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 😀
English Class, Workshop and Gaming
This day did not follow the schedule we anticipated. Yesterday Teacher Chen visited us in our dormitory. He told us that he wishes us to exclusively attend school this week, especially for a workshop he finds suitable for us. We were able to negotiate one day for us to visit our company for the last time, say goodbye. So today we went to school at 08:15. English class was on the agenda. The teacher quickly separated Alex and me for us having more language skill impact on the class, I guess. We had a lot of fun at English class, listening to the students trying their best to squeeze out a sentence or two. Due to exhaustion some students literally feel asleep 🙂
For lunch our new best friend called Jason invited us to „English Class, Workshop and Gaming“ weiterlesen
Table Tennis Endurance
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 was a slow day. We slept for many hours and after breakfast we relaxed in the sun outside of our school with temperatures around 33°C. This is going to be a very short entry, because our school wifi is not working anymore and in half an hour the wifi shuts down same goes for the showers.
At school there was a Cambridge English test for kids in primary school going on with many parents waiting for their kids to leave the building. Because the internet traffic for our mobile phones ran out due to using it outside of Beijing :/, we bought more prepaid credit (3€ for 1GB data traffic) and with a few complications we at least have internet on our phones now.
In the afternoon friends of Alex picked us and Li up to eat Hot Pot. This Hot Pot however was different than expected. We solely ordered ingredients (3 kinds of mushrooms, chicken, pork, beef, shrimps, bacon, squid, cauliflower, broccoli) and they delivered everything in a giant perfectly cooked bowl for us to eat out of. It was the perfect dish. Because no matter what „Chill Saturday“ weiterlesen
To endure the bad breath
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“.
20 minutes early we arrived at the office. Just after we settled in Kenny and Lili were delighted to let us in on the „To endure the bad breath“ weiterlesen
Taking a shower in Beijing
Today was just a normal work day, so it’s time to give you a little insight into our daily routine concerning body hygiene.
At the end of each day we take a shower, but it is a bit different compared to Germany. First of all we do not have a shower in our room. That means, if you want to take a shower, you will have to walk across the yard to another building. So at the end of our first day here, we had an appointment with Zhu & Li who wanted to show us the showers. When we met, there were also 4 other students with them, who were introduced as „school mates“. So we went to the shower building in the ground floor, first floor is for the girls. Inside the building are just some lockers and a big room with two walls in the middle. At each wall there are about ten shower heads with a small device beside them. So we all undress, take our shampoo and most important the card we also use for the food at the school with us. To start showering, you have to place the card on the device beside the shower, then water will run. The price is about 0.5 Yuan per minute (that’s very cheap).
School is over
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.
The day of improvements
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:
First day of school
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.