Today it rained cats and dogs all day long. There was little for us to do. We cleaned our room thoroughly and began to prepare for our trip to Shanghai. Both of us washed our laundry and packed everything necessary. For dinner we picked up take away food from the restaurant, where we eat very frequently.
We both tried some new and different dishes and both were downright delicious.
This is the restaurant, kinda low-priced, ~2€ per dish:
Because of the Irish weather, I’ll keep this entry short, Irish-style.
Stay tuned for our first impressions of Shaghai
Lukas and Alex
Today was the day, where we would visit the Summer Palace. We ate our toasts and were ready to leave, when teacher Chen gave us a surprise visit. He wanted to know if everything is ok and we assured him, that we are totally satisfied with our stay in China.
We took the bus to the bus station where Lili and Tina, a friend of hers, picked us up to drive us to the Summer Palace, which is located in the north-west. A ~3km² area consisting of the Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill. The Lake is entirely man-made and the dug up soil was used to build the Hill. With Lili and Tina we climbed the Longevity Hill, walked alongside the Kunming Lake and later took the ferry back to where we started our trip. Its a very beautiful, calm and peaceful place contrary to the noisy and busy city that is Beijing.
Hungry we walked to the bus stop. We forgot to buy additional toasts. After waiting almost 20 minutes for the correct bus to arrive, we were pleasantly surprised by a very swift bus ride ~30 minutes. That must have been some kind of record. The problem is the unbelievably bad stench rushing by your nose frequently, caused by the bad breath of almost all passengers, words can’t describe. While finding yourself in crowded and smelly setting like a bus ride, you begin to let your mind wander. Maybe I should buy a family pack of mints or gum, carrying it with me at all times to offer mints to the ones in need. A friend of mine called this bad breath phenomenon:
„The downfall of the Chinese society“.
When we arrived at work we were greeted by Lili who was very concerned about my wellbeing. She brought some cake, Chinese medicine and heat pads. At lunch we discussed the plans for the days to come. We agreed to visit the Forbidden City on Wednesday and next week we will be traveling to Shanghai from Monday to Wednesday to visit the city and additional construction projects of our company. Because of all the gifts from Lili she offered to drive us back to school after work, which we gladly accepted.
At school we met Zhu who informed us, that a package had arrived for us. Alex‘ mother sent us a lot of Germany themed gifts, which we will be handing out as a thankyou to the ones who treated us best. For the company we now have poster of the Brandenburg Gate, for which, with the help of a friend of mine, we will get a frame custom made. We are certain, they will put it up on the wall in their office. It is going to look marvelous!
While resting in our dormitory a Chinese student came to our door to meet us. The young Chinese student called Ding Tong had no problem with making himself right at home. He thoroughly searched through all our belongings while making a comment from now and then.
In return he helped us translate and explain to us the various Chinese medicine we brought home. When his friends arrived to pick him up, we scheduled a Ping Pong duel with some of them. Allegedly they are quite good – we’ll see about that 🙂
After showering we ate dinner, delicious rice with chicken and chili for Alex and good old Vollkornbrot imported from Germany for me – less delicious.
Lili promised us to take us to a foot massage this week, hopefully tomorrow 🙂
This morning we awoke earlier than usual for a Saturday. We had planed to go to the Ming Tombs with friends of Alex, but unfortunately the trip with the car would cost us 4-5 hours there and back. We were on a tight schedule because of the dinner we would eat at Lili’s later in the afternoon. We agree to postpone the Ming Tombs for a week and eat „breakfast“ instead.
The restaurant was located not far away from our school. We took our friend Li with us to act as our translator. The last time we had a meal with them, it was way to much and we took home more food than we ate at restaurant. This time would not be different:
It has to be some kind of torture. The amount of delicious food in front of you and you are too stuffed to take another bite. As always we asked to „All you can’t eat“ weiterlesen
Today was a day free of work, because tomorrow is the first of May and many employees do no need to come to the office. Only the more important ones do. We picked this day to be the day we go to the amusement park located in Beijing called Happy Valley. We anticipated, that today the park would be less crowded. We were right only to a certain extend.
Happy Valley is located south-east of Beijing. Our Chinese version of google maps called Baidu Maps predicted, that a trip to Happy Valley by public transportation would take 1 1/2h, because of an uncompleted subway traffic network. The right choice was to take a taxi and that we did. 6€ and 20min later we arrived at the place of fun and adrenaline.
Our daily morning routine was interrupted by the locked door of our dormitory. Normally these are only closed during the night, but sometimes, the older ladies at the counter lock them, when they take a break or whatever. We wanted to catch our bus, but we couldn’t. We spent a few minutes trying to find someone, but in the end we managed to find the door opener, pressing the button through a window of the office.
We caught our bus and it was a surprisingly fast trip due to unusual low traffic. The sleeping overweight snoring Chinese business man next to me obviously felt sad, that he could not cuddle with me for a longer period of time.
In the office we got to work while drinking a freshly brewed coffee. Soon after we were allowed to attend a staff meeting. We did not understand a word they said, but everyone was cheerful with a big laugh now and then. For lunch we had a tasty duck leg with a lot of side dishes.
We woke up late on this Sunday. After enjoying our breakfast toasts we grabbed our sporting goods and spent hours on our schoolyard exercising. Like always we had spectators. This time it was a young Chinese boy who did not bother to watch the show from only a meter away.
We rewarded ourself with a few episodes of our favorite TV show. While inside our dormitory building I met a new student who told me, that he would not have school tomorrow, that he has one day off per week! To my doubting question, if he only had four days of school per week, he corrected me and answered that he has school on Saturday and Sunday too 🙂
We ate our lunch at our school canteen, long lost beef noodles:
Before going to shower we cleaned our entire room and did the laundry. One could practically eat of our floor at the moment, but not for long. Anyways … I am going to end this short, irelaxed blog entry here.
With little sleep we fought ourself out of our beds this morning. Still groggy from last days marathon we finished our morning routine and went to work. We enjoyed a strong coffee from Lilis coffeemaker and began to further improve our AutoCAD skills. A little while later we were called into the meeting room, where we discussed the plan/activities for the upcoming week. We decided on the following:
Monday: Kenny will prepare more project plans for us to take a look at
Tuesday: We will visit a Tesla Motors car dealership. Hoping for a ride or even a test drive
Wednesday: After work we will eat and then go to the cinema with Kenny, being invited to dinner with Johnny afterwards
Today was a normal workday. We awoke at 07:30, ate breakfast and were waiting for the bus at 08:30. We arrived at work on time at 10:00. We brought our own notebooks, because Kenny wanted to install some software on them. We installed AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit MEP together and Kenny gave us the project files of the project places we visited the days before. At first the controls were quite difficult, but we quickly got the hang of it and started to study the project plans and designs with Kenny in detail. We were interrupted by Lili returning to the office with another gift for us. It was a „AutoCAD and Designs“ weiterlesen