Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's never over... the end.

It has been a couple of time since i wrote on this blog now. Time that I needed to arrive back in my ordinary life one could say.

China and Beijing is not forgotten and it will never be. There are situations right now - more than one month after my return - when I experience and notice still differences in behavior and attitude of people, not to talk about all the obvious differences, as there is the food as one of the biggest examples. The Chinese food was very salubrious and delicious for me. Just one week ago I went to a Chinese restaurant and was so disappoint of the taste and quality of the food...

Of course people ask often "How was China?" and as I already thought before I then have the problem of putting all my thoughts in one answer which is of couse not possible...
China was a great experience, i am happy that I did it, if one of you is interested in more detailed information please just ask me, send me a mail or write a comment.
I would also be more than happy to show you a selection of the 18 GB picture collection that arised during my stay ;-) (Don't worry I stoped that)

Finaly and most importantly I am happy about all the nice people I meet there and got to know. Some of them I call friends now.


For all upcoming exchange students: please feel free to contact me, I am happy to help you with any question you might have, so that you don't have to leave for Beijing in uncertaincy...


The End :-P

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back in the New York Groove!

Hey Everyone! I am back in Flensburg now, I'll post a short recap in the next couple of days - so far I have to catch up with some local "Punsch-drinking" ;-)

Airport time - not at all

Ladies and Gentleman!
Good evening, we have arrived at Dubai international airport; local time is (now) 21:00 h....

When I arrived it was noon. Before that I had the most scary taxi drive in Beijing - at 2 o' clock in the night to the airport. Getting a cab was no problem at all, there was just one arriving when I came to the east gate. But, it's true what I have read before - these cab drivers are totally overworked.
He left sometimes the street, was yawning all the time and his eyes closed from while to while - I was really happy as we arrived at the airport. At the airport I was kind of the first passenger that day... also because of the online check in everything went pretty fast.

In the plane there was one group of workers - smelling like hell it was really disgusting and the cabin crew used air freshener a couple of times; didn't really help though... Before the landing some of these guys even put on their helmets... I don't know... but this was the only distracting thing during the flight.

Then Dubai! I used the last hours to get out of the airport and do some sightseeing - just an overview. Getting a visa, which is basically a stamp in your passport, is easy for Germans, no application, no fee, no nothing. Perfect.
Dubai is crazy. A big construction place. Every building tries to look better, nicer, more unique than the other one. Of course I saw the "Sword of Dubai", went to "The Palm" and to the "old" Dubai. There will follow more, including a lot of pictures here.

So far for now. CU - some of you soon!

Lars

Lars in Dubai - the creek

The "Sword"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That's it!

Well, that's not it!

I am ready to leave, all luggage is packed, my room is checked out, I got so nice presents and said goodbye to everyone...

Nothing lasts forever some people say, but this wasn't nothing. Is was more than I expected and this is what I wanted. I know I should write about all the nice people I met, about the unique experience etc. But the thing that travels back home now with me is complex...

Like it is... leaving with mixed feelings. It will be nice home again, I am sure. I now know how much that really means. But also I leave a different - happy - "world" behind me with people who now became part of my life.

I will take a shower... and then hit the road...

Ahh, how i already miss this uncontrollable hot water...

Finally: Peking Opera


Walking around in central-southern Beijing, looking for the Liyuan Theatre. Found it! It is in the Qianmen Jianguo Hotel about ca. 30 min wolk southern of Hepingmen subway station. At first I thought to take a taxi, but I am just getting so cheap here and seeing a little bit more of Beijing for the last time was even better. For example the fire car which was stuck at an interseption because no one let it through... or all the people dancing and singing on the street in the evening although is is really cold.
Peking Opera was one of the last things missing, and I am glad I went there. The Liyuan Theatre is a more touristic place, but they have translations at least and that is very helpfull.
It is a coulorful event with singing, dancing, acrobatics and conversation. It impressed me really as it is so different from theatre I know and the Peking Operas I have seen on televisions can't transport the feeling of sitting directly in the theatre, smelling the orange flavor and hearing the instruments, the singing and watching amazing stunts.
The hall was quite empty as it is Monday I guess, but so I got at least a good seat. One can even sit directly in front of the stage and enjoy some tea ceremony and even peking duck etc. while watching. 160 Yuan (with discound) was quite worth it! (Pictures) I have also some videos for those who are intrested.

