This weekend, we exchanged company sites for more touristic places. The sun was shining on Saturday and after everyone had woken up slowly, we left the hotel in small groups. Some students went to the Yuyuan Gardens, an old Chinese garden where even the rocks are designed by an architect. The garden represents peace and quiet in the middle of one of the busiest and fastest cities in the world. Another quieter place that some students visited was Zhujiajiao. This town is like the Venice of China and can be reached with the newest subway line. Here, the students enjoyed a boat trip and a walk through the pretty town.
While some where taking it easy in the gardens or in a boat, others were full on negotiating at the ‘fake market’. This market offers a huge variety of fake products, from headphones to clothes, from watches to shoes, they have everything. All these items of course have ‘the best quality’ and everyone offers you a ‘special price for my friend’. The negotiations were exciting, here 5 yuan (64 eurocents) can make or break a deal.
Everyone had been looking forward to our plans on Saturday evening. At 22:00, we gathered in the lobby of the hotel and left for club MINT. One of the students managed to get the group on the guest list at the exclusive club for free entry and a table with free drinks. The atmosphere in the club was great and everyone loved the shark tanks near the entrance of the club. We danced the night away and stayed here until the early hours on Sunday.
Sunday morning started slowly for most, but not for one of our supervisors, Björn Kijl. He had to go to a conference and had to fly back to Europe early in the morning. The rest of us stayed in bed for a few more hours, some even skipped breakfast which ends at 10 o’clock. Sunday was again a sunny day and most of us went out to visit more touristic places. Again, some students went to the Yuyuan Garden, Zhujiajiao and the fake market. Some also visited People’s Square and the surrounding area. They saw a lot of street artists dancing and having a good time. They also saw a long row of umbrellas, each umbrella represented a man that was looking for a girlfriend.
After a weekend of free time, we are looking forward to getting back to our research and visiting more companies in our last week in China.