This is the day of our first non-tourist site visit. We visited a place called Central University of Finance and Economics. We began our visit with a small lecture from a professor at the university about supply chain. As a chemical engineer, I personally found this lecture boring in terms of material, however there were some highlights. One of which was the introduction of Single’s Day. This holiday occurs only in China on November 11 (11/11). Notice there are four ones in the date, hence the single part of it. This holiday is celebrated by single people, but more importantly it is the largest global sale. The professor told us that 812 million deliveries take place on this day, which is more than the population of the United States. This helped me to recognize how important e-commerce was in China.
After our business lecture, we were served another family style authentic Chinese meal. Just like the rest of them, I had quite a hard time distinguishing the true identity of the foods. One food stuck out in particular though when a plate of fried fish came out. Now when I say fried fish you are picturing a filet. That is not the case. This was head to tail, a fried fish. Nobody went for them until the students that we were having lunch with explained to us how you are supposed to eat them. Once one person had one, everybody decided to give it a go saying “eh, might as well try it while I’m in China.”
After lunch, we had a tour of the rest of the campus. My favorite part of the campus was the library. It was probably the most expensive library I had ever been in and it was filled to the brim with students. One of the tour guides explained to us that students there even if they don’t have work to do, they go to the library because they love it so much.
Finally after returning from our campus visit, we had some free time. Many of us decided to go visit the bird’s nest aka the Beijing Olympic Stadium. I must say that in person the stadium is much larger than I had previously thought. Right next to the bird’s nest was the water cube, which is where all of the swimming events take place for the olympics (as seen in the featured picture).
On the way home from the olympic site, we all decided to stop at a market nearby. This was my first market experience in China. It was milder than I was told it would be, however I think that is due to the fact that it was not a true market place with salesman standing outside the door shouting at you to come in. This place was more of a mall-type market with shops stretching down either side.
Once it was time to go back to the hotel, a handful of us took taxis and the rest decided to walk. I was on the walking team. We figured we should see as much of Beijing as we could so we made the 30 minute trek home.