- Noah Hill
Shenzhen Adventures, Week 3: Electric Unicycles, Shenzhen Night Life, and Peking Duck
Every week in Shenzhen has been better than the last, and week three was no exception! We spent our third week in Shenzhen learning about electric unicycles from one of China's most popular unicycle influencers, practicing how to make casts of our teeth with dental alginate, eating some delicious Peking duck at a fancy restaurant, and exploring some of the nightlife scene.
You're also probably wondering why we are all wearing bright yellow shirts with Dan's face on them - we will get to that at the end of this post!
Meet Kuji, aka "Kuji Rolls", and his super cool electric unicycles. Kuji is a HAX alumni, but now works in Beijing consulting for various Chinese electric unicycle companies. This week he was visiting Shenzhen to check on some factories, and Dan and I were fortunate enough to meet him and grab a bite to eat together. If you ask him "Why electric unicycles?", Kuji will very enthusiastically tell you exactly why he thinks these sweet machines are the best way to get around. He has us convinced! Electric unicycles are similar to motorized long boards, hover boards, and other electric-powered ways to get around in that they are battery powered and rechargeable, but have some unique differentiating advantages. These unicycles can traverse almost any terrain, roll down stairs, go up and down hills, reach speeds of 60 km/h, last for days on a single charge, and are extremely portable. They are also engineered with extremely high quality standards, so they won't catch on fire or explode like some of the hover boards that got popular in the United States. If you get skilled enough, you can even jump and do tricks with these electric unicycles! Kuji has a really great YouTube channel, Instagram page, and is generally pretty active on various social media platforms. You can check him out more here: Kuji's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfsmUHp1lI4s_8qpMJwF6ng
Kuji's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kujirolls/
Kuji's Facebook Blog: https://www.facebook.com/kujirolls/
Something fun we are doing work-wise right now is testing different product designs for comfort and usability. To do so, Dan and I are learning how to make exact replicas of our teeth using dental molding and casting materials. We will practice sizing molar bands on the the teeth replicas and then use these sizes to test various curvatures, surface materials, widths, heights, and other aspects of our end product's design features. We are saving a fortune on dental school tuition!
This week was also Dan's 24th birthday! We'd like to give a huge shout out to Dan's mom, who helped organize a very delicious surprise dinner at a nice Peking duck restaurant here in Shenzhen. Thanks to her, the chefs prepared a special menu just for Dan's birthday and we got to eat with friends from HAX in a private room. We had many traditional Chinese dishes, including Peking duck, beggar's chicken, traditional style noodles and dumplings, black sesame seed dessert, and some cake. We also got to try some authentic Chinese wine, which was very tasty.
The best part about this night was that one of the design consultants who works with HAX, Rong, made custom shirts with Dan's face on them. Rong ordered one for all of us, and we wore them as a surprise for Dan! The shirts read "Happy Daniel's Day", are covered in heart emojis, and certainly drew lots of confused looks when we all took the Metro together to the restaurant. Rong also made Dan a custom mug with his face on it too.
After dinner, we all went out together to an area of Shenzhen called Coco Park. This neighborhood has a really cool multi-level building full of different bars, game rooms and lounge areas, with a different live DJ in every room. We played darts, found some fun places to dance, and got a chance to explore a cool part of the social scene Shenzhen has to offer.
What would one of our blog posts be without a section talking about the new food we've tried? Besides the fancy dinner we went to for Dan's birthday, we've continued to find new places to get different types of food. This week we had some really good Dim Sum, found a place that serves green noodles, ate at even more noodle shops, and had a group dinner with people from HAX at a popular restaurant that serves giant "houses" of bread covered with ice cream. It is beginning to seem as if we won't have a chance to try every place before we leave, because there are simply so many options.
Well that sums up our third week of adventures in Shenzhen. Stay tuned for next week, Dan and I will be visiting our first manufacturing factory, potentially visiting Hong Kong or Macao, and who knows what else!