I wanted to upload a video of our "work", just so you can have a better idea of what we are working on. The video shows only the fun stuff though, the driving in the advanced simulator. The video provides a nice idea of the functioning and realism of it all. After we all had two 20 minute driving sessions, the less entertaining part started: data processing and analysis. This is what we have been working on all day today.
Tomorrow, however, will be the big day! I will be driving a car in real traffic (real' crazy that is). I have seen some busy places, but Wuhan traffic is by far the biggest vehicular mess I have ever experienced. Especially the first couple of days, whenever I needed to walk across a road, I would literally fear for my life. The walk sigh changing from Red to Green, only seems to indicate in change from Probably to Possibly dying. But I guess even that is something you can get used to. Dave might also give it a go, but he might face an ever bigger challenge. Apart from the complete lack of organization on the road, he also has never driven a 'stick', or 'standard', before. And if the video provides any indication of his 'real world' driving, this should definitely be "interesting", to say the least!
- You can tell Wuhan is not as "international" as Shanghai. We find ourselves being stared at quite a lot, especially by little kids. Earlier this week, a small schoolboy of about 7 year old just walked up to me on the street with his arm extended. "Welcome to Wuhan", he said as he shook my hand, and then he just took off again. I caught me completely off guard, but it was really cute.
- I can officially confirm that Chinese food is nothing like the "Chinese" food we eat in Europe or the US. I have been eating three authentic Chinese meals a day for the last 5 days, and none of it has fully resembled the kind of food I was used to. Despite the big variety in dishes, I do really feel like I would like some change. Regardless, I end up really enjoying it every single time.
- Today we had our first fully sunny day in Wuhan. As a result, the temperature instantly rose from very pleasant to 33*C or 90*F. When asked about it by our local teammates, we told them that it was hot, but still manageable. They then told us that this was still just an mild day, compared to Wuhan summer standards. They are used to reaching temperatures of around 40*C or 100*F on a regular basis. I guess we should praise ourselves lucky for being here at this time of "bad to mild" weather.
- Finally, I miss you guys. Despite the good time I am having here, I am really looking forward to seeing my great family and friends in the Netherlands again this summer. And to return to my comfy room and wonderful friends in Boston. I hope you are all doing well and that you enjoy reading these stories. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment! I would love to hear from you.