Besides this, my stuff is packed, I am ready to leave, I think I am under 20 Kg luggage, and I already kind of know what to do in Dubai.
Its a little bit sad athmosphere - Sam left this morning - tomorrow me (well Wednesday but at 7 AM) - we all don't know if and when we gonna see each other again. But thats just how it is...

PS: I updated some of my pictures - added some campus impression pictures etc.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time to say Goodbye - the third

Goodbye international classmates - just two missing.

1. Dinner in an Indian restaurant - delicious.
2. Some drinks at La Bamba including four of the big Jägermeister challenge.
3. Propaganda drinks...



Goodbye everyone! And Amit: Thank God you drank it fast enough!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Time to say goodbye - the second

Crazy! That is what describes this evening. The ingredients: Some beer, some red wine, some Chinese schnapps, snacks (also including noodles), a hotel room and of course some students who like to drink more or less. But today more more :-)
Unfortunately I really can't show all the pictures here ;-) Have a look here for some impressions.
Starting with some truth, dare or drink, which is so liked here and I so much hate it... at least one can choose drink in this version. The room was a total mess afterwards - even the wall had a whole and the finally 7 or 8 people slept in that two bed room, because they were so tired or couldn't get into their dorms.

Earlier this day I went to see the CCTV Headquarters one piece of modern Chinese architecture. Sadly the building is covered with big billboards so one can not get the whole picture. It is still some construction going on there, but the project should be finished soon. Because of its special shape it is also called "The big shorts". Very nice!

Find more pictures of modern Beijing here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time to say goodbye - the first

Just a couple of days left till I am leaving and not only me. So time to say goodbye. First to Sherry, one classmate from Taiwan and later to the Marketing class. For the final end of the marketing course we had a nice dinner with some classmates. Thanks very much. Unfortunately the professor wasn't able to join because she is in hospital?! We wrote her a little Christmas card...

Later I went with Sam to the "Food Street", actually we wanted to get some Jägermeister at Nanluogu Xiang, but our favorite bar was closed...
The "Food Street" is basically one street full with restaurants that are all open till 4 o'clock in the night. We had the spiciest food ever there - not for everyday, but good, except that I sprinkled some fatty sauce on my sweater. Seems like we are just eating here.

Click on the pictures to have a closer look!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 107 - The full package of sightseeing, but where is the snow?

Yesterday the cab drive told us, there is going to be snow today! There wasn't - at least not what snow is according to my perception. Sam claimed he saw three snow flakes, I would say maybe not even three... when I stood on top of the Bell Tower.

Time is getting tight here in Beijing. Only seven days left. I figured out that it is probably not possible to finish the whole sightseeing program. But, this is good. So, I have something left when I come back.

Three of the more famous sights I checked up today anyway. The Lama Temple (finally), the Drum-, and Bell-Tower.

The Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple)...

... is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world and combines (Han) Chinese and Tibetan styles. It was build in the late 17th century and survives the Cultural Revolution because some ministers intervention.
The temple consists of five main halls which are separated by courtyards. Compared to other temple buildings where I have been to this one seems to be the most authentic one, because a lot of people knee down for praying and ignite thousands of incenses in the courtyards. The whole Tibetian Lama culture appears to me very trashy and kitschy, but a lot of people, at least, really act like this means something to them.
The courtyards where full of smoke from all the incense and inside the halls people where praying in front of - sometimes gigantic - Buddha statues. Even the worlds largest Buddha made from one piece of sandalwood is in the last hall (18 meters high). Overall this is a (more or less) real place. The buildings still have a meaning towards the religious Tibetan folk and their supporters. Unfortunately is wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the halls, but as a little exchange one gets a little video CD with the entrance ticked... not really the best video though.
Student entrance fee: 12 (?) Yuan - relatively cheap. Worth it!

After this spiritual watching I walked a little bit through the real Hutong neighborhood. It is staggering how people still live there just with a shared toilett on the street etc. In the middle of this original Beijing area there are the Drum- and the Bell-Tower.

The Drum-Tower

This is where the American tourist was stabbed during the Olympic Games, afterwards the perpetrator committed suicide by jumping of the approx. 40 meter high building. It was told to be a random act of violence without any motive.
But the drum tower has more to offer than this. It was build for some musical amusement in the 13 century, burned several times and was rebuild and finally used to announce the time till 1924 when the last emperor had to leave the forbidden city. A water clock that was used to keep the time can still be seen in the tower. The main attraction today is of couse the drum playing performance every half an hour - of cause on rebuild drums.
Also the great look-out on the Hutong neighborhood is really worth climbing up the steep stairs. Unfortunately one can't see the Bell-Tower from the top of the Drum-Tower because this side of the tower is not open for tourists.

