Thursday, July 16, 2009

YP Bonding Trip to Chengdu, China Day 2

9 July 2009

The first itinerary in the morning is the meeting with our Sichuan counterparts. Donned in our formal wear, everyone took a group photo before walking over to the conference room opposite our hotel.

Communist Youth League (CYL) Sichuan Province Party Secretary Zhang Tong welcomed us and introduced the host delegation members, after which Young PAP Chairman Teo Ser Luck introduced the Singapore delegation members.

A video about the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake was screened. The spirit of the Sichuan people in banding together to tide over the crisis is commendable.

After the sharing session, we went for lunch at a very scenic restaurant, along with the Sichuan CYL leaders.

When our meals were served, the waitress would always announce the name of the dishes. All dishes carry a distinctive name. Some dishes have their history, and usually are named after the surname of the person that first cooked that dish.

We unknowingly took rabbit meat. It was presented like the typical Hainanese chicken style, so we just ate the meat, until we were enlightened by our host. That had been the most extreme food for the entire trip even though it tasted really like chicken.

Next, we visited two industrial parks. The first was the National Software Base Technology Platform. There we checked out an incubation centre for University students.

The next one we went to was Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

It suddenly felt like home when we were greeted by NCS (Chengdu) General Manager, a Singaporean. It's unexplainable but the moment he spoke in English, we knew he was Singaporean. There was that familiar Singaporean way of speaking.

As we toured the office, he explained to us that some of the billing enquiries in Singapore were handled by his staff.
After NCS, we were hosted by the Director of Bureau of Economic & Trade Development of Chengdu Hi-Tech Development Zone for a sharing session. While developed states like Singapore face the problem of competition caused by lower labour cost abroad, developing cities like Chengdu face problems of brain drain.

On the way back to the hotel, Mayor Teo Ser Luck shared to us that he kept minimal personal belongings at his CDC and Ministry office. The reason was that he sees his commitment as a Service, not a Career. He would be ready to leave when the country no longer needs his service. Back at the hotel, we bid farewell to Dr Faishal, who would be leaving Chengdu.

Dinner was at a Chong Qing Steamboat restaurant. We were joined by some Chengdu youths who schooled in Singapore when they were younger.

As we were dining, the senior comrades shared about their experiences in Meet-the-People Sessions. I was particularly inspired by one of the mentioned incidents. During the comrade's MPS, there was a resident seeking for financial help. Usually, such cases would be referred to the relevant Ministries or agencies. However, the comrade was sharp to detect that the resident was urgently in need of some cash. The comrade handed him some cash. Later, some Party members decided to pay a visit to the resident and discovered that there was not a single piece of furniture in the house and that the resident's baby was foaming due to insufficient money to buy milk powder.

It was a touching experience. MPS provides a great platform for us to reach out to residents in our area that need help but do not know how or where to seek from.

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting signages in China, such as this one spotted in the toilet:

After dinner, a group of us went to Jing Li (锦里) to shop for souvenirs. Some of the taxis have this metal grill as a safety precaution. According to a cab driver, he told me that as part of the city's drive to be a more vibrant city, all fences in public areas are ordered to be removed. Subsequently, police presence was beefed up for a period to ensure a smooth transition. Such metal grills are not installed in newer taxis.

Jing Li is an amazing place. The architecture of the buildings reminds one of the numerous Chinese ancient martial arts films.

Ting, ting, ting! The familiar sound in Singapore meant the presence of an ice-cream vendor nearby. That same sound in Jin Li? Ear-digging service is nearby!

The stalls closed around the same time our malls do, at about 10pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your feedback and comments.