Today we met at 9:30 at the company to drive to the Bird’s Nest, the Olympic stadium of Beijing. As usual, Lili managed to surprise us. Instead of parking somewhere outside the Olympic park and then going to the stadium like a normal visitor, we drove straight into the parking lot of the Bird’s Nest, which is located beneath it. We just showed a small piece of paper we got from a police/security officer at the first gate and everyone let us pass through.
After we parked we took an elevator to get to the 4th floor, where the VIP boxes are located. We entered one of them and saw a wall with monitors showing pictures of security cameras. An employee explained a little bit about the control system, from the room we were standing in it was possible to display information about nearly everything that’s electronically controllable. The cameras, water flow, temperature, elevators and so on. We could also step outside to see the inside of the stadium, 91.000 people fit inside. Here are some pictures of the room and the inside of the Bird’s Nest:
We got up at 7:30 and ate our usual baguette-with-honey-and-nutella breakfast, then we took the bus number 983 to get to our company. We are expected to be there at 10 o’clock, so we took the bus at 8:30, traffic is horribly in Beijing. But we drive along the bird nest and the water cube, the places of the Olympic Games 2008.
For lunch we had some potato stripes with a Chinese sauce as well as rice with chicken in curry style. Again everything was delicious, we also had a yoghourt which tasted quite similar to a normal German yoghourt. Then we were driven to a post office by an employee with a company car (VW Tiguan), because Lukas needed some stamps for his postcards. For only 6 Yuan (1€) you can send a postcard to Germany via air mail.
Lili then met with some other managers of the company to discuss what we will be doing at our time there. And the plan sounds awesome:
So that was the last day of school, tomorrow we will start to work at the Guo An enterprise, we still know nothing about it, except we will meet with Mr. Chen at the bus stop at 8 am.
After we got up and ate our breakfast, we joined the JAVA class again. Today we learned about overwriting and overloading of methods. We already studied this, but since it has been a bit in the past, it was a good revision for us. For lunch we had some beef noodles, they are the best in the canteen. After a little break, we joined the physical education class and played football and table tennis. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher gathered everyone around and told something in Chinese, then we had to run two small rounds around the basketball fields. Afterwards it seemed like everybody was doing what he or she wanted, some were playing basketball, others played badminton and we decided to play football. While playing with the Chinese students, you could easily tell that basketball is the main sport they play here…
When PE was over we had our last class, which was networking. Since we had no real task, we asked Li Xu to show us how to crimp LAN cables. After he did we tried for ourselves and were quite satisfied with our work.
Today we decided to visit the Temple of Heaven. After our breakfast, which was baguette with butter, we took the subway to go there. We were accompanied by Li and one of his friends, unfortunately I forgot his name. The subway was quite full, no possibility to sit down after our exhausting visit of the English Corner yesterday. But nevertheless we arrived at our destination and payed 35 Yuan (5 €) entrance fee.
First we visited the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, according to our travel guide the hall is the „most complete and greatest building of Chinese architecture“. Here are some impressions of it:
Today was a really great day, because we now have a fast and stable internet connection in our room! And we did some other improvements to our room the last few days.
But first things first. As usual we started early in the morning and met with Li & Zhu to eat breakfast. A teacher from yesterdays meeting saw us and recommended some food for us, so we tried what she said. One thing was a bread wrap with a small slice of scrambled eggs and some vegetables inside (maybe cabbage sticks, but we are not sure). The other one was a soup with tofu parts inside. The bread wrap was good, but the soup, especially the tofu parts were not very tasty.
We then headed to our first lesson of the day, which was math. It was not like the math lessons back in Germany, because everyone was working on a PC using a software to solve the problems. We were also able to use it and got the right answers, but we did not really know the math behind it. And we were not sure if all the pupils knew. He for sure didn’t:
On Tuesday was our first day in the Beijing Polytechnic College. We had to get up quite early, because at 8 o’clock was the beginning of the first class. After waking up we went to buy two baguettes (8 Yuan (1,10€) each) and some butter, so we would have some kind of a breakfast. At 8 o’clock we met with Zhu & Li, who told us that we would have breakfast now in the canteen. OK, so double breakfast, no problem. At the canteen we had some dumplings which were quite nice and a „drink“, which was more like soup. But this soup/drink was not very delicious, we had to leave it there when we left.
Afterwards we had English class. There were about 25 students and one teacher, speaking to the teacher was very nice, because her English was very good. We learned that her husband is Canadian and she has two children, and that she doesn’t have a drivers licence for her scooter. Speaking to someone with very good English skills was very relaxing, speaking to Li & Zhu is always a little bit exhausting. In class we did a bit of a question & answer, the teacher and some students asked us various questions, about ourselves as well about Germany. We had the opportunity to ask in return and learned a bit about the Chinese new year festival (Spring festival) and tried to learn some of their names. To be honest, I don’t remember any of them. The English level of the pupils was ranging from quite good with only a little Chinese accent to not very good with a strong Chinese accent. Nevertheless we got around and had two interesting classes of English (each 45 minutes).
The next two classes were something which Li & Zhu called „Psychology“. Lukas and I think it’s more like social studies. We were in a big hall with about 50 students, in front on a stage was a teacher speaking ~200 Chinese words per minute, supported by a PowerPoint presentation. From some pictures and movies she showed we could guess that the subject of this class was something like „How to make friends“. Although we did not understand much, it was a funny class and we tried our best to participate… „First day of school“ weiterlesen
Yesterday was Eastermonday in Germany, but here in China it was a free day as well. But not because of Easter, it was because on Sunday there was a official holiday so Monday was free as well.
We got up and went to a french cafe we saw another day to eat our breakfast. We wanted to get some „European“ food instead of donkey… Afterwards we went to IKEA again to buy two mattresses, because it feels like sleeping on the floor with the provided mattresses. They are very thin and the ground on which the mattress lies is made of metal, so we need a better mattress. It will be delivered on Wednesday. Then we went to a shopping mall (which looks totally like a European or American one) to buy some water and German beer, because Li and Zhu wanted to try some. While playing some poker, we drank our beer(s) and laughed a lot with our Chinese friends.
We then just took a shower and used the last hours of the WiFi to write some blog entry, because on Tuesday we would have to get up quite early, school starts at 8 am.
These are the last hours in Germany. At 8 pm our flight will departure from Tegel-Airport. We will fly with Hainan Airlines. I’m really excited and looking forward towards our stay in China. We already got some pictures of our accommodation, it looks a little bit old fashioned but it will be alright I guess. From the information we got the student hostel where we will stay is here: https://goo.gl/VjLxpI
So what am I doing right now? Besides writing here, I’m putting the last things into my luggage and I’m constantly thinking whether I have everything. There will also be a (little bit to early) Easter dinner with my family before we drive to the airport.
And then it will be time to say goodbye and to say 你好中国 (Hello China).