Asia | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

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