Time just seems to fly. Tomorrow I have been in Shanghai for two weeks already and there are lots of things we have experienced. Most importantly: thanks to some very nice and helpful people at our university Susanne and I have found a great apartment located in a Chinese living area, where we will have the chance to experience the true way of life here. When we first saw the building from the outside and walked up the stairs to the first floor we were both thinking that it wouldn't be possible to live there.... but then the door to our apartment opened and it was all good :) exactly what we were looking for! It still feels strange to regularly hear the sound of our neighbors spitting from the bottom of their hearts which is generally very common in China (at least for the older generation) .... but still we are very happy and starting to feel at home!
|Our house from the outside|
|One of our rooms|
After finally being able to unpack our entire luggage on our 5th day in Shanghai, our next challenge was the registration at university. This almost took all day at the beginning of last week as we had to go to a second campus of Tongji University, which is about 1,5 hours away from the main part of the city. The metros were so crowded, that we decided to just take a taxi to go there. That is something really convenient in this city as taxis are very cheap here. Susanne and I both paid about 10€ for this long distance. On the campus we just handed in different papers and noticed that there are several people who seem to be responsible for us, but at the same time couldn't give us any detailed information on courses. We all realized how well our university in Germany is organized and how great it is to be able to select courses online. But there was also good news that day as we were told that we would have another week off.
Therefore we decided to take the opportunity to escape from the busy city for a few days. Susanne, Anna, Sina, Kim and I went on a trip to Huang Shan, a mountain range south of Shanghai. We took a bus for about 6 hours and stayed in a very nice hostel from Thursday to Sunday. The first day we visited two ancient villages called Chengkan and Tangmo. It was really nice to see some rural Chinese areas, different architecture and another way of life in China.
On Friday we started early in the morning as we had planned to climb Huang Shan Mountain that day. Climbing in this case meant walking up stairs for 2,5 hours (7,5 kilometers). It was really really hard and exhausting especially because it was also very hot outside but once we got to the top and were able to enjoy a great view it was definitely worth it!! I haven’t seen such an amazing countryside before.
|planning our trip with Steven after a very delicious dinner|
|Chinese men carrying food for the hotels to the top|
|endless stairs on the 7 km to the top|
|enjoying the great view :)|
|Our PB group on Huang Shun Mountain|
|Our very patient driver for the three days|
This week we have been taking it a bit slower to settle down and get into the routine. In summary we have been trying to find out what we can buy in the grocery stores so we don’t have to eat out every day and we went to two courses at university so far. On Thursday there is a national holiday and we have already been warned that it will be very crowded and maybe better to stay at home. I can’t wait to see this spectacle!