The trip has two parts. One from June 21st to 23rd, and the other from June 28th to July 2ed. I spend the gap between the two parts in Beijing, for detail see my previous post.
Part 0 - Preparation
This actually happens even earlier. It's important to mention this because I was not in the summer school camp list until very late. So was Lin, even that he was an official staff. We worked together to pick up some Italian professor and welcome International students. Among them I met Stefano Vatale and Claudia Giorno who became my friends later. Lin and I actually helped each other a lot during the whole period. We earned ourselves both the trip to Zhejiang and Beijing (and all the trouble lol). He does the most of the work though, really appreciate that.
Part 1 - 湖州
Now that it's a common phenomenon to go traveling under the name of research, we just enjoyed ourselves during the trip. We went to 安吉 on the first day and payed a visit to the China Bamboo Museum Garden. Boring trip. Stef and Claudia were excited about the pandas but it's common for native Chinese. I had a very unpleasant feeling for any kind of circus show. I am much too aware of the cruel training process and the consequent artificial effect is extremely boring. Additionally, circus staff here shares some moral degeneration which makes the whole show even disgusting. Apart from making money from all the animals (which has nothing to do with bamboo), they are mean about all the photo-taking process. Stef payed ￥30 and only got a low-quality printed photo of him holding a parrot, without any electronic version. I have to admit the whole park is well-designed, and that's the best comment I can give. All artificial. Everything was fake. Every beam and column which seems to be made of bamboo were actually made of steel or reinforced concrete. And the museum which had its strange appearance of something like a tomb had nothing good inside it. All were boring artificial models of ancient objects which can be even labeled ridiculous.
The day was supposed to be the 'research' day. However, we spent the most time visiting the exhibition room of the factory. Though not organized by tourist agency, this was even similar. Finally, we visited some real workshop. However, there was no sign of working. I don't know if the visit actually disrupts their production or it was just that regular atmosphere of desolateness there. So basically, we saw the production line and the final products, without knowing the how the process actually works and how the products were produced. Later we paid a visit to the 'Bamboo Sea' via bus but the trip was destroyed by a sudden rain. The weather was like pouring the Pacific through a sieve.
So we have to buy Stef an umbrella who happened to forget bringing one. We headed for the supermarket and found the only satisfying umbrella there was not labeled - meaning that we can't buy that. It was then Stef had that brilliant idea, 'why don't we just take it?' So, we saved the trouble paying that and went straight away. lol
Stef bought Lin and me an espresso in a local Starbuck. I donno if he was playing tricks because he didn't remind us to drink carefully. We ended up drinking the espresso with one gulp and it tastes like Chinese medicine - bitter and harsh. But I can tell the smile on his face to be authentic, von cula.
Though it's meaningful to mention the trip later to Tianhuangping Pumped Storage Power Station. Gabriele Candela, Claudia Giorno, Esther Lee and I took the trip even warned that the weather might have been too foggy to see anything there. And the warning was true. Orz. Beautiful scenery along the road though.
It's the day meant for traveling around the famous ancient town 南浔. It's not until I paid the tickets and entered the park that I found out that I’ve already been to this park, and that time I entered the park right through a backdoor without paying for anything. Though it's later demonstrated that the ticket was worth buying, only if you know how to use it 'legally'. And that happens to be the funniest part of this trip.
It's a coincidence that Lin once paid a visit here too. So, we two old visitors went on wandering around buy ourselves. That's when we realized the value of the tickets and use that for entering the 藏书阁, where we were told that all the books were 'protected from the public'. And we found a staff only door there. You guess what happens next.
From my experience, all interesting place would either be labeled 'staff only', or be locked up some way, and the unlocking process itself brings about part of the Interest. If you play Watchdog, you know what I mean - only this time you go completely off the radar and definitely must not knock down anybody. That's obvious.
At the end of the day, Lin brought me the best news - through his effort we finally earned ourselves the tickets of the BARC 2018, and we were heading for Beijing. See my previous post for detail.
Part 2 – 海宁
Hard Seat Night
For the first time I board a hard seat train for night. I ended up putting my luggage case on the seat and slept on it with my feet on the table. Through careful adjustment the 'bed' was comfortable enough to have a nice dream.
Zhejiang University International Campus. I finally met Stef and Claudia here. As representatives from Reggio Glabria University, they were here to attend this summer school during which they were scheduled to present their winning plans in an architecture competition to the Italian Ambassador to China. According to the schedule a real pavilion was to be built based on the 1st prize plan which was designed by Stef and his team. The point was to show that by International cooperation Sino-Italian projects can achieve progress. Unfortunately, the whole construction plan, according to Stef, was 'shit'. After some fundamental modification with the original prize-winning plan, the pavilion became neither artistic nor easy-to-build, thus making it a total 'shit'. So, we roughly spent 1 day rendering a video in order to present the original idea, 1 day making a scaled paper model to do the same, and 1 day building up the 'shit'. All went smoothly. When the ambassador came to visit us, he gave an extreme artificial comment like a politician always does - 'Everything half-completed is beautiful'. So, we took a photo under the half-built 'shit' together. In fact, the original prize-winning plan was really beautiful and interesting. Claudia presents a bamboo building originating from 阴阳 and making sounds like a flute in the wind. Stef presents a pavilion making full use of perspective view and assembling freely and easily. No actual progress was made during the whole Sino-Italian cooperation program. I can see that architects like Stef and Claudia would think twice before undertaking any Chinese projects in the future - especially from NJTECH. For detail, see project RE Frame.
Hard Seat Day
For something left there I had to visit NJTECH one more time. On the train back, a girl fell asleep on my shoulder. Sometimes I wonder the world to be prude. When a boy does this to a girl it's generally considered to be indecent, otherwise it's totally acceptable. Sometimes one just need a shoulder when they are tired.