Here I am at the massive Science Education Center. It cost a measly $4 U.S. to get in. I could spend all day there (but I didn’t, because I was hungry and didn’t want to eat at the food court).
First I visited an exhibit about genetics and DNA. Fortunately the exhibit was in both English and Chinese. Otherwise I never would have learned the word for DNA in Chinese. It is apparently 脫氧核糖核酸, in case you ever want to drop it into conversation.
I was very impressed by the exhibit. It did a good job of explaining difficult concepts in simple language and would probably appeal to many age groups.
This section was about genetics. The computer terminal displays a game where you can “match” family members by their looks. The family members are all animations apparently drawn by the same person, though, which made it hard for me. Kind of like trying to match anime characters. I was struck by the wall of photographs there. How many times do you see family groups illustrated with all Asians?
After this section, I wandered down to the area with displays about the human body. A guide working that area brought me over to an interactive model of the body and she took all the various body parts out and showed them to me. She spoke a fair amount of English but asked me what a couple of the body parts were called in English. I had to admit I wasn’t sure just which parts they were so I guessed. *shamefaced* She recognized the correct parts when I said the English words.
The one thing I am always very impressed with when I visit Chinese-speaking countries is how good people are at communicating even if you don’t speak Chinese. This woman was no exception. She spoke clearly and slowly using small words and used a lot of gestures and expressions to help me along.
After she had showed me several exhibits, she urged me to go to other floors where there are exhibits on physics and chemistry. She seemed especially vested in making sure I go to the physics exhibit. I’m not sure why.
But here’s the next thing I visited:
This is the “Sky Cycle,” which is five stories above ground. The bike has slotted wheels and rests on a cable. The rider is strapped into a harness which is clipped to the bike, and there is a large safety net underneath. Underneath that is the atrium floor. Did I mention five stories already?
I thought about going, but had already used up all my Language Energy with the very nice human body guide. It’s just as well, because after this kid went, there was a bunch of twenty-somethings with their best friends, all laughing and teasing each other and daring each other to go. They saw me standing around and told me to go ahead. They were very nice and asked several times if I wanted to go. I did but I didn’t. I had to use more of my valuable Language Energy. It was fun but my head hurt.
For a while I stood around and watched the twenty-somethings and wished my best friend were there. The funniest part was the guy overseeing the cycle was the most bored, deadpan guy on the planet. Everybody watching and waiting was all smiles. They were laughing and talking and having a great old time. This guy looked like he was waiting for his day to end. Or his life. Or something. Good thing he was required to wear a safety harness clipped to the platform.
After that I wandered through an exhibit about the digestive system. Starting with the mouth:
You know where you come out, don’t you? *childish giggle* Right before the end, there’s a display about farting, with sound effects. You sit on these stools to watch:
You exit through an anus. And that brings us to the end.
On the way back to the train station there were about half a dozen bakeries. I stopped and bought things at several. I was hungry. Again I was impressed by people in the stores who really tried hard to help me despite my language inability. Then I went to dinner. Which was good but is a whole ‘nother post.