Nadja’s post about the Urban Design Competition in China was so on point with everything everyone else was feeling the weeks prior to the trip in itself and then with what happened during those two weeks we were in Chengdu, China.
For me, the opportunities the SUDes program offers its students during the study trips goes beyond being able to experience first hand very interesting areas or projects that are already built and in use; it has given the group a chance to become closer with each other and be a family. I have travelled with them more than what I had ever travelled with friends that I know since kindergarten.
This was my first time traveling to Asia in general and this was the farthest I had ever been from Monterrey. It took me around three days after arriving in Chengdu to understand that I was actually in China and not in another China Town somewhere else in the world, I guess that is how I can explain how foreign everything felt to me but at the same time the most interesting thing happened. In one of the days we had for sightseeing individually, while walking as much as I could with some friends, trying to see it all (and obviously failing hahaha) there was an area in particular close to the city center that reminded me so much of Mexico City – if you have ever been, imagine Reforma avenue and its surroundings – that I almost felt right at home. It was a very interesting feeling, knowing that I was in previously unknown place but at the same time it was as if I had been there before, but of course without understanding one single word in Chinese.
Being in such atmosphere made everything, from taking a taxi to trying to understand what you were buying in a supermarket, so exciting and mentally challenging that after the two weeks I think it’s safe to say that we were all very exhausted.
I remember craving a simple avocado toast and couldn’t wait to come back to Lund, where salt and pepper are the only spices we use for cooking.