Tongji Daxue

Construction site in front of Tongji University

Construction site in front of Tongji University. The main entrance is on the left side. The tower in the background is the newest building on campus. Jan wrote about it some time ago.

International School of Tongji University

The International School in the shabbiest building around. We didn’t even find it at first because the sign says something like “gas building”.

Tongji University

Another image you might not find on the Tongji website.

Tongji University

I don’t get the purpose of this building. What is a “National Demonstration Center for Teaching and Learning”? They also have a “Basic Teaching Experimental Building” whatever this might be.

Tongji University
Tongji University
Tongji University
Tongji University

Cats… They’re everywhere.

Tongji University
Tongji University


Hongkou district

Old Chinese houses. I think they’ll tear them down to build more compounds. At least that’s what a model in Rainbow City 2 suggests.

Hongkou district
View from Rainbow City 2

The view from my window. You can see the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Word Financial Center in Pudong.

The Mall of Rainbow City 2

The Mall of Rainbow City 2.

Don't call me

I just learned that I have to pay when someone calls me because the costs are shared. (The headline is just a joke, calls are very cheap here.)

Out of Kabul

First time in another part of Shanghai. No debris, dirt and construction sites. Instead: Nice streets with trees, little houses and great clubs. We’ve been to four of them.

Please sign here

In order to take the extensive language course at the International School I had to resign at the School of Economics and Management. It’s not possible to be enrolled in both without paying extra.

Today I got my Chinese books and had to sign with my Chinese name: 马德. The first one means “horse”, the second one “kindness”, “morality” or “virtue” and is also used for German things: 德国 = Germany, 德国人 = German (person), …

I could only write the first sign so they painted both and I tried to imitate them. To make sure it’s readable they repeated “德” in brackets…

Old woman

Looking for a room, I visited the apartment of an old woman today. I could rent a room for 1500 Yuan and use bathrooms, kitchen, living room with her and another person that might move in. The good thing: She doesn’t speak either German or English so I’d be forced to learn Chinese. And she asked if I could cook and when I said not Chinese food, she said she could. The apartment also looks very nice and the price is good. But what if someone wants to visit me or I come home late?

For the record

I’m still alive but very sick. Details of the trip to Shanghai will follow.

Twenty kilograms

It’s a joke, and not a very good one. I don’t know how I should bring the most needed stuff if I am only allowed to take twenty kilograms. Why on earth did I decide to go to China? Why couldn’t I just stay here, keep the apartment, enjoy the semester break, …? Next week the lecture period will start at Tongji. The fun continues.


arte shows a Chinese movie. The fact that I don’t completely understand it might be more due to the plot than to the language. (It has subtitles but hardly any dialogs.)


For about a year I’ve been knowing that I would go to China. It has always been in the future. Months, weeks and now it’s only days. 10…9…

Entering the boat

The website of Hongkou District knows:

The school name Tongji means “people are on the same boat and help each other” in Chinese.

No idea how they get that whole expression in only two signs… According to the first one () means like, similar, with, together, same, alike, the second one () aid, ferry, frugal. Hm.

And with the boat in mind even the Tongji logo makes sense:

Tongji Logo

(Image: Wikipedia)


Finally, the last vaccination. Against Japanese Encephalitis, at the Munich Tropical Institute. The doctor asked me to cough. She said it would suppress the pain stimulus. Never heard of that before.

Three weeks

That’s the weather in Shanghai, three weeks before my arrival:

Weather Shanghai

(Image: Google)

I hope it’ll get a bit warmer until then.

It appears

My calendar shows the next four weeks. That’s the time left, here in Germany:


Chinese visa

Chinese F Visa

I thought I’d get a student (X) visa but this is a business (F) one. So I don’t have to apply for a residence permit and can avoid the health check. But, and I hope that won’t be a problem, I have to get re-entry visas when I visit other countries. And I have to extend in order to do an internship.

Delta m

Four weeks until I have to be in Shanghai. No appartment yet. But a flight:

Itinerary Munich - Shanghai

I’ll arrive in Hongqiao rather than the modern Pudong Airport. It’s nearer and I better get my things to wherever I stay before exploring the city.

According to the lady of the Air China service hotline I may take thirty kilogram to Beijing but only twenty to Shanghai. Different regulations for international and domestic flights. Ok. I thought about sending some stuff by mail. Beijing, Shanghai. That shouldn’t take too long. A Chinese friend advised against it. Hm.

Consulate general

In order to apply for a visa I went to the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Munich. Interesting. Waiting, talking, trying to get a copier working and finally my first encounter with a Chinese official.

I learned that I can either get a Single Entry Visa for six months or a Multiple Entry one which would only be valid for sixty days at a time. I chose the first one. When I travel to another Asian country now, I have to apply for a new Chinese visa there or I won’t be able to come back. Strange.

Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Munich

Here’s a shot of the massive plates at the door

Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Munich

The Consulate building

Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Munich

And that’s what you see when you step back a bit more


Having payed 180 Euro, I think I’m prepared for everything to come. Including bad food.

Still want to study here?

A Tongji representative wrote me an email telling me that she had found out I wanted to study at their university this spring semester. She wanted to know if I still intend to do it. In this case I should mail them the attached forms. There were no forms, and I already applied in December. The documents which I hope contain the admission haven’t arrived yet. How long can it take a letter to get from Munich to Freising?

Salt sticks

A Chinese friend suggests taking salt sticks to China because – according to her – I won’t be able to eat anything else during the first weeks and they’re not available in Shanghai.


Preliminary discussion of the thesis I’ll write in China. They told me to stop the moment I think it’s getting too dangerous…


The TUM International Office called before. They got my Chinese documents. The admission? Why didn’t I get it myself? And how can it be delivered in only three days including the weekend? I better wait and book the flight tomorrow.

Two or three days

I still don’t have the admission to Tongji. According to the friendly woman, they sent them out out on Friday so I should get mine in two or three days.

The beginning

Took off the harddisk. In the external case I can transfer the most important files to the laptop and take the rest with me to China. With all my things gone, my computer feels so strange now.