Xi’An Day 2: The Terracotta Warriors – Do’s and Don’ts

As you may have read in my previous blog post about my arrival in Xi’An here, you might expect a visit to the Terracotta Warriors for sure, which I was looking forward to see for quite a long time already.

I knew about the Terracotta Warriors way before I even planned to go to China. And now, it was finally time.

I woke up early and took my breakfast at the hostel. Then the group arrived to pick me up. Here, I want to say that I wouldn’t recommend to book a tour to the Terracotta Warriors, neither from your hostel/hotel, nor online. Here is why:

  1. Money:
    It’s gonna be more expensive than going there on your own. The amount of money they take from you might not seem much, but it would be even less if you went there on your own.
  2. Time:
    You’re not only gonna save money, but also time. Although I was picked up really early, we didn’t only go to the Terracotta Warriors and back. We first went to a factory where they produced and sold replicas, statues and figurines of the Warriors which was actually not so bad to see. But after that we stopped at 2 more archaeological excavations which was soooo boring, omg!!! I can’t believe that this was actually included in the price. I would have saved so much money -.- AND time of course. Even after visiting the Warriors, our trip was not finished yet. We still went to another tourist sight, which we would have to pay EXTRA if we wanted to get in. And because some idiots in our groups have already pre-booked a ticket (they were germans, of course), we had to wait for them finish and exit.
  3. Making you own decisions:
    I could have decided when to wake up, when to take the metro, and when to leave the warriors. If I went on my own, I even would have had time to explore the Muslim Square a little bit more again -.- I actually regret taking that group trip more than probably anything that I did during my time in China.

Of course, tours can often be very handy, informative and a great way to meet new people. I did meet an interesting woman from England. She was hilarious and as crazy as me, so I always hung out with her. Our guide was also great. Her english was almost perfect and she gave us a lot of information about emperor Qin and the Qin dynasty. 

So, if you don’t wanna make the same mistakes as I did, make sure to inform yourself about the stops on the tour you are taking, and only take it if you really wanna see the additional sights.

After this little lecture, let me show you some snippets of that day:

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The little figurines being painted here
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The end product

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That guy made me try my calligraphy skills. I got to keep that work of art I created without having to pay anything :)

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One of the many excavation sites. As you can see, nothing interesting here…
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Spring was starting, so the first flowers were almost in full bloom already :)

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Finally at the Terracotta Warriors

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Headless warriors. There were several stations here. One of the stations was the hospital, where broken or incomplete warriors were mended. 
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We were able to pose with replicas in exchange for 20 RMB
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The UNESCO World Heritage Sight is for the grave of Emperor Qin which is supposed to be in the hills and mountains in the background. He wanted to be buried close to the Warriors, so they could protect him in the afterlife.
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That place we had to wait for that elderly german couple to finish their sightseeing. This statue depicted the importance of belly dancing in Xi’An. 

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At the end of our trip, our guide offered us to book a seat at a traditional dance show that included a dumpling Dim Sum. I love dance performances, and I love chinese food, so I was quite intrigued by that. I seemed to be the only one interested, so I asked about it. The price was a bit expensive, but it really sounded good so I did it. It was really worth it guys! If you are looking for some evening activities to do in Xi’An other than exploring the food market, I can highly recommend you to visit this show. Apart from the show, the food was DELICIOUS! The dumplings were beautifully prepared and I kinda felt sad eating them.

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Unfortunately, the duck-shaped is very out-of-focus in this one. I don’t know what my camera did here :’D
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Deliciousness <3
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The two amazing bamboo baskets in one picture. 

You don’t have to book that show through a tour. I guess you can also do it online or through your hostel. You also don’t have to include the food, but I recommend. It is a great atmosphere as well, since it takes place in an old chinese opera house with tables at the front part and normal seats at the back part.

For me, going to the show after the trip was a bit stressful. I barely had 1 hour to get changed until I was picked up next. That was insane. But I made it!

The show was great as well. The music was not as weird as the typical chinese opera music. The performances were utterly beautiful, as well as the dresses they were wearing. It was awesome!

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At the end of the evening, I was full but super tired. I was so happy that my driver was actually waiting for me outside and brought me back to the hostel. I immediately prepared my bags and got bed-ready.

This amazing trip ended with a busy last day in Xi’An. I would like to revisit this city just because of the food alone. It was fantastic. Definitely one of the best cuisines I got to try in China. I would even say that, together with Zhejiang food, Xi’An food is my favourite. 

What about you guys? Have you ever been to Xi’An? Do you have a favourite chinese cuisine? And have you ever had bad experiences with organized tour groups? Let me know below!

Thanks for reading and travelling with me!

