Study trip 2015 Day 8: Wuhan

Authors: Tom Wijnen & Thijs Kruisselbrink

The evening, prior to the night of the 1001 mosquito bites, started separated. Half of the group spend the night the time at a karaoke bar singing songs of K3, while the other half spend their time in the hostel playing cards. Eventually, the karaoke group ended the night in the club. However, the night ended not as good as it started. A bewildered man thought he could drink the beer stash of the group. Completely against expectation the security believed his case and the group was removed from the club without any beer at all. The same man continued to bother the group outside as well; therefore the choice for taking a cab back to the hostel was quickly made.

In the morning a delicious breakfast was served, while everybody woke up enjoying the well known embedded marketing technique of the Efteling (which started a new international guerilla marketing campaign), and took a private moment hanging above a Chinese toilet.

The program of the day started with a tour over the campus of the Wuhan University. Some of the Dutch students had a hard time staying focused during a lecture in the material lab, even though they were completely rested (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more). To be more exact, it occasionally even looked like that the short-legged Chinese was followed by a horde of zombies. The only one who was capable to ask questions was Robin, with a question like: ‘Is the design of this vase random?’.

The moment of truth was immediately after the tour: the measurements and the accompanying presentations. Unfortunately, most of it went ‘into the soup’ due to the many adaptations in the program. Therefore, a few groups were unable to obtain any relevant data. The disillusioned students tried to ask for the opinions of Chinese students in the cafeteria, which was not allowed. This caused some distress with the campus security.

That wasn’t all yet. The Chinese dropped the ball when you look at the streets. This could be noticed when we left the university in our bus. Instead of driving, we were bouncing to the Technical Research Institute of Wuhan. Our program here was filled with irony and controversy from the point of view of building safety requirements. For example, research was conducted to the quality of safety helmets, while in the hall next to it, a glass facade of 15m high was constructed without any helmets or any other safety measures. The answer from our guide to this notion was: ‘So what, even if a Chinese gets injured (or worse); we’ll have a new one tomorrow. We have more than enough Chinese people.’ And that was not all, the reaction to the notion that glass facades can’t be just glued in the Netherlands was: ‘It is cheaper this way, but we engineers know better and therefore walk around those facades in a big arc’.

It was agreed upon that the dinner could be enjoyed separately in order to give the participants some free time. The ladies used this time to enjoy and completely relax in a spa. After everyone had dinner and changed clothes, we got into cabs and went to the clubs to spend our time in the Chinese night scene.