The Bell-Tower

Just next to the Drum-Tower (they are on the same north-south axis as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square - just noth from the Forbidden City) , same purpose, little bit younger (?), no drums, but a bell of couse. From here one can have a look at the Drum-Tower and at the sqare in between, where the rickshaw drivers wait for tourists to drive them through the Hutongs.
The bell of the tower was not stroke by a clapper fom the inside but was stroke with a massive stem from the outside and after the first iron bell was replaced by a bronze its tolling was audible even 20 kilometers away.

After some walking I found the way back to the subway... it was freaking cold - but snow, no snow wasn't really there. Just a few snowflakes as I stood on the Bell-Tower...

The day in pictures - click on it to enhance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tianjin the 2nd day - a Chinopean city

Of cause the plan was to get up reasonably early around 8:30... well.... at 9:45 we sat in the breakfast room :-)
The breakfast was free. So, my expectation towards this where somewhere next to nothing - maybe some hot water if we are lucky. But, it was a feast! Not really but with eggs and toast and marmalade (didn't had marmalade for a loooong time) and Chinese stuff of course as well. Too bad they closed at 10 ;-)

Anyway it was enough time. We completed the sightseeing part within four major attractions (click on the pictures to enlarge them):

1. Shopping street - is this in China? Just look at the pollution! It is :-)


2. The river side - spooky! One guy even took a bath - cold and polluted water. This is inurement!


3. Historical western architecture neighborhood - amazing!


4. The "cultural street" - this was more China! Basically a big market full of Chinese kitsch (well, maybe that's harsh) and everything. The only "souvenirs" I bought were some DVDs - maybe half of them work.


5. The food street - disappointing (this was almost the only real food there - and is wasn't really fresh) Also the fact that Mc Donald's is directly there is prooving the bad quality - so: Mc Donald's!


... a lot of streets - imagine how my feet felt that evening ;-) Going back with the fast rain this time was 40 Yuan more but only took 30 min.
The full package of pictures can you find in this album. Overall, the city is "cozier" than Beijing, not that much traffic, somehow smaller, not that much cultural attractions, but nice architecture shaped by foreign occupation. And people stared at me more often than in Beijing. So, truly different.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 100+5 - Finally done!

I think it is seriously over by now. Today I had the last exam and so all classes are done. I missed going to Klubben (The ASB Student bar) for a beer with some of my colleagues, but some of my classmates and me instead started almost directly after class a little trip to Tianjin.

Being in Beijing for all the time was getting boring! Especially as I spend some time studying lately and didn't see much of other stuff, well... Whatever. Tianjin was a welcome relief. Although I thought it might not be so different from Beijing as it is the third largest city in urban area or the fifth largest in population or whatever, who knows this exactly?! It is not important - it is a big city! Not far away from Beijing - only about 150 Km south west, it has at least 10 million inhabitants, and it is also in China. Based on this I thought it can't be very different. I was wrong.

We headed to Beijing Railway Station and after some confusion and calls figured out the time, track and that we had enough time for a beer before the train leaves.
The train journey in the slow train wasn't uncomfortable - it was full but we had reserved seats, they served peanuts and beverages and time just went by. As we arrived at Tianjin West Railway Station it was already dark.

In the sticks! Small trainstation, old workers, incredibly high air pollution, everyone staring at us. Didn't look and feel like a 10 million city.
After we took the subway (Wow, they even have two lines there :-P) we found our hotel and checked in. Everywhere around western style architecture. A historical relict from the time around 1900 +. For the evening program there was some seafood on the list followed by some local bar scene experience. The seafood worked very well, the bar scene so so.
Tianjin is located along the Hai He River and its not far away from the cost, therefore the cuisine focusses a lot on seafood. We assembled our own menu in a nice restaurant by picking the fresh ingrediences that were more or les actively swimming in various bassins. The menu was really extraordinary and the location was nicely furnished and with notably service, especially compared to the price, which was with approx. 100 Yuan p.P. extremly low. Here we got the second look at Tianjins European influenced past - all the decoration, paintings and furniture was influenced by western styles.
Later we had a look at some bars - I guess because it was Monday the selection wasn't that overwhelming. But, I don't know if we where even at the right places. Finally we found a nice street with very western decoration - the Eiffel Tower is everywhere in this city..., but the whole street was looking really worn out - best days past; expensive drinks, but live music, some dice games and we went back to the hotel where we finished the evening with some "7/11"(,well, not exactly 7/11, but something like that,) supplies - aarrrrgh, they only sell the Chinese schnapps...

