It might be second week for the rest but hey, the exclusive Zhejiang delayed group is here – and no we’re not here because we were lazy (I think). For those going late due to Orientation, rejoice because even though you lose a chill week, you get 1000 dollar less in rent. (Woo Hoo)

In any case, we managed to get most of the things settled within the first three days of arrival – hostel payment, phone card and bank card. There were some things I learnt the hard way though. (TT)

  1. Please bring cash for check in (***). Otherwise you end up borrowing money from your friends (Credits to James once again)
  2. Settle the thing you need in this order – Hostel > Phone Card creation > Bank Card creation. This is because you would need your passport (Which confis- I mean collected at the hostel counter during payment if you check in at night) for phone card creation and you’ll need your passport, Exchange Student ID and your phone number to create the bank card, which you need for Ali-pay and Wechat pay.
  3. In short, don’t play around with Zhejiang Hostel 😀

Orientation Week for us delayed kids was pretty… delayed too, because we only have around 4 days before official activities began, but it was more than enough to familiarize with the vicinity. Some must-go places we went to included Food Street, Yueya building, Family Mart and of course, the Incity Mall out of ZJU.

On Friday, I went to Shanghai!… alone (TT). This was because I went for a community service program in the morning, alongside 11 other enthusiastic volunteers. Honestly, it was the type of experience where one would start to understand and empathize a lot for those who are less privileged than one was in life. The school that we were served in, Hushu Academy, was set up to develop the mentally challenged children aged 6 – 16, in ways that would allow them to grow as would other children their age. We decided to take thing easy, by starting off the first of 3 sessions there with origami and baking. That also coincided well with the fact that we were learning the art of origami as part of our coursework as well. I was certainly glad to know that the children had fun during the session according to the liaison officer and would even like to have another session for the children.  (Also made the first heart shape for the muffin)

But anyway my classmates went off to Shanghai first and I ended up boarding the late afternoon train to Shanghai. But you wouldn’t believe what was on the train (and no this is not a click-bait :D)

The train was way above expectation, for instance the seats were retractable, charging ports were available and the general interior of the train gave off vibes of a business class plane ride. And of course, all these were pleasantly wasted with me sleeping like a log 😀

Shanghai was another miracle by itself even without Disneyland. (Yes we didn’t go to Disneyland so that we can go to Shanghai Round 2 :D) Even though it rained on all three days we were there, we managed to go to various unique places such as the Starbucks Roastery walk along the Orchard street and even a board games café that offered Werewolf game in real life. The Shanghai Starbucks Roastery is a must go if you are interested in coffee, not just because of the extravagance and elegance of the two-storey building, but also because they have a wide selection of equipment used in coffee making, coupled with selected flavors that are not available elsewhere in a normal Starbucks branch. I personally had the Hazelnut Dolce and my oh my was it something else. From the very first sip, I was greeted with all 5 different flavors, to the point that I thought my taste buds were confused – a definite must try at the Roastery.

This was a great start to the summer because when you come to Zhejiang, you realise that there is a change of pace which creates this sense of serenity from the hectic university life. (Also because you actually have the space to consider what really matters in life).

That’s all for this week, and the exploration continues!

Ps. First Milk… with no tea in China (Credits to Keith)

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