Merveille.

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ABC Travel List: S – Singapore, Seoul, Serengeti National Park

Finally I have reached the letter S which I have waited for very long. It has two of my favourite must-go places that are on my travel list nowadays, of course, both of them in Asia. It also has one newly-found spot that I just recently discovered and immediately wanted to explore.

Without further ado, let’s start!

S

1.Country: Singapore

Ähnliches Foto
Source: onedio.com

Singapore is surely on the top 3 countries I want to visit right now. It is the perfect example for a modern, clean, asian nation that could manage to please every- and anyone. Here are the top things I would love to see.

-Spend one night at Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Bildergebnis für marina bay sands pool
Source: pinterest.com

I know that this might be a bit expensive, but going to Singapore, and not spending at least one night here would be a total waste. Plus, the Marina Bay Sands was probably the first famous infinity pool that started all the infinity pools around the world. I think this would be perfect after a long flight, arriving early in the morning, sleeping in in your room and then spending the rest of the day and evening in this hotel. Checking out the next morning and looking for another, cheaper accomodation.

-Hawker Center

Ähnliches Foto
Source: thecitylane.com

Even more than fancy restaurants, it is the Hawker Centers I’d go for food in Singapore, since they are famous for its authentic food from different cuisines in the world, especially local cuisine which is a mix between Chinese, Indian and Malay. I love the first two cuisines so much that I’d die to try their fusion. I also heard amazing things about Malay food. I mean, there has to be a reason that Singapore is known as the foodie capital of the world.

Here is a link to a website where you can browse through all the hawker centers and all the food that is offered there.

There are already a lot of dishes on my list:
Ayam Penyet, Bak Chor Mee, Ban Mian, Biryani, Chendols, Chicken rice, Laksa, Halal Chinese Foods, Nasi lemak, Nasi Padang, Onde Onde, Roti Prata, Satay, Popiah, ,…

Most unbeatable ayam penyet
Source: Ayam Penyet
5 best chendols in Singapore
Chendol
5 best nasi padang restaurants
Nasi Pedang
Mind-blowing onde onde
Onde Onde
8 best satay stalls in Singapore
Satay
6 different varieties of popiah you must try
Popiah

OMG I AM GETTING SO HUNGRY!!!! :'(

All food photos are from hungrogowhere.com

-Gardens By the Bay

Bildergebnis für gardens by the bay night
Source: singapore-guide.com

This looks like straight out of a fantasy world. Some people compare them to the Avatar trees, for me they look like massive, sparkling massage sticks :’D

I’d definitely visit these trees in the evening when the lights are turned on. And I’d try anything to get a picture like this one <3

-Singapore Botanic Gardens

Bildergebnis für singapore botanic gardens
Source: expedia.com

It’s all about the gardens in Singapore it seems. I know that this is also a UNESCO Sight, but I have also heard a lot of beautiful things about this spot, and it is the perfect playground for photography obsessed people like me :’D

The rest of Singapore is actually more artificial than cultural. I would think about some stuff to do in Orchard Street maybe which is the main shopping area, and I would consider visiting Universal Studios if I still had time and money left to do so. Other than that, I would just make Singapore a complete food tour :’D

 

2.City: Seoul

Bildergebnis für Seoul
Source: viator.com

When I think about Seoul, I think about a relaxed, but cosmopolitan city. I think about beautiful and fun people. I think about its bustling nightlife. And I think about Korean BBQ.

Except for these amazing things to do in this city, there are also some sights to explore.

-Gyeongbokgung Palace

Bildergebnis für gyeongbokgung palast
Source: mgb-home.de

This palace actually reminds me of the Forbidden City Palace Museum in Beijing, just a tiny version of it. I heard that there is a change of guards with the presentation of local weapons, so I’d be excited to see that as well.

-Myeong-dong/ Dongdaemun Market

Bildergebnis für myeongdong
Source: thousandwonders.com

These are the main shopping districts of Seoul, and I guess there should also be restaurants and cafes, and I hope several animal cafes that tourists and locals alike can visit.

-Seoul Tower

Bildergebnis für Seoul Tower
Source: myeongdong.org

This might actually be the only high tower in Seoul I think. From here, you can actually get a great view over the city.

Bildergebnis für seoul tower view
Source: world-walk-about.com

The skyline of Seoul actually reminds me a little bit of that of Taipei or a small chinese city.

-Namsan Park

Bildergebnis für namsan park
Source: trazy.com

Namsan is actually the name of the mountain where the Seoul Tower is located at.

