I woke up with a hangover, of course.. But actually not too bad considering the amount of vodka yesterday evening.
I went to breakfast at 8. I was lucky enough that the waiters found some instant coffee power for me. At 8:30, our whole group from the hotel, about 10 people, drove to the Qinghai University.
We had a pretty big conference room for about 20 experts (professors, researchers etc.) and about 20 students. I was the only non-chinese here.
I had the second talk of the day and everything went fine. I presented two topics in about 45 minutes: firstly, what Nofima is, what we work on and why aquaculture research is important. Secondly, a presentation of a recent aerobic training study of young salmon. I think they were pretty interested in the topic and I got a couple of good questions. I am going to present the same project in Edinburgh in September on an aquaculture conference, so this was good training as well.
Afterwards, we went on with more presentations (in Chinese, I got translations some times). At least I could see what people are working on here.
Then we had lunch, which was pretty different to a normal mensa. We got our own VIP room again for the presenters and loads of great local food. We finished maybe a third of it.. Right after lunch, we went by car to the grass carp research facilities and got a quick tour.
It was very informative to see the local recirculation facilities for carp breeding. Carp is an important part of the local fauna and they breed it for aquaculture but also for balancing the fish amounts in the lakes.
Then back to the conference room and some more presentations until 17 o’clock. Then soon to the next dinner. A different menu than yesterday and lots of great dishes to try. It was not as wild as yesterday but still lots of vodka and people walked around to cheer with me pretty much all the time. Even though, communication was not always easy, I felt very welcomed here and had lots of good chats. I think I stayed below the 20 vodka shots threshold today at least.
The dinner went on until 23 o’clock, then finally a shower and bed time.
Even though pretty exhausting, I think the last days were absolutely worth the effort. It was a win-win situation. The conference got an international speaker without the need to invest too much. For the price of two vacation days, I got loads of experiences and a very nice hotel during my stay here. And of course, I could promote Nofima. Ah yes, and it was nice to be called “Professor Gerrit” for once.
Tomorrow we will visit the local aquaculture facilities. I think this will be very interesting but unfortunately I have to get up at 6:30. Not really vacation right now but it’s worth it.