Hangzhou City Balcony

I arrived in Hangzhou in winter with a pair of breathable sneakers suited to the summery weather in Singapore, a pair of somewhat worn but comfortable heeled leather office shoes, and two other pairs of office shoes, one of which broke and the other of which didn’t fit as well as I thought. Since arriving, I’d acquired a pair of casual leather boots, but they didn’t fit me as well as I thought either. So Siqi took me shoe shopping.

There’s a fantastic underground outlet mall at a place called City Balcony, near the spherical Intercontinental Hotel and Hangzhou Grand Theater in Qianjiang New Town in Hangzhou. After thoroughly exploring the mall, we were blessed by the shoe gods with no fewer than four well-fitting pairs of shoes, one from Hush Puppies and three from Columbia; two for me and two for him. (Also, I took down the product number of another pair I wanted to buy from Hush Puppies, and bought those later, when the weather got warmer.)

By the time we finished our subterranean shopping, it was night. We emerged and enjoyed the lights across the river:

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How do you like your eggs?

If you’ve travel(l)ed at all, you are of course aware that things are different in different countries. Among the most obvious differences are buildings, clothes, language, and, above all, food. Ya gotta eat. For most tourists, eating in local restaurants is a normal part of the travel experience, but not everybody goes shopping in a local market or supermarket. Perhaps they should. It’s an experience full of unknown unknowns.

Who would have guessed that the sale of eggs in China could be so gloriously chaotic.

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West Lake Boat Trip

My boyfriend Siqi and I took his parents to Xi Hu (Hangzhou’s famous West Lake) to see the scenery. We walked around and also took a boat ride across. We saw the famous “three pools mirroring the moon”. Kinda.

I like mountains better than lakes, but the sky over the lake was gorgeous when the sun started going down! I’ve selected the best few photos out of the many many many I took.

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Qiantang River Bridges of Hangzhou

When I lived in Singapore, I mostly walked and took trains and buses (sometimes taxis). Now I’m in a bigger city, one that has a big river cutting through the middle of it, and (at least for now) I’m traveling by car from one half to the other for work. That means I’m crossing lots of bridges. Since I’m not driving, I can take photos!

They look different depending on the time of day and weather. For example, the butterfly-shaped Jiubao Bridge (which China Daily claims is the ‘most beautiful’ bridge in the city), is white in the daytime but changes to a shifting rainbow at night. I’ve got gifs to prove it!

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Editorial Office of Intelligent Computing at Zhejiang Lab

On January 3, 2023, I started work at Zhejiang Lab at the editorial office of Intelligent Computing: A Science Partner Journal.

My role, as a native speaker of English with a background in Computer Science and experience in academic publishing, is to help strengthen the reputation of the journal.

Zhejiang Lab (之江实验室) is a research institute established jointly by the Zhejiang Provincial Government, Zhejiang University, and Alibaba Group in September, 2017. (The name of the province is 浙江. That is, it uses a different ‘Zhe’ but the same ‘jiang’; the name of the lab is sometimes spelled ‘Zhijiang’.)

Intelligent Computing, launched in 2022, is an English-language Open Access Science Partner Journal published in affiliation with Zhejiang Lab and distributed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Want to know what my workplace is like? See below for some maps and photos of the lab campus.

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Tea at Xixi Wetlands

I joined Zhejiang Lab just before Chinese New Year. I went with my department to Xixi National Wetland Park to drink tea (outside in the cold!) to celebrate.

The park is a huge green historical area with canals, ponds, old buildings, cobblestone pathways, and stone bridges. Its name means “west creek”. It has museums and shops and restaurants. We didn’t do a lot of exploring, but we bought some persimmons and nian gao (sticky starchy “year cake”) on our way to have tea and snacks, and we visited a longquan porcelain shop and climbed up a pagoda on our way back.

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