It is quite late now, so just a short, irish style, blog entry. Today we woke up early to go one last time to class at the school and joined the server/database class. Then we played some table tennis in the basement of the school and had some tough matches versus some Chinese students practicing there. Afterwards we took a shower and had some dumplings with Li and Zhu. Delicious 😀
The days of the last things have come. Today we had our last day of work and our last lunch at work. I still remember the first day of work and the first lunch, time flew away here in China. After lunch we had a final meeting with Lili, Kenny, Tina, Johnny and Winder where we gave our presents to them and also received some. We talked about our stay here in China in general and also specific about all the things we did with the company. All these things they did for us, the visits of the construction sites, where we could get a deep look inside their work and planning, the trips to Shanghai, Hangzhou and ZiBo, the countless delicious meals we had together and the general hospitality amazed us again and again. We also took a nice group picture:
Today we stayed at school to participate in class again and to have some time to buy souvenirs. When school was over we went to the basement of the school again to play some table tennis . When we arrived it was very crowded, it seemed like lots of students tried to hide from the high temperatures outside (36°C in the shadow, in the sun you couldn’t walk ten meters without sweating). All tables were occupied, so we first played some hacky sack with some of the students. Then everyone had to leave and the basement was about to get locked. Luckily for us some of our Chinese friends could convince the teacher to let us play and to close the room later. We then had a total of three hours of ping pong matches versus different Chinese students. That was quite exhausting!
Afterwards we had to take a shower and then met with some other Chinese friends to go for a first goodbye dinner. We tried the Sichuan cuisine, which is known mostly for it’s spiciness. The dishes were delicious and, as expected, it was spicy.
Today we went to the Beijing Concert Hall to listen to the Mischa Maisky & Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Concert together with Lili and Kenny. But first of all we had dinner at a nice restaurant rated with five diamonds (whatever rating that is).
As usual it was delicious and we actually managed to order just a little bit too much, we nearly finished everything.
Then we drove to the Concert Hall and first had a look around at the outside. Afterwards we passed the security check and took our seats. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra played A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn, Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85 by Elgar and Symphony No.5 in E-flat Major, Op 82 by Sibelius. For me as non-musician it was a new experience, „Mischa Maisky & Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Concert“ weiterlesen
Today after work Lili, Kenny and Johnny took us to the so called 798 Art Gallery not far away from our school. We took a look around and visited some of the galleries. The 798 Art Gallery is a big district where a lot of artists have a showroom, there are also some nice restaurants like the „Schindlers Autoladestelle“, where we went for dinner. But first some impressions of the 798:
Then we had our first real German food in seven weeks. It was just awesome, we had Weißwürstel, potato salad, bread with liver sausage, lard and cheese, a kind of Schweinzhaxe and most important „798 Art Gallery and German Dinner“ weiterlesen
Today we woke up a little bit hungover, due to yesterday’s feast.We took our bus to get to work and continued our AutoCAD-plan studies. We also discussed the plan for the rest of the week, tomorrow we will visit the Forbidden City and on Thursday we will eat some German food in the evening. Lukas also called the Dell customer support and with the help of Kenny he was able to arrange a hard drive switch for tomorrow. So after we come back from the Forbidden City we will pick the Laptop up and we will all be happy again 😀
Happy we were also during the dinner yesterday. It was the wedding celebration dinner for Justin (Lili’s son) and his wife, and it was a giant one with a lot of drinks. First we drove to Lili’s home to get a ride to the restaurant, which is located on nearly the opposite of Beijing. Although there was a lot of traffic we only needed 45 minutes. In the restaurant we had our own separate room with two big round tables. We were nearly the last ones to arrive, the room was already filled with Chinese people, mainly friends of Lili. After everyone found their seats the waitresses began to bring in one dish after the other and everyone started to eat and drink. Our table stuck to German beer and French wine, the other table enjoyed mostly the Chinese 50%+ liqueur. To conclude the evening we also had to drink some of it, meaning three small glasses in three minutes. And in China it is tradition to always finish your drink in one swig… Then „Yesterday’s dinner“ weiterlesen
For now I can only provide a short entry, the WiFi in our building isn’t working and so is our own cabled one. We tried everything we could, but there is no way for us to fix this 🙁
Today we took the train back to Beijing and Lili and Kenny surprised us with first class tickets! Instead of the usual 3-2 seats per row we enjoyed a 2-2 seats per row combination. Also the chairs are a little bit more comfortable. As usual we used the journey to sleep, the last days were quite exhausting. At 4 pm we arrived at Beijing and were taken back to our dormitory by Lili’s son. During the ride we had a look at the skyline of Beijing, which is not nearly as impressive as the one of Shanghai, but that’s because the Bejing government did not allow tall buildings until some years ago. So Shanghai as a ten year advance and Beijing just needs some more time for a beautiful skyline.
Today we traveled to the city of Hangzhou, located south-west of Shanghai. But first we had a delicious breakfast in our five star hotel. They offered toast, marmalade, honey, fried egg, bacon, a lot of fruits, some Chinese stuff and a lot more.
Then we drove to Hangzhou. The ride took about three hours on a very good and smooth highway, but the speed limit is 120 km/h. And we had to pay a toll of 9€ for it. We arrived at our hotel (Haihua Hotel), which again looks great, we have a perfectly fine room with shower and toilet for ourselves. Life in luxury! „Shanghai III – Hangzhou“ weiterlesen
Today we said „Goodbye“ to our by now beloved dormitory room, because we will spent the next three or maybe four nights in Shanghai. After the (maybe) last toast breakfast for a few days we took the bus to get to Lili’s home. Her friend Tina, who visited the Summer Palace with us, was so kind to give us the ride to Beijing South Railway Station. We already knew the place since we also left to ZiBo from here. Before boarding the train we met with Kenny and bought some hamburgers to have for lunch later. At 11:10 am the train left with ten minutes delay, still better than in Germany the past days I guess 😉 The ride was quite comfortable, you have a lot more leg space than in a plane or in the Deutsche Bahn. It took a little more than five hours to get to the Shanghai Railway Station. We slept most of the time, but when I didn’t I took at least one photo of the speed the train was driving most of the time.
305 km/h, that’s about ICE speed. „Shanghai I“ weiterlesen
Today we visited the Ming Tombs together with Li Xu and the parents of my friend. They picked us up at 10 am and one hour and 50 km later we arrived at the first gate of the tombs.
The Ming Tombs is the cemetery of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the whole area is about 80 km² large. After this first gate we walked down the Main Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs, a long avenue with twelve stone-animals on each side, one crouched and one standing. This way it looked like the animals would stand up for the dead emperor while he was carried down the way. After these animals there were also six stone-humans on each side, also for giving farewell to the emperor. „The Ming Tombs“ weiterlesen