Asia | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity


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…