You can’t find Chinese friends

Me with my host and two other couchsurfers in Beijing

This post is dedicated to the few people who told me that I will never meet and Chinese people and become friends with them because they are to different and I will end up hanging around only with other foreigners. Although that might sound like a “challenge accepted” thing (“Within 3 months I want to be friends with X Chinese!”), I did not run around asking people if they want to be friends with me, …

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Chinese Pitfalls

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If you had any contact to intercultural topics, any influence from people from foreign countries or at least watched the fruitful Galileo documentaries about other cultures (that one is for the Germans reading this), you will know that people in other countries act and behave differently from your own country and sometimes that might lead to irritated looks, misunderstandings, wrong impressions or even fights. Theory As a thoughtful student of the intercultural studies I naturally …

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The last weeks in China

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I planned to see a lot more things in China in the second half of my stay but due to weather conditions and some problems with my thesis I couldn’t really organize all the trips I had planned. Instead I stayed mostly in Nanjing to see the places I hadn’t seen yet, such as the remainings of the old city wall or the Fuzi Miao temple and the Purple Mountain which is covered in countless …

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2014-02-07 12.15.17

On Friday then I planned to go to Guyaju, the cave formation in the north-east of Beijing. Not even my host and his family knew about it so I hoped to find a not to crowded area. When I went up I had my first surprise: Everything outside was white. I decided to go anyway and hoped the snow wouldn’t affect the public transport as much as it might in Germany. Again, like for the …

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The Summer Palace

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On Wednesday I decided to go alone to the Summer Palace in the north west of Beijing, a big park area with a big temple overlooking the lake in it. On the way I stopped at a market, a Chinese one where I wasn’t sure if the market was the attraction to me or I the attraction to the people at the market. I got some fruits for the next days and decided not to …

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The Forbidden City

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Part 2 of the “must-see-locations” in and around Beijing: the Forbidden City. As the Spanish guys slept at a friend’s place in Beijing we agreed to meet at 10.30 in front of the Forbidden City. Niu Qiyangs father organized something that we could skip the queues and get in for free. Of course the Spanish guys were being Spanish and postponed their arrival again and again. We didn’t want to wait so I went in …

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The Great Wall

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Finally there was the big day of the wall! There are several sections of the wall that can be visited, some more touristy, some less; some restored, some “wild” i.e. not easy to walk on. We decided to follow the Lonely Planet to do a Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu which is along the “wild wall” and officially forbidden to use – but the entrance fee is 20 Yuan. We (the Spanish guys and I) left around 9am to go to the bus station …

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Walking around Beijing

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In the morning we got dropped off together with Niu Qiyangs grandparents at the National Museum. The plan to visit the same was quickly changed when we saw the queue in front of it. It was long, really long, probably the other half of Beijing, the one that didn’t go to the New Year’s fair gathered here! Our host and his grandparents decided to go home while we wanted to walk a bit around to …

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New Years Market in Beijing

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On Saturday we started the day slowly with a walk in the late morning. A friend of the Spanish guys recommended going to a certain metro station because it would be nice to walk around there. Well…it wasn’t! Nothing special to see except for a few small streets in which some locals tried to tell us at some point that this is private and we are not supposed to be there…”我们不懂!” We got back for …

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