so Stig and I started our journey from Kolding Train station at 3 o´clock pm August the 8th. We said goodbye to our families and friends that could be there, but we didn´t really feel nervous. The trip was really nice and we got the most out of Snapchat and Facebook, while we still could. We arrived at Copenhagen Airport at 6 o´clock pm and waited for the 3. Danish exchange student, Harald, who was going to China with us. Whilst in the airport I found out that for first two weeks where we have language courses before the Chinese school starts on September the 1st, I was going to stay with another exchange student from Germany, because my host family was moving to another house. Luckily, we had plenty time before take-off, so I got some gifts for the family as a thanks for hosting me and what is more Danish than LEGO? That was for the son and then I bought some Danish butter cookies, because the Chinese people love Danish bakery goods. In the bakeries here in Beijing they even write that their cookies are Danish. Anyways, the plane left the airport at 9 o´clock in the evening and we prepared for the 9-hour journey. On the plane we had dinner, which sadly consisted of chicken and rice., which will probably be the thing I'm going to eat the most of, but on the other hand i need to get used to it anyway. Finally, after a kind of sleepless night we arrived at Beijing Airport and we got out of the plane and could immediately feel the pollution, but it wasn't bad. It felt like a slight scratching and after just 30 minutes we didn´t notice it anymore. Apart from that the Airport was gigantic,. we had to take a train just to get to our luggage. Then we met with some volunteers and the German exchange students, who had arrived an hour before us. Outside the airport we found a bus and took it out to an hotel ca. 80 kilometres outside Beijing, where we were going to stay the next 3 days. Here we met with all the other exchange students who were going to stay all over China. There were many nationalities, surprisingly half of them were German.
18 German, 3 Danish, 3 Swiss, 2 Italian, 2 French, 2 American, 2 Thai, 2 Finish, 1 Hungarian, 1 Estonian
I shared a room with a German exchange student named Moritz. All of the students were then separated into groups and we had a lot of preparation for our upcoming year. Like how to behave, school life and social life and it was really great to get to know all the others.
The third day we had a BBQ Chinese style and it was good. Afterwards, we sat down and played cards and suddenly there was a lot of thunder and many lightnings. It started to rain unbelievably much and then a german guy named Lasse and Stig went inside and changed to bathing shorts and put shampoo in their hair and then they took a shower in the rain. Lasse has showed me a lot of german music that was really good.
As predicted it was weird not to have access to Facebook and the other social medias. In China they use WeChat, which actually is a combined Facebook and Mobile pay. Although you can pay with WeChat just about everywhere, unlike Mobilepay with which you can’t even pay in supermarkets.
The towels down here are also really small! Like the size of what you dry your hands in.
And now to the food!
Let’s just start with saying that literally everything was different and of course only chopsticks! It was indescribably frustrating to eat rice with chopsticks and we thought we were going to starve, but at the second meal we had figured it out.
The only food that we could recognise was rice, which was a every meal. Even breakfast. Everything was different and had to be tasted ;) About half of it was something that I enjoyed eating whilst not knowing what it was. The white thing in middle is what they apparently call bread at this hotel, which is just really compact marshmallow texture bread that tastes like nothing at all.
The breakfast was not preferable I would say that everything apart from the rice and weird bread had been totally soaked in vinegar and did not taste good at all. Actually, there were some kind of bowls with porridge made of rice that tasted totally fine. I think that during these two days Stig and I have eaten as much vinegar as we would throughout a year in Denmark.
The weirdest thing I’ve experienced until now is the soup where they've literally chopped a chicken in to small parts and put everything in it. In one of the pictures you can see me holding up the head of the chicken and even the feet where in there, but apparently this a kind of speciality. This didn’t persuade me to try it though.
Relevant Chinese words:
Soup – Tang 汤
Chicken meat – Ji rou 鸡肉
Dane – Danmai ren 丹麦人
To eat – Chi 吃
Chopsticks – Kuai 快
That was all for now.
Take care :)