Bildergebnis für namsan mountain
Source: english.visitkorea.or.kr

-Samsung Museum

Bildergebnis für samsung museum seoul
Source: expedia.com

Since I have many gadgets by Samsung (phone, tablet, camera), I can actually say that I am a Samsung fangirl.

-Nightlife in Itaewon and Hongdae

Bildergebnis für itaewon nightlife
Source: mydestinationseoul.com

These two districts and Gangnam are the main parts of the city for nightcrawlers. Since Gangnam is rather posh, I’d focus rather on these two districts. I am sure that you can explore these parts of the city during the day as well, but they are particularly known for their nightlife scene.

In general, Seoul seems like a cool city for young people to hang out, but also for travellers who want to get a taste of korean culture. Surely a must-visit place.

 

3.UNESCO World Heritage Site: Serengeti National Park

Bildergebnis für serengeti nationalpark
Source: franks-travelbox.com

I have known about this place for ages now, but just recently, I saw pictures of this National Park again on social media. This place reminds me of the Lion King, and if I had to think about a place where it all takes place, I guess it would be this very place here.

Bildergebnis für serengeti nationalpark
Source: touring-afrika.de

I also saw pictures of hot air balloon rides over the national park, and I would love to experience that as well. Seeing the animals from above probably feels like watching a documentary.

And quite quickly, we have already reached the end of this post as well. I imagined it to take more time, but most of the places I chose are more relaxing than full of sights to see.

What are some places starting with S on your travel list? Let me know below!

Thanks for reading and travelling with me!

Merveille.

Travel Anticipation: Taipei

By the time you are reading this, I will be in Yuyao, reuniting with my friends.

The reason I go to Taipei is actually because I am going to China for one of my best friend’s wedding. She is getting married on January 9th and I didn’t want to miss it. I have never been to a chinese wedding and I also wanted to be at the wedding of a friend who helped me a lot during my time in China.

After the wedding I will stay in Yuyao for a few days, and then on the 13th, I will board my plane to Taipei. I will stay there for 2 days and 3 nights. On Monday I will land in Shanghai and stay there for a few days until flying back to Germany on the 19th.

So my stay will be quite short, but I guess it will be very busy.

Because I am not taking my laptop with me, I will now write an anticipation post about my plans in Taipei.

Sights

  1. Taipei 101
    Source: totaiwanandbackagain.blogspot.com

    If this is not on your Taipei List, you are doing something wrong.

  2. Elephant Mountain
    Source: taiwan-photography-blog.com

    After hiking up this hill, you will have a magnificient view over Taipei and its famous landmark

  3. Night Markets: Shilin or Raohe
    Source: cavinteo.blogspot.com

    I can’t wait to indulge into all of the yummy and cheap varieties of asian food here.

  4. Beitou Hot Springs and Thermal Valley
    Source: alectravelguide.com

    I would really love to visit this place while I am in Taipei, but I am not sure if I will be able to visit with this huge itinerary. I will definitely ask about this place at the hostel.

  5. National Chiang-Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
    Source: adventuresofagoodman.com

    I am still not sure if I will visit the historical sites yet. If the hot springs should be easy to visit I will probably skip the memorial halls.

  6. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
    Source: tripadvisor.com

    This place actually looks very beautiful and it has a nice park. I guess this would be more interesting to me than the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial since I have visited Sun Yatsen’s Memorial Hall in Nanjing already. So I’d have the background knowledge already.

  7. Guandu Temple or Lonshan Temple
    Source: darrenmelrose.com

    There are two temples I am interested in. One of them is the more popular Lonshan Temple and the other one is the more artistic looking Guandu Temple. I will decide spontaneously which one to visit. Maybe I can make it to both.

  8. Shrimp Fishing
    Source: traveljunkiephotography.files.wordpress.com

    I would really like to visit this unique place because I am sure I can nowhere find a place like this.

  9. Jiufen Cat Village
    Source: remotelands.com

    I’d love to visit this place while I am there. I head it was the example city for Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli Academy Award winning movie Spirited Away, one of my most favourite movies during both my childhood and adulthood. It already looks amazingly beautiful on the picture and I would love to spend at least a few hours here. I will also get some information about this place at the hostel.

Food & Drinks

  1. Modern Toilet Restaurant
    Source: untappedcities.com

    I am dying to eat here! I think you know why :’D

  2. Hello Kitty Shabu Shabu
    Source: dayre.me

    I have never been a big Hello Kitty fan, but if it comes to food, I am a sucker for anything cute-looking :’D

  3. Ounce Bar
    Source: travelandleisureasia.com

    This bar has a secret entrance, and I have always wanted to visit a bar, hotel or library with a secret entrance.

  4. Xiaomijo
    Source: flickr.com

    Did someone say cute lattes?

