Hello once again, this week will mark the completion of the seventh week here for the Design and Technology Experience (DATE). This means I have reached the halfway mark for this program, looking back I realized how fast time has passed. TL:DR my parents came over to Hangzhou this weekend, we made further progress in our theme project and I celebrated my 22nd birthday.
The week started off with my group of friends and I coming back from Beijing. After settling the transportation back from the airport, we finally hit the sack at about 4am in the morning!! Which resulted in me waking up at 1300 for lunch. Needed much willpower for me to correct my sleeping schedule the next couple of days, but thankfully I was able to correct my sleeping schedule. Looking back at my Beijing trip, I’m really thankful that I had the time and financial means to visit this city as its importance as the cultural and political heart of China. As I walk through the important attractions, I’m able to think about the important events that has happen in the past in this vicinity.
This week we were able to make big strides in the progress our theme project. We were narrowed down our focus of our theme to choosing to show the visualization of Brexit, where we decided that we can focus on showing to show how the votes in the UK change across time and show any correlation of other economic indicators and the announcement and development of Brexit. Continuing my research into the Brexit, the Office of National Statistics in Britain regularly release excel data on various indicators across Britain which would be of great aid to our project to attain accurate data on this issue. Narrowing down to a focus topic would now allow us to decide on which visualization we would like to implement in our final project, as we would need to start to develop the code to generate this visualization.
In addition to the theme project that were going on as per normal, my family came down to HangZhou to visit me which coincided with my birthday week which was a bonus! My family stayed at around 西湖 area which was really convenient with good transportation and food close by. On the first day, I brought my parents around 西湖, walking around the perimeter of the lake, catching up on the things that I missed back in Singapore. For lunch, I brought them to try our SUTD favorite restaurant 外婆家 which served affordable and good 杭州式. We also found kittens around many parts of the lake which was a pleasant surprise. The 杭州 residents seem to be fond of cats too, seeing many of them stop to feed and pat the kittens. One interesting observation was that in China there seems to be a rule that grass and garden patches are not for people to trample over and there would be always be fences and signs advising people from traversing across or risk paying fines. It was no wonder that the garden and grass spaces in China is so well maintained, having this strict rules which forces people to adhere to it allows for sustainable tourism in popular destination.
My parents who are foodie, was definitely impressed by the food culture here in 杭州, we managed to try many renown shops and restaurants that sold traditional Chinese cuisine and interesting to be able to compare the food that is served in Singaporean restaurant versus the food that’s served here in China. There were similarities in the general style, but there were noticeable difference in the presentation, taste and choice of produce that was chosen to be included in the dishes.
Overall, I’m really thankful for this week. Having my parents being able to come down and spend time with me was time that I would not have trade either wise, and made the long duration away from home less difficult and instead made it seem like another holiday trip. Till next week!