Our trip started at 5 in the morning last week on Wednesday. We took a taxi to the airport and got on the plane for about 2,5 h to get to Guilin. At our reserved hostel we met Frauke and Nora, two German friends from Paderborn, who are participating in the same program and spend their semester in Beijing. We were very excited to see each other again after the first couple of weeks in China and exchanged experiences for a while before we left the hostel. For the first day we had planned to explore Guilin, but for Susanne and me it ended up being a desperate search for something warm to wear. So far it had been around 30 degrees in Shanghai and we didn’t expect it to be any colder in the South. But unfortunately it was very windy that day and since we had planned to climb the rice terraces the next day, we decided to buy some warm sweaters. This took much longer than we thought as the Chinese fashion is a lot different from what we like to shop for which made it very difficult to make up our minds. At least I own a pullover now that will always remind me of the Chinese style :) Because of our shopping tour we didn't get to see a lot of Guilin as we stayed on the main shopping street all day. But we were still happy in the evening when we sat in the hostel with our warm, comfortable sweaters and enjoyed some very delicious pancakes with the rest of our group.
Oktober 02, 2013
Another two weeks have passed since I last shared my experiences and we went on a second exciting trip outside of Shanghai to the south of China, which I will for sure write about in detail during the next days, but before I would like to share some everyday life experiences. One big daily topic is the food :) For breakfast we have decided to live on cereals to start the day with something familiar. We also have a lot of bakeries here, but of course they don't offer our good German rolls and bread. Instead there is a great variety of soft rolls and some sweets that are hard to identfy. To survive the rest of the day being a vegetarian is not easy. I thought it would be possible to just get rice with vegetables on every corner, but most of the dishes still have some kind of meat in them. If I try to order something without meat it's always difficult to communicate this knowing just a few words in Chinese. But something very nice, cheap and convenient are the night markets that can be found on most streets during lunch and dinner time, where you can get all kinds of meat, fish and most importantly vegetables :)
Some more impressons of everyday life are the following: little kids having a hole in their trousers so that they can easily do their business, or their parents holding them over trash cans for this, a lot of motorcycles everywhere, clothes hanging outside the house to dry, people sleeping in the middle of a busy street, cramed vehicles, food being sold on those little stalls on the street, a huddle of electric cables, crowded places with the Chinese standing very close to each other without keeping that natural distance that we would feel comfortable with and elderly playing cards on the pavement.