Pictures from both days can be seen here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tomorrow...

... I will have the LAST exam! Directly afterwards, we will leave for Tianjin at the Hai He River to see a different piece of China (well... I think its not gonna be so different...), anyway, I will post again when I come back on Tuesday. CU

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 103 - Saint Nicholas on 238m

The CCTV tower (not to mistake for the CCTV headquarters) is the tallest building in Beijing. 405 meters high up in the smoggy sky. China Central Television is the major broadcaster in mainland China with 18 channels - also one in English.
I thought today was not that much of smog - it was windy the last days - so maybe the perfect day for a nice view from the 238 meter high observation deck, but as we arrived at the tower there wasn't really a clear sky... I guess, the perfect day for a wide look-out in Beijing doesn't exist at all. Anyway the tower is impressive. It cost 50 (!) Yuan to enter it and there are some exhibitions showing CCTV items, like the jacket that the reporter wore who interviewed the first Chinese space walk astronaut Zhai Zhigang this September ;-) So, considering this little bit of extra entertainment the price is still too high but you get at least something. Something extra such as a little button, which Meiping won in a battle of Scissors, Paper, Stone against Santa Claus. Meiping is an accounting student who I met thanks to my friend Julian. Find some pictures from the tower here. Oh, btw. it was f****** cold up there... Happy St Nicholas! (actually I really forgot this...)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am...

... currently studying, but I will supplement some post during the next days... stay tuned!

Monday, December 1, 2008

PS: Day 98 - the two bears in action

The big marketing project ended today. We presented our IMC Handbook for a Chinese sports company entering the German market. This project was the most extensive work during the whole semester. At the beginning we started with good speed, which we lost a little bit at the end but the result is still acceptable. The two main figures of our campaign are the Chinese Panda and the Berliner Bär:

All groups presented their Ideas - we had coffee and snacks and the class room seemed temporarily like a film-studio.


More pictures to come...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

PS: Day 96 - Saturdaynight Peking Duck

Besides writing papers and preparing presentations....
Thomas is a former college mate from my (short) time at the University of Applied Science Kiel, where I did my Bachelor. He was in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing doing some research for his Thesis. It was really nice meeting a familiar face and talking some German again. After last Tuesday where we went to Nanluoguo Xiang it was today the last chance because he is flying back tomorrow. And because Peking Duck is a "must have" in Beijing and we both did't had it before we went to the most famous duck restaurant - the Quanjude Peking Roast Duck - Since 1864.
We figured out that there are no reservations possible and so we just went there, took a number, were supposed to wait at first twenty, then ten and finnaly we waited maybe five minutes... OK!
We ordered a only one whole duck - although George W. Bush is said to have eaten two whole ones - and some side dish. One of the waitresses, with sufficient english skills, kind of knew what we wanted - the simple all in one Peking Duck experience. Peking Duck, side dishes, beer - perfect.
The chef himself cutted our duck in front of us and the waitress showed us how to eat it. Exactly what we wanted. Of cause we took pictures, they must be used to it, and the other guests looked at us like we were stupid Tourists... :-D


One duck for two is enough if you have some side dished - it is not as much as I thought it is before, but with approx. 180 Yuan for each, it was cheaper than expected.

After this classical adventure we went out - Wangfujing street is just next to the restaurant and so a little snack of snake on the night market completed the culinary delight for us... although Thomas claimed that he got the poison gland...
I felt bad the next morning, but I am sure it was the shitty drinks in Sanlitun. Whatever, nice evening!


PS: We even got a certificate with a "serial number" for the duck, we ate. But, we forgot it... so, they can hand it out again :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chinese flexibility...

...that is when the final exam surprisingly counts 60% instead of 40%, as it was announced at the beginning of the semester - and you just accept it although the (originally) 60% are already done.

...that is when you get frog meat instead of beef - and you just eat it (also because you are curious).

... that is when you can't change the presentation of your group because one member just made it up himself, did not met the agreed deadline and showed you 10 min in advance.