  5. Rilakkuma Cafe
    Source: suddenlycat.com

    *heavybreathing* As you can see, my Taipei itinerary is filled with cute cafes and restuarants :’D

  6. Coffee Alley Zhongxiao
    Source: stephs852diary.com

    Who doesn’t like waffles? I will try to make some time for this place. I am not sure if I can…

  7. Agnes B. Cafe
    Source: pixieprodigy.wordpress.com

    This looks like the Angelina Paris of Taipei, so I will also put this on the maybe-list.

  8. Ooh Cha Cha
    Source: tripadvisor.com

    This actually looks like a perfect place for lunch/brunch.

  9. Din Tai Fung
    Source: city543.com

    Probably the most famous restaurant in Taipei and I will definitely visit it after going up the observatory deck.

 

So, as you can see, my itinerary for Taipei is HUGE! You might wonder why, but I know exactly: It will be the second asian country I will visit, and I am more than excited to make this happend. So I will have to try and make the best out of it. I just can’t wait for it and I hope that everything will go according to my imagination :)

Oh and the hostel I am staying at will be Oxygen Youth Hostel:

See you next time with a lot of new and old posts from China and Taipei.

Have you ever been to Taipei?
If there is any recommendations, please leave them for me in the comments.

Thanks for travelling with me.

What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 1 Chengdu, Sichuan Province

Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, started February 7th this year and ended February 14th. Our last working day was the saturday, February 6th. We could spend that day packing everything and getting ready for our trip the next day. Our destination would be an amazing province in China, namely Sichuan Province, home of Pandas and spicy food!

We had our flight at early afternoon from Shanghai, so we took the fast train from Yuyao in the morning. This is how the sky said goodbye to us:

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Everything went well, our train ride and the flight were very comfortable and we soon arrived at our hostel where we had our own private room.

We relaxed in our room for a while and then asked some questions at the reception, including where to go celebrate Chinese New Year. The girl at the desk told us about the Wuhou temple in the city centre which would be decorated, so we decided to go there. We also looked for a resturant on the way, but couldn’t find it, so we tried our luck findin some place to eat inside the temple.

A lot of people were out in the streets, including police and the military. But we still managed to enjoy the decorations and the festive atmosphere.

After we found the temple, we finally got in. I can’t remember if we paid anything, but I think we did, because we go tickets. If I remember well, it was 20 RMB, so around 4€

We didn’t regret it though. As soon as we entered the temple, we were overwhelmed by the incredibly beautiful decorations! It was so beautiful!

After strolling through the temple a little bit, we realized how hungry we really were, so we tried to find a restaurant, and we actually found a very nice-looking one. It wasn’t crowded, because it was way past dinner time we guessed. We quickly had a seat outside, because the weather was really nice and mild for February, and there were actually seats outside which is pretty rare in Yuyao.

We ordered some food and I tried to take care not to get something spicy. We had some broccoli, eggplant, I think we also had beef and for dessert, we had tangyuan which is glutinous rice balls filled with sesame or red bean paste.

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After dinner, we strolled through the temple and found some beautiful spots and admired a lot of impressive lanterns in form of masks, monkeys and other creatures.

After we returned back to our hostel, we were high on colours. It was so overwhelming. We couldn’t believe what happened to us :’D I literally imagined an LSD trip to be like this: Like a temple in China for Spring Festival.

It really was a glorious evening and everyone seemed so happy and elated. We were wishing random people “Xin Nian Kuaile” (Happy New Year) when walking past them and they returned that wish as well. It was almost like being part of China.

Back at the hostel, we tried to sleep after the colour-flash, but we couldn’t so we stayed up a bit, browsed social media and talked about the next day, which would be one of the most fun experiences we would have: Visiting the Panda Center!

So you can look forward to a post full of cuteness overload!

Thanks for travelling with me!

10 Things that I miss about China

It’s been 9 months now, since I have been back to Germany, and as much as I have missed my parents, I have realized many things that I got used to in China so much that I miss them here now. Here are my top 10.

1 The food:

Source: meetup.com

 

Everything from street food, hole-in-the-wall-restaurants, fancy chinese restaurants, or even western-oriented cafes in big cities, I miss all of that.
It is really hard to find real authentic chinese food in Germany. It is also not very easy to find individual and hip restaurants around Stuttgart.
Anyway, if I go back to China, I will indulge in ALL the food <3
I might even write a blog post only dedicated to chinese food one day. Stay tuned!

