My first time in China! Yahoo! Well technically, I’m here for school, not fun, as I’m attending the 2nd IOC/WESTPAC Training Course: Water Quality and Impact on Coral Reefs here in the Tropical Marine Biology Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Sanya, Hainan. One of my professors in MSI is part of the organizing committee and he encouraged me to apply to attend the conference. I was lucky enough to get accepted and have the organizers pay for my airfare, board, and lodgings for the conference. In exchange, I’ll have to prepare a poster and give a 5-10 minute presentation on my master’s thesis that will be scrutinized by coral reef experts from all over Asia (China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and Vietnam). Gulp.
You get ready to meet your friends by 9 AM. You’re at Robinsons Galleria by 10:30 – just 30 minutes after the mall’s official opening time – but the line already stretches down the hall and back again. Your customer stub reads “317”. You prepare yourself to face the masses of people who want the same things you do.You grin as you receive your ration of the precious goods. A massive treasure hunt commences afterward, complete with sweat, noise, and the occasional yell of triumph. Welcome to Free Comic Book Day!