Sunday 30th- Monday 1st
I left at around 5pm on Sunday and had a very long flight of around 20 hours. Nothing to eventful happened during the flight. I met a guy on the plane who was returning home after being at uni in america for a while and once we reached China since I had a connecting flight he very kindly showed me where to go and translated for me, because something I learnt very quickly while I was there was that it is almost impossible to get around without someone who speaks Mandarin.
|My meal at the airport in England|
|Hello! Amsterdam (First stop over on my 20 hour flight)|
|Hello! North of China|
|More North of China|
Once I arrived because of the time difference it was quite late of Monday night. I was meeting up with some Student Volunteers (SV's) from Japan because we had organised an apartment to stay at together for the first night. We got the train and it cost the equivalent of 80p for an hour's journey!
I had to take a picture of the toilet in the airport, it reminded me a lot of what you find as a toilet in the rural parts of Kenya, I thought it was amusing since this was at the airport, but apparently this is what all toilets are like in china.
|My room for the first night|
|Cost the Equivalent of £3.50 and that includes a bottle of vodka!|
I had a pre-conference shift before our orientation at 2pm. We left the apartment and we thought it would be pretty easy to find the convention centre, but no we got lost quite a few times and in the end we just took the train. We got to the convention centre and then had the problem of how do we get inside, in the end we managed to find our way, but it was incredibly difficult since we couldn't ask for directions.
It was quite cloudy for the first few days but still so much warmer than here. All the pictures below are from outside the convention centre and the view from the floor where we were based.
Tuesday night we all went out to dinner together, roughly 160 of us. We went to a traditional Chinese restaurant, everyone orders food and then shares it, so you get to try a bit of everything.
|Forks are non-existent so for those who can't eat with chopsticks good luck|
|Someone ordered this..it still had it's eyes!|
|Chinese LOVE their Chillies!|
Wednesday was my one and only day where I didn't have a shift and I spent most of it in the SV office just hanging around with the other SV's.
|Lego Alain made an appearance again :)|
With a few of the other girls we went to one of the massive shopping areas they have in Shenzhen called Dongmen market. Everything was so cheap and there were stalls upon stalls of stuff! If only I had an unlimited amount of space in my suitcase I would have bought so much, everything was so cheap and you can haggle for everything to get it even cheaper.
|My dinner at Dongmen market cost 8 yuan which is around 80 pence! I miss how cheap China was|
I had an early morning and a full day of shifts, it was also the networking reception which I unfortunately was working during but I still got to eat with everyone else and meet a few of the people that attended so it wasn't a complete loss. Afterwards we all went to one of the hostels that some of the sv's were staying at and played a few drinking games. Part of the fun at SIGGRAPH is partying hard all night even though you have to get up the next morning at 6am :).
Friday was another full day of shifts and the only eventful thing that happened was that in my hostel we decided it was a good idea to play uno until 4.30am. Then having to wake up at 6.15am was a real struggle!
My friday and saturday mingled into one due to lack of sleep, but this was also the last day of the conference :(. I had a morning shift that with the help of 5 coffees I got through eventually and then it was the SV raffle and debriefing. I got voted as one of the top 10 sv's and won the Art of Penguins of Madagascar book :D, which was a really great end to an awesome conference!
Of course it was the last night and a lot of us were leaving the next day so to say goodbye we all went back to one of the hostels and had a great night drinking, even though I hadn't slept much the night before my plane was at 8am the next day, meaning I had to leave at around 5am, so I decided to power through and get drunk. It was really sad to say goodbye to everyone and I hope to see them all again soon.
For anyone thinking of applying for next years SIGGRAPH LA and Kobe I really recommend it. It's an amazing experience you meet people from all over the world who all share your interests and there's no better way of networking.