Day 2: CUFE and the Bubble Tea Hunt

Today, we took a trip to Central University of Finance and Economics. We had a presentation about big data and having efficient production systems. It was really interesting because I had never heard of it and never realized how prominent it was in my daily life.

Later on, we took a tour of the university’s library. It cost about 30 million USD to build and it was evident by looking inside. The architecture was beyond phenomenal. The stairs were designed in a criss-cross pattern and some floors were connected by ramps. The best feature of the stairs is that they were floating so the whole area looked so open and spacious.

The stairs in the library

The library also had an innovative seating system. As students walked into the library, they could search on screen for open spaces, book it for a specific amount of time, and sit there. I loved the system because I had thought of it in the past for Pitt and wished we had a system like that. It saves time in searching for spaces and makes your experience at the library productive.

While still at the university, we went through a mini museum and we were able to take in the architect and take lots and lots of pictures. Then we had lunch in their private cafeteria. After lunch we went outside to play some group games. The first was the interlocked hand game. My team was so good we finished twice while other teams were struggling to finish for the first time. They each took about 25 minutes to finally break free. Surprisingly, my group received congratulatory certificates and were crowned champions. Later on, we had a jump rope activity where we were in a line and had to quickly go through the jump rope and try not to ruin the streak. It was hilarious watching people dressed in business clothes jump around and struggle not to trip or get caught in the jump rope. At the end of our activities, we received certificates and bid farewell to our hosts and headed back to the hotel.



After getting to the hotel, some of us were determined to get amazing bubble tea. We headed over to the mall and started our hunt. We never imagined this would be the quest of our lives. We started showing people pictures of bubble tea to get the right directions. Some people focused on only the tea part of the bubble tea and led us to shops that only sold tea. Others focused on the brand name of the bubble tea and claimed it could not be found at the hotel. One woman even thought I was trying to sell her bubble tea! We walked around in circles for a while and alas we stumbled on a bubble tea shop, although it had not been the one we were looking for. We admitted defeat and went into the shop.

We finally received our bubble tea! I took my first sip and instantly felt disappointed. There was a mixture of tapioca pearls and some other bubbles we didn’t recognize. Those bubbles tasted like I was chewing on flower petals. We all accepted the bubble tea was subpar but pretended to enjoy it because of our struggle to find it. What an experience!

The end did not justify the means.

Later in the evening we went over to the Olympic stadium and got to see the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. We couldn’t go inside so we just watched the light displays, took some of pictures, and enjoyed the cool breeze. Then, we went over to the market area. There were tons of little shops but many of them sold the same things: churros with ice cream, gold-plated ice cream, candy, souvenirs, clothes, and different kinds of beef. I kind of got bored quickly because there wasn’t much to see. All in all, it was a great, long day!





Leave a Reply