“…things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, but what can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.” – Life of Pi, Yann Martel
At the airport my AIESEC buddy found me after 2,5 hours. Reason was that she all the time had been searching for a tall Scandinavian blond girl. I should really change my Skype avatar (and, no I am not using a fake one – I am just blond on it). Nonetheless, I think I managed to receive 3 different business cards while waiting and 2 young boys asked me to take a picture with them.First impressions:
The guys have very long nails. Do not know why but it seems kinda odd and definitely not sexy.
My internship – dates got confused and therefore it will only start next week. This of course means that I will have time to adapt a bit more. I have been offered though to join a project on sustainability.
Concept of time here is different. At least different from the Danish understanding of it. It seems as there is a clear and strict framework, nonetheless, the practical approach to it is completely chaotic.
Definition of “a place to stay during internship”. Or. More….do some backup research before, or, just generally, do not expect anything. I am living in a usual student dorm. In the Chinese understanding of usual. The dorm consists of 3 real rooms and 2 fake set up (created by setting up plastic walls). All in all the dorm can host: 24 students. NEVER in my life imagined that an apartment could have so many inhabitants. But. I suppose one should never say never. The only private belonging a student can have is his bed. And literally – that is the only area the students are staying in. I am sharing my room with 3 other girls; one is an EP from the Philippines (doing the sustainability project), and 2 of them are Chinese (even though one of them is constantly watching Japanese romantic soap). The 2 girls have apparently graduated and are working full time now. They wake up at 6ish, come back late in the evening, and then sleep or watch soap on the computer (correction, one of them is always watching soap the other one is always sleeping – the first time I saw the sleeping girls face was yesterday because she was sleeping on her back). Their life is a true mystery for me. And no –they do not know a word in English – the only thing I could get out of the Japanese romance watching girl was that her name was something like “Ting ting”. As an additional note: the lights here go off at 23:00. Why? Because, well, what is the reason for staying up at that point? Good students need a good sleep. I suppose it is right. But that is completely contrary to my lifestyle. And – my sheets are completely pink. With small fury angel sheep.
My landlord is a character deserving a definition: he is lower than me (and, even though I definitely believe I am very Scandinavianish tall, then. well, lets keep it real), he has a big tummy, is bold and his eyes are looking in different directions, so it seems that he almost all the time is looking at me, while talking to somebody else. I have never seen him leave the dorm: most of the day he is watching videos and, well, talking with the students. He does not speak English either. At all. But he does speak Chinese – and talks constantly to me when meeting me in the hall-way.Positive list:
- All the girls here are wearing SUPER short and SUPER cute dresses and skirts! Finally! Generally they are not wearing a lot of make-up, but, the rest of their clothes is as they were going to a party. And ALL girls my age are wearing very high heels.
- Food. It is really cheap and really tasty. It seems as if the Chinese eat everything here. Still haven’t found out what they do not eat. When I arrived I got a bowl with frogs and vegetables (yes, I was thinking twice before eating it, especially because I in my last days in DK got used to eating a lot of pasta and an insider frog joke kept going through my mind (Nicolas and Fabio). But. Actually. When not taking into consideration that it was a frog, then, it was actually tasty. Or perhaps I was really hungry. And: THANK YOU Guo for teaching me how to eat with chopsticks. Else I probably would have starved.
- People are watching and taking pictures of me on the streets. It feels strange.
- Hangzhou has one of the BIGGEST clothes markets in the entire Asian region. And that market is exporting to the rest of China, Europe and America. Haven’t visited it yet, but, that is just a question of time.
- No speak Englisho. At all. Suppose its good as I really HAVE to learn Chinese.
- NO COFFEE! Only powder coffee
- Have no clear JD of the internship. It seems very vague.
- Lack of privacy
- The transportation system is REALLY strange (and it stops running at 9 in the evening) and I can’t find a map of the city anywhere. I will definitely get hold of a bike.
- Need to buy a camera. Can’t upload the pics from my android.
Oh, and yea – BIG SURPRISE – Facebook, gmail and other spicy stuff is banned here, so PLEASE do NOT send me msg’es and other stuff. Just add me on skype. That would make it easier for all of us.