...that is also when you are free to ignore a red light, because the risk of being knocked over is almost the same as if you were waiting for green.

...that is when normally the hot water is running till 1PM but at one day it is just running till 12 PM (noon)

...that is when a paper has to be written with ten pages double space instead of 20 pages single space as it was told us in the first lecture - who would even complain...

...that is when the product range in your little convenience store changes daily - you always can try out new things!

...that is sooooo much...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 94 - Soccer and beer - also goes together in China

Puhhhh! I am in bad shape! Probably a consequence of the long-lasting SLOTS-detox... who knows. Anyway, was I able to play approximately 15 min with total commitment, then I needed a break. It was too cold to run all the time, letting your lungs almost freeze. Also very difficult was the synthetic turf, just after 2 min I felt down the first time. Yeah, sounds all very unprofessional, but I think it was not soo bad.


The two teams were both full time MBA classes. Our class dressed in red and the opponend dresses as German national team. So, I had to play against Germany. Probably thats the reason why I had to give up so early. The final score is also rather unimportant. Just to be said: Germany won, and we all just blamed our goalkeeper from the first half ;-) The spectators were happy anyway.

That was a nice relief of all the busy final exam work, which is due within the next days. After the game some of us went to the Professor-Canteen (...its just the name, everybody is allowed to eat there) and had a nice dinner... of cause with beer - soccer and beer!

OK, good event, besides that I got a cold now - too much fresh air (more cold than fresh probably...) CU soon!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog blocked

Since a couple of days I can't access my blog as a viewer. Also other blogspot blogs are affected.

When using a proxy it seems that the post I write are updated, so I'll continue. Its just annoying...
S l o o o o w!

PS: at least I don't have to think about if I should throw them away or not...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday/Tuesday - Birthday Party

Besides that i really have to start studying now... ;-) several group papers, presentations and individual exams..., there was a birthday to be celebrated. Enlarge the picture (simply click on it) and read about the Monday night party...

Zaijian!

PS: Here is a special birthday greeting - for Arne. Watch your Video coming in the next post. Hilarious :-D!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting (blog)lazy lately?


Maybe?!

... and my space for pictures is almost used, should I purchase some space?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ahhhhrrrrrg!

Maybe it is not cold enough outside! I am sweating inside and i have nothing to control my heating, the concept of a thermostat is unknown here as I assume and so they are just pumping hot water inside the system - during daytime they stop and then in the night they give all they have....
I had my window open the whole day and now I am running the AC to cool my room, because I can't open the window (it's already dark at 17:00h) - there are still mosquitoes waiting outside!!! Ahhhrrrg!

PS: Check your Junk Mail Folder. A lot of mails from your Chinese friends and classmates might just go there/be there, because stupid filters consider everything with unknown letters as spam... Ahhhrrrrg!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 88 - The Confuzius Temple

Although it was not my original intention to visit the Temple of Confucius, I was very lucky I did, because instead of one of the normal touristic temples I found a piece of ancient tranquility combined with the first really interesting exhibition of that time and that specific person - Confucius.
The whole area is nice and it is very much affected by the more popular Lama Temple, which closes actually too early - so, that I will never be able to visit it :-) Even in the subway station a nice decoration shows, that the name of the station is rightly "Yonghegong - Lama Temple". on the street there are a lot of little gift shops where one ca find all theses useless Buddhist decoration and other kitsch. The whole street smells like whatever because of all the incense sticks at the outside of the souvenir shops.
Then the Imperial College Street leads to the Temple of Confucius and to the Imperial College. Enjoy some pictures from here.

On the way back i got into the craziest crowd in the subway... no movement at all and still so many people aiting to get in...
I also found some Christmas products, not soo many though - its really not that popular here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The End is near...

The second course finished today - Chinese Culture and its Impact on Management.

I remember: During the first lectures of that course I felt shocked, because I thought the context was just so stereotype and unreflected. In retro perspective I would say now, that I don't know about the beginning - maybe I was just not able to see the truth in some of the stereotypes. Seriously.
Now I think this has been one of the best courses here - deep knowledge about a topic which sometimes is difficult to handle because of its "soft" character. From my perspective the lectures were getting better and better till the end. Here are some people from this class:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Kartoffeln mit brauner Soße"


Very German style - the taste is a little bit different though...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mission failed!

