The day dawned bright and clear, my last full day in China. I felt a little sad but there was no time to indulge in that feeling. I had a long meeting with the students scheduled and a talk to give. There was a little free time that morning and I used it productively to finalize my presentation and do a little packing. The car arrived and I headed off to Wenzhou University to join the others.
The 60th anniversary celebration of Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) was on October 28, 2018, a Sunday and a big shindig befitting the occasion was planned. I never let a party go to waste so decided to join the festivities and hoopla. “This is a fortunate coincidence, when will I get this chance again”, I thought to myself.
I woke up slightly sore, the long walk at Yandang Mountain the day before was making itself felt. But after coffee and a shower I felt pretty chirpy. The agenda was to meet the students and discuss research in the less formal setting of their labs followed by a little sightseeing. I decided against wearing a formal suit and opted for a causal polo shirt. It was also pleasantly warm.
I woke late with the sun shining in my eyes. I lazily rubbed them as I got up from bed. The scientific conference was over and our agenda that day was to have fun, which, in my case, would be to see a bit of China as a tourist. The organizers had thoughtfully arranged a tour of the Yandang Mountain Forest, a well-known spot for nature lovers and hikers. I chowed down a hearty breakfast and got my gear together.
I woke to the gentle but persistent chimes of my cellphone alarm. The first blush of dawn was lighting the sky. I pulled back the curtains of my hotel room and looked out. Wenzhou was spread out before me surrounded by low, green hills which dwarfed the many high-rises in the city. It looked peaceful in the soft light of early dawn.
Continued from My China Trip part 3: the First Conference and on to Wenzhou
We boarded the train for Wenzhou, put our bags on the overhead racks and settled into the cushioned seats for the journey. I kept my camera and some reading material handy. All the invited scientists were in one compartment. Most of them knew each other and so the conversation soon started to flow. I was looking forward to Wenzhou and the conference.
I woke up next morning feeling refreshed and ready for the first conference. I made a cup of coffee and looked out through my hotel window. It was a bright day.
I saw tall buildings, green trees and broad roads with orderly traffic. I was used to that sight in the USA. But there was a preponderance of scooters relatives to cars. This allows for less congestion, pollution and comparatively cheap transportation in a country of over a billion people, a sensible approach. After breakfast I headed downstairs for our first set of meetings.