xintiandi

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…of a student and socializer. On Monday 1st September I checked out of my beloved Tian Ci Service Apartment in the heart of Shanghai for the sake of a student and campus life at Tongji University. My update only comes that late because I had limited Internet access in the International Students Dormitory of the university till yesterday when a guy from China Telecom relieved me from my WWW absence by installing a modem in my room. Fortunately I managed to operate my blog again via proxy server. Let’s go back to the beginning because this week happened to be a really eventful one.

After checking out on Monday I made my way to the Maglev (engl. magnetic levitation) train station in order to pick up my colleague Felix also from Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration. This hyper modern train connects the Pudong Airport with the more central part of Shanghai and at his peak reaches a velocity of almost 430 km/h. Besides me Felix has also been nominated from the home university to undergo this exchange term at Tongji and through my pick-up at the airport I wanted to help him to make his start in Shanghai easier. Unfortunately due to some delay in Vienna his luggage didn’t make it to the connection flight in Düsseldorf. Nevertheless we took a cab after going back by Maglev to reach the Tongji University at Siping Campus, which serves as the biggest and main part of this institution in Shanghai. After asking us through to get to the International Students Dormitory we happened to get a room next to each other. The first appearance of the dormitory wasn’t the best, but after cleaning up and making ourselves more comfortable it’s kind of bearable here. Moreover the distance to the seminar buildings are really a big advantage in comparison to flats outside of the campus. The rest of the week had some sightseeing in store for us three (Felix, Thomas – also at the same floor of the dorm, and me). I showed them a little bit of Shanghai as I meanwhile know the centre a little bit and a part of the most important MUST SEE’s.

Here are some impressions of the university campus which’s entrance is currently under construction, unfortunately:

On Tuesday during the registration we came in touch with the people at School of Economics and Management (SEM) for the first time. They gave us the schedule for this first preparation week and also helpful information for the begin of the semester, which is today, actually 😉 On Wednesday I showed the Xintiandi to the newcomers and they had their first nice Chinese dinner. Following that once again Bar Rouge was on schedule where they could get a great impression of the skyline of the New Bund of Shanghai. On Thursday the placement exam for the Chinese language courses took place and Felix and I fortunately advanced to the “intermediate” level, which is the highest level offered for Chinese courses. On Friday the SEM organized a trip to Zhu Jia Jiao (Watertown). But this is worth a separate blog entry going with the obligatory weekend party-update. Coming up soon…

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After leaving the office on Friday afternoon I had a walk at GuangChang Park which is also very close to People’s Square. Good to see some green area even in a crowded place like this.

On Saturday the first meeting with my generous host and head of the LFS office Ernst Sandrieser and his lovely wife Lai Ping took place. The showed me 新天地 (xintiandi), which is a Western influenced shopping, eating and entertainment area famous of its outstanding architecture. It was restored in the traditional ‘shikumen’ style consisting of stone gate houses infused with narrow alleys.

Following that I explored the nightlife on HengShang Rd. by myself a little bit and happened to stumble across some appealing pubs and clubs.

On Sunday I asked out my personal tourist guide Aurora (just kidding) to show me one of the most renowned shopping areas – the NanJing Rd. This is especially convincing of the pedestrian area where you don’t have to fear to get knocked over by the sometimes very chaotic and confusing traffic. Entering the subway at People’s Square to cross HuangPu River accordingly, I happened to enjoy my first supper Sichuan–style which proofed to be extraordinary spicy. Later on we ended up on the riverside of HuangPu River again just like at my arrival’s day.

Finally I have to admit that I was experiencing some troubles by opening my blog outside of the office. I already heard that some pages are blocked by the Chinese government, especially blogs to avoid critical voices during the games. A pity but I will have to accept that fact. Therefore during August it will only be possible to update my virtual diary in the office, of course only if workload allows it ;).

So this might be basically all for today. Tomorrow I’ll have the chance to watch the basketball preparation game Australia vs. USA (Men’s National Team) for Beijing 2008 at Shanghai Qizhong Sports City Arena.

All the best in the meantime!

小麦

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