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Our wonderful commerce field trip to Prague
2018-03-21

[SCIE web news, March 21st, 2018] After preparing for a whole month, we finally our way to The Commerce Trip! to Prague! At 6:30 5th of February we departed from SCIE about to board our Hong Kong plane to an unforgettable journey.

 

Feb 6th, after 16 hours of double floored airplanes, fancy airports, bountiful air food and of course jet lag, we finally landed in the historic city of Prague. The anticipation was no longer able to hold itself in, and soon we were rushing on to the bus, super excited about the days to come.



 

As we got into the city the houses started to have magnificent portals above doors, delicate engravings on their walls and little windows in their attics. We watched in awe as we passed by, taking as many photos as we could in the short drive. The magnificent architecture was not the only prominent thing in the area; Vltava, the monstrous river that flowed through Prague as if it’s veins, was flowing just beside us, supplying water to even the furthest countryside.



 

With the urge to discover more about Vltava’s beauty we boarded a night cruise on the river. We also came upon flocks of seagulls, many famous buildings, a few monuments and most remarkable the sunset on the river itself.

 

After the amazing sights on the dinner cruise the night before, we finally could venture further in to the winding narrow streets of Prague.

 

Walking on the streets you would find yourself travel back hundreds of years in to the past, with markets, libraries or universities that once existed there before. You would also find yourself in awe when looking through window panes of passing shops: glass ornaments, souvenirs, chocolates, all delicate to the brim.

 

Our tour guide leads us through the city, from small as the meaning of the two housing numbers on the buildings to as majestic as the wall paintings which glamour with gold paint in the sunlight, but the main masterpiece that connected the two towns was of course the Charles Bridge. Above the river we stood looking at the rippling little waves pass under the bridge, taking pictures of the surrounding scenes. While examining the vivid statues standing on both sides of the bridge, we listened to the tour guide point out distant figures: Prague Castle, St.Vitus Cathedral, Old and New Town Bridge Tower…and many more.

 

In the evening we visited one of the biggest car producers in Europe: Skoda. With a brief introduction from a video clip we entered the Skoda world of products and production. Seeing the assembly line in full motion was the most breath-taking thing for most of us: with its moving wooden floors, quality control computers, logistic robots. Moreover, because of the complete assembly line, the efficiency grew by so much, making it possible for a car to be produced every single minute. Another benefit of efficiency which was very new to us was the prize for the best suggestion every month was a brand-new car. The museum of Skoda’s history was just as astounding with plenty of old-fashioned cars renewed with polish and paint after usage.


 

Feb 8th, two days after arriving at the international airport we were heading back once again, but of course not to leave after three days but to find out about the inner structure of an airport. Prague’s airport was divided into three parts, one of the terminal buildings for everyday passenger flights, the other for private and the last for military operations. We even saw some of the helicopters and mini-turbo jets.



 

They also had a special building just for preparing air-food and a firefighter team which had daily fire drills in case of an emergency. From an economic view the airport had added VIP rest rooms, meeting rooms and special venues to increase brand loyalty. Airlines also had VIP benefits such as free airline ticket after a specific number of flying hours.

 

After seeing one of Prague’s major transportation businesses we came to the heat and electricity station. Firstly, the tour guide led us to see the world leading trash execution. From the rubbish dump to the purification system everything was explained.

 

The Purification Building was the largest out of them all containing a high-altitude sprayer, catalyst, electrodes and neutralizer in different sections of the building. In the end the rest of the air was executed through a long pipe that shot in to the air. The advantages to this building was it dealt with the city’s rubbish but on the dark side nearby house prices would fall by a great degree.

 

On the fourth day we came to one of the most modern sciences in the world, Nuclear. The Nuclear power station was stationed far away from civilization, the vast countryside spread out before us. It was foggy with a sign of snow. White frost covered the dark-green boughs of the man-planted forests and spread out on to the vast fields of the country. Before getting there, we stopped at a gas station and everyone was so excited to get off the bus and start chucking the soft fluffy stuff around (on people’s head).

 

After careful security and radiation checks we were allowed in to the power station. In this interesting building we learned about the procedure of nuclear powering and the emergency system if anything went wrong. Above all the most prominent thing was the high-level of education among its employees with only under 300 workers and most of them gaining a PhD. With the encouragement of our economics teacher Daisy, we discussed and concluded that this was a government owned corporation to lower prices of common goods such as electricity and increased social welfare and living standards. Unfortunately, photos were prohibited.

 

The glass production was the last factory that we visited, we were curious about the production method and materials for production, so we learned fast. By mixing minerals such as silicon, borax and Zinc oxide together in a very hot cauldron molten glass was produced the liquid was then put in to a wooden mould and blown up like a bubble and the lid like extra material was “smashed off” then the product was put on a transporting tray and transported into the quality control unit which smashed the bad quality glass up.

 

From the moment we entered we could already hear the shards of broken glass hit the sides of metal containers. Every few seconds an ornament which looked fine to us was being demolished because of a single scratch on its side. Though the smashed-up glass was recycled later and made into molten glass again. 

Finally, we came to the last step: polishing and decorating. When we entered the workhouse, the smith was working on a glass ornament already, using a diamond cutter to cut the markings already drawn on to the glass. The workroom was full of benches which had the same diamond cutters and were connected to water pipes to wash and polish the glass. Due to the fully hand-made procedure, the efficiency was not as high as that of a machinery production and therefore they had to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the factory only stopped every five years for new renovation.

 

On the last 2 days we went to the museum of communism and listened to a professor talk about the economic transition of Prague. The history and economic trends were very much like that of China whom also had and still has a communist party in government.

 

Though interesting how the public-sector shares had been moved into private hands and how their national bank was private owned but was in control of setting the inflation rate. On the other hand, however, there were a limited amount of scholars, and needed improvement in the education system. As if a big conclusion the professor concluded everything we had seen from an economic prospective.

 

During these seven days we also had a few afternoons to ourselves, and we ventured in our separate groups to further planes taking trips on the trams, the underground, visiting the television tower of Prague, the National Monument, National Museum, National Library and Monastery. 

My roommates and me had also woken early one morning to see the dusk on Charles Bridge. Through these adventurous detours through Prague we had found out a lot about its structure and that it was not restricted to a town, the more we explored the more we found was unknown. Our curiosity made us plan walks arrange routes and collect information on certain restaurants.

 

In seven to eight days’ time we had taken a flight across the whole of Prague swerving between historic buildings, strolling along cobblestone streets, visiting museums with so much knowledge, crusading the most wicked science exhibitions, that let us explore on our own into the new wide world. In these magnificent days we must thank all the tour guides and people who have supported the trip, especially Prague’s friendly people, and the teachers who have made this excursion come true, and have been encouraging us from the very beginning, to think, to grope and reach out to new concepts and systems of the economy, and after all thanks to the existence of this trip for giving us  the friends that we have made who are more than loyal, funny and full of life, but are people that have the very same adventurous experience engraved in their most precious memories.

 

(Report/ Anthea; Photo/Raymond)

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