yesterday night it was the first time that i saw a fake-book-stand here in shanghai. the books look like the originals and cost 20 rmb (around 2,2 €). just the paper quality isn’t the best. you can get english and chinese ones. beside of fiction-novels they sell lots of manager-guides and stuff like that.
and i had the best chinese food in my life yesterday. the restaurant was called vegetarian lifestyle (everything is vegan) and is at 258 fengxian road (near west nanjing road). we were five people and had seven different meals and rice. green tea was included. altogether it was 219 rmb (around 24 €). incredible - hah!
long weekend here in shanghai. tomorrow china is celebrating the qīngmíngjié-festival (something like tomb sweeping day or allerseelen). yesterday we went to the yu garden. the garden is located near the chenghuang miao-temple in the old city. so lots of chinese people were hanging out in this area and eating lots of interesing stuff. from fried baby-birds to seafood and sweet-sticky-fruits. maybe the long weekend was the reason for the many people. the garden is really beautiful. it was originally finished in 1577 but destroyed several times.
we took a cab from our apartment to the temple-area. it took us about 20 minutes and the cab was 17 yuan (around 1,8 euros). the cabs i’ve seen so far are all by vw. the model is called santana (haven’t heard about that before). some of them have a touchscreen monitor in the back, to play games or read news or watch commercials.
we went to the train station-area as well. there are several department stores with lots of of small shops. in one building you only have opticians, in another one only cameras, wedding dresses and make-up stuff and in another only mobile phones. anna got new glasses for 280 yuan (around 29 euros) including frame and glasses.
for dinner we went to a quite famous vegan restaurant called gong de lin (english name is godly). really great interior and quite expensive for shanghai. still cheap for us of course. for a full dinner including soda you pay around 30 yuan per person (a little bit more than 3 euros).
today it was my first day on university. first registration and paying the fees and after that the first chinese-class. it seems that quite a lot of work will come up. most of my fellow students are from asia and know the characters already. but i guess the two russians (?) and the two spaniards have to start from the scratch as well. i already had to do some homework. welcome back to school.
after school the thing happened, that shouldn’t happen right at beginning in a new city. i took the wrong bus. damn it. i took 69 instead of 67. it wasn’t that bad, because i’ve texted anna if this is the right one and she called me that it was the wrong one. so i just got off at the next stop. but i was walking around 20 minutes in the pouring rain to find the subway-station.
in the evening we went for groceries. carrefour is quite big here in china. some of the products have several languages on them, so it’s possible to find out if something is vegan. we got an electrical rice-cooker for 89 yuan (around 10 euros). the strenous thing in the supermarket: there are so many employees that want to help you or want to sell you something that it can get annoying quite soon. especially the language is a barrier if someone wants to tell you the amenities of a rice-cooker.
another great thing i’ve discovered today: chinese workers use bamboo to build scaffolds at the construction sites. but it seems to work out.
i’ve just finished the first part of my journey. i’m in dubai right now. the airport is huge. and it’s like a shopping centre with lots of asian people selling all kinds of stuff. the flight to shanghai departs at gate 227 which is on the very end of the airport. long walk, but it’s really quiet at this end (even with a fake pond).
there’s free wi-fi here at the airport. really nice. but the connection is so slow that most of the websites can’t be displayed. like tumblr. so hopefully the pictures appear at the right place.
the flight with emirates was really fantastic. i got my “strictly vegetarian (vegan)” meal and watched two movies (“the men who stare at goats” and “the invention of lying”). passengers are able to choose between 999 channels (more than 100 films. the rest are documentaries, cartoons, tv-series, music-programmes). and up to around 1.90 or 2 metres you won’t touch the seat in front of you with your legs. so there’s quite a lot of space.
i’ve never been to the uae and totally forgot to take a look on the exchange-rate. but luckily there’s the web. i’ll check out the airport later on. i’ve got 4 hours and anna told me something about spa-areas and stuff like that.
yesterday it was my last day at work. i brought two homemade vegan cakes (1, 2) to say goodbye. last week i was out quite every night to see friends i haven’t seen for quite a while. i wasn’t that good in keeping social contacts lately (actually in the last few years). i have to change that after coming back.
today i went to the postoffice to get my mail send on to my parents’ house during my time away. 3 months are 11,90 euros. it’s only possible to buy it quaterly. so if you need 4 months you have to pay for 6 anyway. but it’s still okay. hopefully it works out.
on april, 25th austria is electing a new president. i’ve ordered everything online to be able to mail in my vote. i should get it mailed to china. i mean the governing one (hopefully) will win again anyway, because the other two are too freaky to have a chance, but i like to take part at least.
so i only have to pack my suitcase. i’m allowed to take 30 kg. i’ll try to stay below the limit. i guess i’ll buy some stuff in china as well.