The original plan was it to go to the Lama Temple with all the international classmates - but half of them got busy or is still sick. So, because Sam has already been there we modified the plan a bit. Mao-Mausoleum and National Museum - both sights next to the Tiananmen Square.
Making a long story short: Mausoleum: Closed (different opening hours than in my guide); National Museum: Closed (renovation). So, we just had a look at the National Center for Performing Arts - the egg.
Although it was very cold - maybe o, or -1 °C, they watered the plants around the Great Hall of the People - the parliament building... no comment.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman: Creed Braton

My actual favorite. For more information check out Wikipedia ;-)
Just audio:



PS: Marketing test went pretty goooood!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Killing me softly...

It's winter here, face it! But certain creatures won't act according to that. And just as I am writing this, one posseses the insolence of flying between me and the screen, ahhh you gonna regret this...
Actually I decided a couple of days ago that I just killed the last one of these annoying mosquitoes - it's too cold (I thought), they should all be dead now (I thought), but they ignore this. So, I decided to ignore them... also not working!

When I came here and killed my first Chinese mosquito I really thought it is a Chinese one - now it is just a mosquito for me. Doesn't that show the amount of adoption of local culture here? So, finally I am integrated - at least a bit.
There are also other things which I guess are the same no matter where you are on this planet. The dirt under your toe nails, the alarm clock in the morning, shrunken laundry (because you dried it too hot, damn it!), and... you know.

Besides that, I am feeling a bit better (I was more or less seriously diseased with - I don't know) and well prepared for my marketing exam tomorrow. I just hope the stupid cats don't cry in our backyard today again, otherwise I'll have to start killing more Chinese creatures than just mosquitoes...

I am exited about your comments! Cheers!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It wasn't me...

... at least I don't know how... hmmm, maybe...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 81 - Friday: Shawarma and K.I.T.T.

Please notice my perfect teeth (I do really take care here in China), the Chinese Döner Kebab/Shawarma (why is it called like this in DK???) and K.I.T.T - the amazing car from "Knight Rider", unfortunately without David :-(

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Medical Help



A good friend of mine launched his new web-page. Have a look at www.drrolf.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wow, I can't believe it...

... it is almost over?! Today we had our last class in "Organizational Behavior in a Chinese Context", probably that was the reason why our teacher went with us to have dinner and paid the bill... yeah I am pretty sure now.
Most of the other classes will end in the next two weeks and the last exam will be in early December. So, there is no problem with my return flight date on the 17th Dec.

I just read a couple of my old post and I discovered that I wrote more about differences and little remarkable situations in the beginning - the problem why I can't write about that anymore is that I don't see it anymore. Just like the bureaucracy process yesterday to get my Student ID... I kind of expected that already. So I finally arrived ;-)
What I am thinking about is also what is missing on my "Sightseeing list"?! If you have any idea please comment. So far I went to:

Classical and non classical Sights:
  • Garden of 10.000 Springs
  • Summer Palace
  • Great Wall
  • Ming Tombs
  • Temple of Heaven
  • The Forbidden City
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Some Hutong Neighborhoods
  • The Zoo
  • Beihai Park
  • Jingshang Park
  • The Olympic Green (Birds Nest and Water Cube)
  • Project 798
  • Silk Street
  • Pearl Market
  • Sanliton bar district
  • Wangfujing and night market
  • Wodaokou bar district
  • Hohai bar district
  • Nanluogu Hutong bar street
So, What is missing???

Have a good day all over the world! Auf Wiedersehen!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Everybody is getting busy and i am getting tired

Puh, I have a muscle ache - just one hour of Badminton without warm up... particular sides of my body are overstretched...
I played with some classmates in the big university gym, nice fields and good rallies. Unfortunately I am a bit out of shape ;-) Maybe we will practice regularly now. Badminton is quite popular here and a lot of people played on the street when it was warmer.

Also I finally got my Student ID for the mysterious library today - but just because Seniora Hernandez helped me through the jungle of Chinese bureaucracy. Thanks!

So, I guess now the exams can come: library access, physical balance and some presentations, tests and papers as warm-up. Its getting busy. But before that I will go to sleep. Good night!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 75 - Saturday Program

Table of Content
  • Art District 798 Vol II
  • The Scorpion Challenge
  • Australian Hutong Flair
Art District 798 Vol II
Just (exactly) one month after I have been there, so much is different - or I haven't been to some places last time. So, this attraction is definitely worth visiting more than one time if you are in Beijing for a longer time. Again: Finest art for free in the fast changing Beijing.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it and find more pictures about 798 here, for pictures from my first visit start here.)

