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.
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 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.
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
We got up quite early to meet up with Daniel, one of the friends of Lukas we already met last Saturday. He took us to his art studio, where he had to pick up some things for a trip he will start on Monday. We took a look at his sculptures which were standing around inside. Here are some pictures of it, if anybody wants to buy something, just let us know, we will pass it on to Daniel 😉
After our usual breakfast we went to Lotte Mart to buy some table tennis rackets, yesterday we borrowed some from Li & Zhu. As usual on a Sunday it was very crowded, but we found what we wanted and payed 58 Yuan (10€) per racket, which is best china quality meaning mine already lost some of the wood at the grip…
But nevertheless we then played for good two hours and also met a Chinese girl/woman who asked to play against us. Of course we agreed, at first I tried and then Luki, but we both had our problems with her style of playing. She really knows how to play table tennis! Here are some pictures of us struggling against her: „Hot Pot“ weiterlesen
We woke up moderately early on Saturday. We went around the corner to the western supermarket
to try out the loaf of bread they were offering. Our verdict: Its not bad, but not great either. One can guess what taste they were trying to accomplish.
With new energy we met Li and Zhu outside to play some ping pong. We were not allowed to use the indoor tables in the basement of the school, so the ones outside had to make do.
After a few hours of showing our Chinese friends what’s what in the world of table tennis we went inside and started to study and go through „Slow Saturday“ weiterlesen