2 Public Transportation:

Source: couriermail.com.au

Guys, I can’t tell you how important this one is for me and how much I am struggling with this here. In Germany, many people have cars, so there aren’t a lot of possibilities for public transportation. We do have a huge train system, but it is freaking expensive, even for students who get a student bargain. It would be cheaper to take the fast train from Yuyao to Shanghai (which takes about 2 hours) than to take the train from my home to Stuttgart (which takes about 30 minutes).
Other than trains, taxis are always around and so cheap. Usually, we would show them the address in chinese or even talk to them if we knew what to say.
I’d say that public transportation is cheaper in Asia in general.

3 All the Merch:

Source: gcastd.org

Pay-Day meant having the possibility to pay all the totoro- and sailor moon – stuff. And I am not even living in Japan where you can find more than you imagine. If you are not ready for Japan, China is a good place to start getting used to spending your money on Merchandise.

4 Heating Stuff in Winter:

People in China are totally afraid of the cold and the wet. So they will invent all of the things you have possibly dreamed about. One of the things are the heating bottle-pillows that we used everywhere we went to. We also found some heating pads to stick all over your body, even soles for your shoes. These things brought us through the few winter days we had in China.

5 Meeting new people:

Source: english.visitbeijing.com

In China, it is very easy to meet new people, chinese and foreigners alike. With foreigners, you will slowly start to talk out of interest about what they are doing there. With chinese people it is even easier to get into conversation since they will always approach you because of your western looks :D

6 The fame: 

Source: Theworldofchinese.com

I mentioned this before in my post about culture schocks, but as soon you get used to it, you will miss it when you’re back in Europe. It is also easier to look ridiculous or dress in an extroverted way, because even if people look at you, they look at you anyway, so do what you want!

7 Fruit shops:

Source: beijingrelocation.com

These fruit shops were life savers. You can find them at every corner, and most of them are open until midnight. You can buy all kinds of fruit here, and if you only want to buy a half of a watermelon, they will cut it for you and put it into plastic boxes. This is the best idea if you want to have a healthy lunch but have no time to cut it yourself. I ate fruits way more often than I do here now.

8 Chinese boutiques and Alibaba:

bread n butter hong kong, Angelababy, La Carmina will be in Tokyo, Japan soon! Keep your eyes peeled for casting notices, so you can join our TV show shoots. :D    But first... Phoenix, Arizona spooky press trip. Got travel suggestions for me??     PLUS photos of Marie Antoinette & Lady Gaga shoes. Enjoy :D    http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2012/11/press-trip-travel-blogger-phoenix-arizona-tokyo-hong-kong-fashion-inspiration-womens-clothing-shoes-shops/:
Source: lacarmina.com

As long as you have a petite body type, you will find a lot of cute and beautiful clothes here. They are all unique and you can’t find anything like the things here in european countries. I bought some clothes from these shops and you will also get the attention of the shop workers immediately, who will want to take some photos and selfies of you wearing their clothes :’D
Alibaba is the chinese verison of Amazon, even bigger, more successful and with a bigger range of selection. You can literally find anything here, from food to clothes to furniture.

9 Dancing Aunties:

Source: scmp.com

I just don’t understand why many people are annoyed by them, but I just love them and I would like to hug all of these women dancing in public places. Every evening after dinner time, women in their mid-years will meet up at public places to dance together. And it is not just the dancing aunties that meet up after dinner to work-out; many chinese people will meet up to work-out and exercise outside, especially in the warmer months.

10 Rooftop Bars: 

Source: kiplingandclark.com

The amount of rooftop bars in China, or in Asia in general is ridiculous. If a rooftop bar opens somewhere in Germany, it’s a big thing. And then, you don’t even have an amazing skyline to enjoy here, whereas in China, you have the most impressive skylines.

I hope I could give you my positive experiences I had in China which were quite a lot as you can see, and some of them very important for everyday-life.
If you are thinking about travelling there or even living there, I am sure that this post will help you a lot.

Thanks for reading!

Travel well!

 

