Highlights of Hangzhou

Also the name of an elective offered at Zheda, for the whole three weeks that we actually showed up to our elective classes before realising they weren’t assessable…


I’ve been back for a while now. Like a long while. Actually just did the maths and I’ve been back in Sydney for about 7 months. Despite this lengthy period of time between living the life in China and thumping back to reality in Sydney, sometimes the post-ICS depression still hits hard – especially when you’re going back through photos (which I made the mistake of doing in an attempt to find some decent ones to send to my Nan in Melbourne).

So after going back through my pics from China and my round the world trip last year, I’ve found some highlights that really stick out:

The time we yolo’d up to Shanghai four days after landing in China with the average Chinese of a six-year-old

Made it in one piece largely thanks to the Internet and Pleco (champion of all Chinese students everywhere). And we had such a great time – seeing The Bund (the famous Shanghai skyline) for the first time was such an experience. It really brought home the fact that we were overseas.

The e-bikes 

Also known as Arlo, Xiao Beast and Rebel. Collectively known as xiao long bao (don’t ask me why..) which we turned into a verb. “Shall we xiao long bao it to dinner?” was a common sentence in our corridor. Pretty sure we downplayed how big they were to our parents. Definitely waited at least two days to tell them we were now riding around like locals without helmets. May have spent a significant amount of time riding to and from South Gate singing Downtown to each other (went to the moped store etc).


We had so many epic nights at KTV (aka karaoke for the uninitiated) that I can’t possibly summarise the memories so I’m going to tell the story of my current Facebook profile picture. All I ask before I share this story publicly is that you please play the following song as a soundtrack to this story:

It was a muggy summers’ night in Hangzhou when a group of us decided to go out to KTV. Class was finished for the semester, we had no real reason to go to bed anytime before 5am and we were quickly realising that our time together was coming to an end. Also we pretty much went out every night after class finished…there’s not a whole lot to do at Zheda other than that.

One of Celine’s classmates was considerably older than all of us and had taken her under his wing somewhat, so he booked and paid for a KTV room for the night at a place walking distance from Yuquan campus. This also included the usual vodka/iced tea combos. One of our other friends also bought a bottle of vodka to share around. Two bottles of vodka, about five people.

I’m chilling with Laura, my friend from Italy, in a corner, when suddenly our other friend randomly leaves. No idea where or why (apparently he stepped in glass and went home to change his shoes?). One down.

Next minute, Celine realises she’s about to miss curfew and her visitor won’t be able to get back into the building without having a room key. Three down.

Just Laura and I alone in a KTV room with two bottles of vodka* and a whole catalogue of songs. At some point we decided to create some dances to match our singing which was, of course, spectacular. I’ll leave you to visualise it but I can promise it was absolutely amazing. Thank God snapchats disappear after 10 seconds.

Various friends came and went throughout the night but we stayed until the place kicked us out at about 3am. Then we finally went back to College to order our standard 4am Maccas delivery (cheeseburgers have never tasted so good).

Also, the reason I asked you to play that song as the soundtrack to this particular story is because that song, after that night, became one of our traditional ‘going out’ songs. Every single time I hear that song it transports me back to China and to that KTV night with Laura. It also makes me irrationally want to cry for some reason.

I asked Laura while I was writing if there was anything she wanted to say about this night:

Me: So I’m writing a blog post about that epic KTV night, do you have anything you want me to put in?

Laura: nothing really.

Laura: apart from…


*I’m pretty sure we didn’t drink both bottles because we’re both pretty tiny girls. I think we’d know if we’d finished two 1L bottles of vodka. Illegal Chinese vodka at that. Shoutout to Joe for providing the goods.

Other spectacular highlights: 

Since I used up so many words writing about KTV I’m going to give a shoutout to a few other good times and great classic hits from last year –

  • The time we watched Finding Dory in Chinese thinking it’d have English subtitles (fun fact: it didn’t).
  • Good Friday picnic under the Chairman Mao statue on campus.
  • That time they shut all the water off for like a day and no-one could shower or use their toilets cause #china.
  • That time they announced they were shutting all the electricity off for the summer so everyone went to Europe/Korea/Japan cause #china.
  • When Maged got me, Laura and a bunch of others locked out of College in the rain until 6am because he kept arguing with the security guard, and then Laura eventually convinced him that we weren’t American and he let us in (but Maged had to stay outside hehe).

Anyway, another China nostalgia post done and dusted. If you want some more China nostalgia head to Cynthia’s blog, she’s much funnier than I am.

One thought on “Highlights of Hangzhou

  1. You definitely forgot about the massive bruise that mysteriously appeared on my leg. BEST NIGHT EVER!
    P.s. I actually #八点上课 💚


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