In 2008 and 2009 I spent 1.5 years studying Chinese at Tongji University in Shanghai. This is my way to China, these are my experiences in Shanghai.
I arrive in China on page 15.
I called Tongji University yesterday to ask them when the spring semester 2008 will start. They didn’t know, told me “the schedule is not yet aranged” and I should try again in november. The whole thing seems to depend on the Chinese Spring Festival whose date is well-known. I suppose it’s one of these intercultural challgenges we have to cope. ;-)
Just to show the difference to Germany: The winter semester 2008/2009 at TU München will be from October 13, 2008 until February 2, 2009.
Well, ok, the second line’s true.
In order to attend the Raumfahrer.net Meeting 2007 I am going to fly to Berlin tomorrow. The flight (500 km) will last 75 minutes, the train ride to the city (20 km) between 35 and 50 minutes.
By the way: The homepage of Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg, the local public transportation network, lets you chose how you would like to change trains: normally, comfortably or slowly.
Aren’t there any fast people in the north? Or is it just a question of how you define “normally”?
Berlin is about to replace Paris as my favorite city. Never thought that could ever happen. The last time I’ve been there was so determined by culture, museums, sights that the city itself was forced to the background. But it’s such an amazing place.
Before going north I assumed there wouldn’t be any fast people. Though I never had a problem with changing trains I often couldn’t cross four-lane streets at once because the green phases of the traffic lights were just sufficient to reach the traffic island in the middle of the road.
And at first it was hard to find the youth hostel because the house numbers aren’t counted the same way as in the rest of Germany where the odd numbers are on one side of the road and the even ones on the other. In Berlin they start on one end and then count up on one side turn around and continue on the other one. So numbers 9 and 34 may stand vis-à-vis.
The intermediate exams in engineering are tough, no question, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn 24/7. This year’s freshmen are overdoing it a little bit. How could we succeed without brooding over our books all day long? Didn’t we manage to have at least some evenings were we sat together talking?
After one and a half hours of discussing whether it’s possible to do something tomorrow evening we finally agreed to meet at the library. After it closes at 20:00 h we have at most two hours until they need to continue studying. I think that’ll suffice for a warm meal. Don’t know if another friend will come along. They said she resolved to learn eleven hours tomorrow.
I was kind of surprised when I discovered several IKEA tables in a corridor at the university:
Today the MusikSommer 2007 ended with a great concert of the Sinfonietta, the symphony orchestra of TU München. The Russian evening (“Bajuschki baju”), featuring vocalists as well as a dance group, took place at the Theatron in the great ambience of the Olympiapark.
I regret I didn’t know about the MusikSommer before, there would have been more interesting events. I have to mark it on my calendar for 2009…. Done.
I just returned from an experiment where I got paid for playing with LEGO Technic. Kind of reminded me of how I spent huge parts of my early christmas holidays… However, the thing today had a serious background: A psychology student wants to find the best way of presenting information to untrained workers. That’ll help to enhance the cognitive factory, another project of the CoTeSys cluster of excellence.
When talking about English and French my grandma, born 1921, said she can’t imagine speaking foreign languages having never had the chance to learn at least one. After seven years of elementary school (“Volksschule”) where she had been doing a good job, her parents didn’t have the money to buy school books. So she couldn’t attend high school but started to train as a taylor. She said she always got angry when she heard someone talking about “the good old times”. From her point of view there wasn’t anything like that.
I can’t take my desktop computer to Shanghai so I have to look for a laptop. I’d like to get a ThinkPad but couldn’t figure out yet how to customize a model instead of just buying one. It works on the US site, why not on the German one?
And why do I have to spend money on Windows Vista?? I’m very happy with my Ubuntu Linux and even if I’d want to use Windows (what I don’t) I could get a free and legal copy from my university. Praise Dell that offers computers with Ubuntu.
I’m also thinking about getting a cheap laptop from a discounter which I’d use at home where size, weight and battery life won’t matter and try to find a small used ThinkPad at eBay. But then I can just as well get another desktop computer in China… Anyone competent around?