesson consists of the instructor sharing with us some of his findings with us on some habits of the Z generation. Nothing much went on, so no videos. But if you want to watch our previous week’s video, check it out on: https://wearesutd.sutd.edu.sg/international-exchange/mastering-the-art-of-making-bread/
I told you this was not a clickbait.
Turns out, not only did we visited the home town of one of our TAs, we visited his house. The house was impressive, the factory behind the house was impressive. But what was the most impressive is that !! our prof has such a pleasant relationship with our teacher assistant that he was willing to bring a bunch of exchange students to his house, visit the factory behind it with so much warmth and hospitality ( his parents were there too :’) ) !!
We then proceed to eat lunch, which seemed like the longest meal ever because there were easily 20 dishes for each table. It reminded me of the Chinese culture I was once told: The Chinese makes it a point to over order such that there would be leftovers as it is a sign that their guests are well-fed.
This is the main part, after the 3 hour bus journey : Berry picking ( and eating it at the same time) . I think I would let the pictures do the talking… also fun fact: the darker the berry, the sweeter it is.
PS: Today was the first time we saw our TA smiled and talk. WOW.