The Scorpion Challenge
After I procrastinated this now basically since I arrived, today was the day. Yummy Scorpions on the stick on the night market. 10 Yuan for a freshly fried foursome pack, which was more or less alive just the second before... look at the pictures ;-)


... it looks worth than it is, the taste is just like some fried shrimps, or whatever fried - maybe with a little bit of crunchy shell. So, i guess the next step would be the balls - not sure if I want to do that. Balls are for girls.

Australian Hutong Flair
After some Mc Donald's and more pictures at Wangfujing we took the metro to the Nanluogu Hutong street for some relaxed beers...
Also here the time is not standing still. Just last week there have been different bars than today... crazy.
As it was already a bit later, it was hard to find a bar with more than two free seats. Finally we stood in front of "Ned's" - a tiny Australian bar with a nice bartender and double Jägermeister for single prices ;-) Thanks to Steve!

(Click on the picture to enlarge it and find more pictures here)

I updated a lot of pictures in my wealbums. Have a look here. Ah, and by the way: it is getting really cold here....aaah... Bye bye!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A normal day

So, just that you don't get the impression of me only doing sightseeing and drinking, here is my normal day:

Today the 06.11.2008
  • Morning: take a shower
  • Cycle to the school cafe: marketing group; deciding on a designs for our IMC Campaign.
  • Breakfast: Banana - Yeah!
  • After that: culture group - deciding on how to do the next group work.
  • Midday: Chinese Culture and its Impact on Management Class. (Getting very interesting!)
  • Afternoon: Lunch in the canteen - dumplings, pork, vegetables, egg and rice.
  • Evening: Compiling the first group paper for E-Commerce Business Strategies.
  • After that: Sports - Meeting some classmates and running a few laps...
  • Shower # 2 - my skin is a dessert, but I am clean.
  • After that: Dinner: Having beer (and some peanuts) in the canteen and planing the next activities.
  • 00:00 Good night!
Key figures of today:
  • Money spend: 20 Yuan
  • Showers taken: 2
  • Chinese words spoken: tried: probably 20; working: probably 2
  • Pictures taken: none!
  • ...
Good night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 72 - The Temple of Heaven

When I talk about the "Temple of Heaven" this means basically the whole complex of temples within the Tiantan Park. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Side, just as many other sights in and around Beijing as well.
Basically there are three main constructions. These are (From south to north, just as the Emperor always entered the park(click on the pictures for a magnified view)):

The Circular Mound Altar. It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather. The whole construction is based around the number 9 because odd numbers were meant to be for the heaven, so there are e.g. 9 rings of stones to build the platforms.

Then there is The Imperial Vault of Heaven, which is a circular temple within a circular wall - The Echo Wall - that should transmit sounds over to the other side. So, all the Chinese stand there shouting and listening to the wall... :-D of course there were too many people shouting...


Finally there is the The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, which most people would mean when talking about the Temple of Heaven. It is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 32 meters in diameter and 38 meters tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests. The building is completely wooden, with no nails!!!

This whole thing is veeeeeery old. The park was constructed from 1406 to 1420, but of course was renovated couple of times - but still, it is one of the nicest temple complexes in Beijing - in better shape than the Forbidden City is.
As it is one of the main attractions in Beijing it has t be visited, besides that it is just another temple in another park ;-)

Just next to it is the "Pearl Market", very similar to the Silk Street - no need to go there. It is basically the same, but the sellers may not be sooo pushy... Silk Street is just unique ;-)

Check out more pictures - starting here. Good bye!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday - Exchanging money...

... don't want to talk about it. The exchange rate got so baaaaad... if I would have just exchanged everything at the first day... and then this bureaucratic bank counter bimbo... aaarrrrg.

If you can avoid it, doing any bank stuff in China, do it - this is worse than anywhere else.

They don't take banknotes with little rips, they need a copy of your passport, they make you fill out forms (even with your phone number) and it takes more time than ordering and eating a whole menu at Mc Donald's...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finally there it is...

... the new ©Lars creation. After a couple of tries it is now in the shape that I want it to be - reasonably. The slide show of our trip to Huairou 宋体, where the Great Wall is not in great shape but therefore original and not overflowed by tourists. Much better!
We went approximately 70 Km north of Beijing; and because there is a certain law for cars, which forbids to drive cars with an even last digit on Fridays (etc.) , some of our cars were not allowed to be driven at that day. So, quickly, all cars were disguised as a wedding convoy. Because no police man stops a wedding convoy in China - that is bad luck...