China Travels: Arrival in Yuyao

Saturday, June 6th 2015: Meeting the foreign teachers
That day I was brought to the train station in Ningbo to take the train to Yuyao. I should travel alone but I was picked up. The train was quite impressive I have to say. Very clean and modern and the seats were so comfortable, more than in the plane. And it is really easy to understand, just getting to the platforms is a bit annoying because everytime you have to go through baggage controls. But other than that, very good.
My first impression of Yuyao was fine. My chef Martin picked me up and after putting my things into the apartment, he brought me to tefl, the school I will be teaching at. I met an American Girl, Geet first and a chinese girl, Veronica. I already got along well with them, making jokes and laughing. Geet turned out to be a huge Harry Potter fan as well, so we automatically like each other :D Then I met Ana, a polish girl who is already working there for 2 years and she is something like our momma. Then there is Josie from England who has the most perfect british accent and Hailey from Canada, probably the toughest of us :D
While the others had classes, I went to have lunch with Geet and Ana. I wasn’t hungry so I only drank something. In the restaurant, there was a lot of fish, and I somehow didn’t have a big appetite, moreover, the smells of the buildings were different I noticed. Everything smelled so differently, I had to get used to that.
Another thing I had to get used to are the squat toilets they have here. In the apartment, we have normal toilets, but in public places, there usually are squat toilets.
And then, during the day when everyone was having classes, I sat in the office and talked to anyone who was free. During these hours, Veronica helped me to get a chinese card and while talking about phones, I realized that it is very hard to get a free vpn on your phone if you don’t have an iphone. While we were walking to a phone shop, I noticed that a lot of people here have new cars. The only old cars I have seen so far are the taxis, everything else are new Volkswagen, Mercedes, bmw, Hyundai, even Porsches. I have never seen so many Porsches like here in Yuyao.
That was something I didn’t expect. I even expected the spitting but not this.
Anyway, at 5pm we had dinner break, or rather, almost everyone of us was finished for the day, so Josie’s boyfriend Harry who is chinese brought us to a restaurant to have dinner at. It was quite nice and we all had a good time getting to know each other.
After dinner we went some shopping while Hailey had evening class until 8.30. There, we saw another odd but funny thing. A lot of people were gathered at the plaza of the mall and were all dancing. It looked like a flash mob but then Ana and Josie explained to us that they were old people who were working out after dinner. It was so funny that Geet and I had to join them.

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I am sooo sorry for the bad quality.

After that, we all met in front of the school again and went to KTV which is a Karaoke Bar where you get your own cabin and stuff like that :D It was such a fun evening and a friend of Harry’s Es joined us as well. The beer, however tasted like water :D Still, it was so good, that I want to do it again soon.

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At after midnight we called it a day and returned home.

Sunday, June 7th 2015: Badminton
That day, Everyone was out except for Ana and me so we had breakfast together and she helped me get wechat which is like a mixture between chinese whatsapp, facebook and instagram :’D After everyone arrived, we went to the gym to play Badminton, because it was raining outside. It was fun to play Badminton again after such a long time.
After that, we got some Pizza at Pizza Hut. So, it was a typical Sunday even in China :D

Monday, June 8th, 2015: First working day, Fail
That day should be my first working day, and I was excited already. I had my first class in the afternoon which was at the Kindergarten. It wasn’t really a class I held, but I should just watch Ana’s class and the little children were all so cute! When I walked into the room, all their heads turned to me and while I was grinning, I felt the tears in my eyes swell up. It was just too much cuteness, I couldn’t bear it.
My real lesson should be late in the evening, at 6.30pm, so after dinner time. For dinner we went to a really amazing place. I had Kung Pao Chicken for the first time, and now it is one of my most favoirte chinese dishes <3

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After dinner, I got a lemon ice tea and prepared a little bit for my class, but I soon had to find out that it didn’t take place.

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Wednesday, June 9th 2015: Finally working
That day, we were supposed to meet the new foreign teacher from the UK who arrived only a few days ago. Me and two other chinese girls who work at our school took him to a chinese fast food restaurant to have lunch. After that he met the other ones and for dinner, we went to the restaurant which served Kung Pao chicken again. After we went back to school again, we saw that one of the receptionists had brough some Yang Mei for us, waxberries in english. It is a special kind of fruit that only grows here during two weeks of June. I tasted them and they were quite good. They tasted like a mixture between kiwi and raspberries.

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That day was long and in the end I was happy to finally have had my first class which was actually not bad.

Thursday, June 10th 2015: Evening class
That day I should have my first evening class with adults. It was interesting to talk with chinese adults and see their view upon different things. I had 7 people that day and the 1 hour went by so fast. Sometimes it was hard to explain some things to them, but most of the time, it was fun and challenging. I think I like it better than teaching adoloscent kids.

Saturday, June 12th 2015: Good food
That day we went to a nice place for dinner. Ana and the others have invited some other people they know as well. One girl named Libby, a french boy and his girlfriend. We went to a place called GoTeaGo which served sooo delicious food <3 Of course it was a bit more expensive, but still I loved it and thought it was worth it.

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The first time I tried duck, but this one was not a proper one

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I am really really sorry for the quality

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Shells. I tried them and they were surprisingly good
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I have always wanted to try crab. I finally did in China and at first it was hard to eat, but very yummy.
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Vegetables on fire
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The whole group :)

After dinner, however, I had to hurry to work since I still had a few evening classes which I later found out were cancelled. But I had to stay there anyway which is one thing that I don’t like about the working times. But Libby came to visit me at work so it wasn’t that bad.
After work Hailey and me planned our next day because we wanted to go to Hangzhou. Veronica helped us buying the train tickets and Hailey and me were already a little bit excited for that.

So on my next post, you will find out more about our trip to Hangzhou. You can already be excited for the pictures.

Little Reminder: I am not in China anymore. This blog post was written while I was there, though, but I couldn’t publish it, due to restrictions and slow internet at times.

30 Days Challenge Cooking/Baking -Day 21: 饺子

Yesterday, we met with our Chinese Calligraphy class to cook some 饺子 (jiaozi – chinese dumplings). I know the turkish (Manti) and german(Maultaschen) dumplings, and of course the italian Tortellini, the king of dumplings :’D We learned 饺子 jiaozi and 包子 baozi in my chinese language class, but I never understood the difference between the both of them. I knew that 包 bao meant bread, so it had to be made out of bread. But what were the 饺子 jiaozi made with? I found out that they both are madd of dough, but the 饺子 jiaozi are cooked in water and have a longer form, and the 包子 baozi are baked in the oven and are round. I hope that’s right how I understood it.

Before 4 of us met our teacher at 2pm to go grocery shopping for the ingredients, I met with a friend of mine, May June. I met her last year in my Oral communication and written communication class. We were then in the same presentation group in oral comm and spent our friday afternoon breaks together, eating something, preparing our presentations, or talking about books, movies, and tv shows. She is a fulltime foreign student from Myanmar (former Burma) and studies english literature and language in germany, at the same university as me. We sat for about an hour in the cafeteria and talked about our studies, plans for the winter break, books we have to read, and language courses. She then gave me a present, which was the main purpose she wanted to see me before the holidays. I found a cute little paperblank timer in the wrapping bag :) It really was nice catching up with her a little bit before the break, and talk a little bit of english.

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Then I headed to the chinese studies building to meet with my teacher andthe other 3 students, one of them was my friend Thanh who actually told me about the calligraphy class.

After finding the other two boys one of them a syrian-german named adnan, and the other one a vietnamese-german who everyone called hyu (this is how it was pronounced, but I am not sure how it is spelled). At the supermarket we bought 7 kg flour, 7kg mince, about 7 kg chinese cabbage, 2 pieces of ginger, and 3 bunches of spring onions. We also had one package of mushrooms and one zucchini for vegetarian 饺子 jiaozis, because one of our group was vegetarian. Furthermore we bought 3 cucumbers for a cucumber salad, 3 bunches of clementines for desert, 12 bottles of water ( I don’t know why so much), and 6 bottles of spiced wine. Later, the husband of our teacher also brought some wine (6 bottles!!), chocolate and a noodle salad. I later found out that he seemed to be an alcoholic, since he always wanted everyone of us to drink wine with him :’D

After the shopping, we returned to the building and started. While the others prepared the dough, I washed and cut the vegetables. The dough was only prepared with flour and warm water. I saw the others kneading it properly. Then our teacher showed us how to cut the cabbage. We had to cut it lenghthy to halves, then put one halve on its straight surface, first cut the cabbage into lenghths, then hold everything together and cut it into tiny little pieces. As small as possible. After the others were ready with the dough, they prepared the mince. For that, they needed the onions, the ginger, and some spice (Unfortunately I couldn’t see what kind of spice it was, probably caraway or nutmeg). They mixed everything together, and I guess they kneaded it as well. After I cut about 2 cabbages (out of 8) we were exchanged. We could stop cutting and rest our hands in the pillow-smooth dough. Now we would finally prepare the 饺子 jiaozi. For that we had to pull out one piece of dough from the bowl (in total we had 3 bowls of dough, and 3 bowls of ingredient, because we expected about 20-30 people, but only about 15 came). We had to roll the piece of dough on the table with our hands, and form it into a long sausage form. Then, rip walnut big pieces from that, and roll each between your palls, press it, put it on the table, and roll it out with a rolling pin. It should have a circle form,  the dough shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin. Then, place the filling (mix the prepared mince with the cut cabbage) in the middle of the circle, and close it well, best in chinese style.

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My teacher filling the dough.
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This is how she closed the circles. I love how the closed line looks like. It really is an art. I tried, but failed :’D

After a while,  more people joined, and everyone took over one field of work. I rolled out the dough into sausage forms, ripped them and rolled them betweenmy palm, another guy joined as well. A few people rolled them into circles  and many were filling. Our teacher’s husband joined us as well. He was full of flour in the end :’D and he had black clothes. My friend Thanh did the filling as well. Because we had so uch ingredients, we finished at about 7 pm ( egan atabout 5pm). It took us about 2 hours, but the result can be looked at, and tasted as well.