The rest of the story the following slide show will tell. It was fun. It was a nice common adventure. And it was beautiful landscape and an original Great Wall. Don't forget to turn on your speakers...

video

If you have any problems watching the video directly in my blog, this is probably because certain governments block the access. Because my videos are full of porn and violence as you may have noticed. You can install a proxy service (e.g. JAP (very recommendable)) or try it here via YouTube, where the video is uploaded as well.
PS: I am looking forward to any comments or responses! You can find more pictures here (unshaped). Over.

BACK

I am safely back - just waiting for some pictures - then I will write about the nice trip. Probably tomorrow. So long. Lars

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 66 - I never had a dog...

... not until now! Wintertime is coming and this is the traditional time for Chinese people to eat dog - at least for some, because dog heats you up they believe. So, also in one of the canteens they sell dog. Dog with rice for 5 Yuan. But just a small portion though - I am not used to dogs.
The meat was spicy and heavily flavored. So it was hard to figure out the unique dog taste. It is close to lamb I would say. Not so nice: all the bones left in the dish...
So, now I had a dog.
Conclusion: In the right marinade it could be delicious - in the style I had it it is a flop.


Tomorrow we will go with some classmates to the more original scenes of the Great Wall, about 70 Km north of Beijing, we'll stay there overnight and party a little bit - hopefully ;-)

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nanluogu Hutong Street - Impressions

Hutongs are the traditional narrow and flat courtyard residences. Much of these historical houses have been destroyed due to the modernization of the city districts. In some parts of the city the Hutongs are preserved though - also as a memory of the traditional Beijing lifestyle.
One of these streets, which nowadays attracts visitors with little shops, restaurants and bars is the Nanluogu Xiang just in walking distance to the "Party district" Hohai. Enjoying a little bit of Hutong culture is fun and gives a feeling of an old piece of Beijing. The atmosphere is calm and more relaxed than in Sanlitun (e.g.) or at Hohai (e.g.) ... although the cab drivers will give you notice if you walk in their way. Nice little bars with (or without) live music and reasonable prices can be found as well as dark "untouched" corners with coal oven and Chinese gambling joint. Find the pictures in high resolution here: KLICK

Zai Jian!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunny Sunday

I had to take this chance to finish my "Around the campus" project of which I was thinking longer. ...but unfortunately it was Sunday - so, not so busy as I wanted to have it for that cycling around; if the weather will be good again on a busy week day I might go again and you will see the difference. Anyway although it is Sunday afternoon the streets are never empty.
The trip in real time took about 20 min... here is the time motion with a worn-out music support (just fitted so well with the time and speed) and by the way: this is my premiere in full-video composing ;-) Stop wherever you want to take a closer look... go on...

video

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 60 - The Friday

The Morning

In the early morning we went with a schools bus to visit Hyundai Beijing. Hyundai the worlds fifth largest automobile company - probably because most of the taxis in Beijing are Hyundais ;-) That should be the only reason why the plant here is so successful; every minute they produce one car. Everything seems organized well and in a good shape - but the factory is not more than 5 years old. And, still there is so much done manually - labor cost are so low.
Taking pictures was forbidden of course, but no one cared - so I also took some. Industrial espionage! Unfortunately the whole "show" was in Chinese only... interesting anyway.

(Click on the picture for a magnified view)

The Evening
In the evening we had wonderful moments in a Karaoke room. After we had dinner with a lots of tendons, chicken stomach(which is really not bad) and liver, also some "normal" stuff and a lots of "Gan bei"s, we headed for a disco. "Babyface". Very stylish and modern but also very expensive... we didn't stay long, instead we took some taxis, including some illegal ones which are basically driven just by normal people who want to make some extra money, to a big karaoke place.
Karaoke at "Melody"! Or KTV. There are hundreds of rooms in that big building. And every room is equipped with a perfect karaoke machine, several screens, lighting system and microphones. You can buy drinks and snacks in a little shop and take it with you in your room... mmm maybe you can also have your own beer - who would know?! That would be a cheap evening!
Chinese songs (but basically everything... also BSB ;-)), American beer and a lot of fun... This concept is Singstar to the max! So different from a European party evening because of the separated rooms.

(Click on the picture for a magnified view, start here or explore my whole online album)

Thank you very much for that evening!