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And this was not all. We had about 5 times more than these. We definitely had about 200 饺子 jiaozi :’D We could took a lot of that home with us as well.

Before I went ho e at about 8 pm, I talked with the other and also my teacher and her husband. It was a nice atmosphere, and everyone was so nice and diverse. It really was fun, and I would really liked to do it again. My teacher even hugged me before I went :3 so cute!

 

September has started

Yesterday, after work, I went to my university’s library to give back a few of my books I used for my term papers. I also met my friend who returned from her one-week-trip to Istanbul. We went to a chinese restaurant after that and wanted to sit there, but they were already full. So we took the food to-go. I only took some vegetable rolls, because I wasn’t so hungry. Then we sat in the park and ate and talked. One annoying thing: The wasps always flew around us, the WHOLE  time! And this isn’t the first time this summer. A few weeks ago, when we went punting, the wasps also stalked us while we wanted to eat our ice cream. They honestly followed us all the way from the ice cream parlour to the park. And in the park they didn’t let us be. That was really annoying. I always feared to swallow one, because they were flying around our mouths all the time. I quite of hate wasps, they are ugly animals. They stung my dad yesterday, and his leg still hurts. But bees and humblebees I like, they are so cute! Unfortunately they never seem to appear near of us -.-

However, after I discovered an ugly, brown, wobbly something on my bag, that looked like pudding made of shit, I nearly had to vomit. Then we stood up right away and left for the city. We went to H&M and walked around the streets until we stopped in front of a crepes-spot. We bought some and went to stip on the steps in fron of the church. There we ate, observed the people and talked. It was a really nice day, with hot weather.

And my friend also gave me something she brought for me from Istanbul.

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An oriental bookmark and a bag of turkish delight. Of course, I know and love turkish delight and we also buy it every time we go to Turkey on vacation. But I have never eaten pink delights! They were so yummy and tasted like strawberries. But I really was pleased about the bookmark, because I always wanted a decent bookmark :) and this one just looks so beautiful, don’t you also think so?

Now, tomorrow, I will give back the rest of my books. I have happily finished all of my papers, like mentioned before (and all the time), I have informed myself about the parties to chose, and I have transfered the money to amazon that they couldn’t take off my account. Now there are still a few things to do until sunday:

So then, my spontaneous to-do-list:

  • go to the coiffeur
  • load money to my cellphone
  • buy the hair product from Lush
  • create a packing List (a list in a list :’D)

Yes, that’s for now I guess. But I will still post a lot of things until sunday and before I leave :) Until then, see you guys, and thanks for reading ;)

Holidays: Summarized

Part 3: Preparation for next semester

After I was finished with my term paper No. 2 I also went to Tübingen several times. Firts, I went there to give my books back to the library.

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This is the main building of my university, but I never have courses there. I once had a french course during the holidays last year. One day after that, I went to the flea market with my friend, and after that we went eating chinese food. I have found a book from Paulo Coelho, “Eleven minutes”, only for 1€ :D Unfortunately, the weather was horrible :S it was cold as hell, and as I was walking home again, it started snowing, and I was only wearing my spring-jacket -.-

Meanwhile, I have already completed to arrange my timetable for the next semester. My monday is full: I have courses from 10 am until 8 pm. 10 hours university, with only 2 hours of break between 4 and 6 pm. But I have gotten into the course I wanted to take so badly. It’s about the bloomsbury group, and I have also already ordered the books we had to read and began reading.

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I have begun reading “Howard’s End” already. I am on page one hundred something and I like it very much already :) Although the language is a little bit old and difficult, it is not so hard to read. There are a lot of dialogues, and it is a story about two families in Edwardian England. That’s what I like. The other one, “Mrs Dalloway” is a quite thin book, so I don’t mind having problems to finish it. I still have to buy another book from Virginia Woolf, something like a biography, but I will do it when the semester begins. I am short on money right now, and I still have to buy my train ticket. Furthermore, I am stressed pretty much right now, because my exchange year in the USA won’t work. I will probably have to apply for England now. The problem is, I don’t know when I will be able to go. I hope it will still be possible after the next semester, but I actually think that I will have to apply for next spring semester :/ Another problem is my translation course that I chose for next semester. I didn’t get in any translation course, and I have also sent an e-mail to the english office to put me in an unfilled translation course on friday, but I haven’t gotten an answer yet. I will probably go there tomorrow, of course, when my money has come, and I will be able to buy my ticket :S

So, yeah, a lot of stress these days. At least, the weather can’t distract me, because it still looks like fucking January here in Germany -.-

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