Wednesday, September 30

Chinese national day

Tomorrow it's the Chinese national day. There will be a huuuuuuge parade at the Tianmen Square which will have more than 300.000 people! It's is really incredible, it's like having the whole of Helsinki on one street. not to mention all the polices in whole Beijing who will be present. According to Miss Shark the CCTV employee there are gonna be hundreds of snipers checking the whole street.

To some of the logistic issues of Beijing the following 2 days: The airport is closed, the subway is closed, the whole downtown is closed, it is illegal to look out of the window if you live close to Tianmen, all polices in the whole city are on duty and they don't sleep for some good 48h.

Saturday, September 26

One of those days...

I had a job interview last week but didn't get it so i feel a little down now...I have no real job, no own apartment no computer, no camera. Tomorrow i will fix one of the details and go buy a MAC Book Pro, finally.

Started to look for an apartment to stay in. A chinese guy from an agency showed me 2 apartments close to the school. The first one would have been a 3 room apartment together with some older chinese guy and the other was together with 5 chinese students. The second apartment with the chinese students was incredibly shitty!! I don't understand how anyone wants to live like that.
The last place i went to see was sort of like a 5 star hotel and my room mates would be 2 brittish guys. It was a really nice place and the guys were nice as well. So I'm probably gonna move in there in 2 weeks or so in case i don't find anything better.

Have a Japanese girl in my class who has a finnish boyfriend and yesterday we went out together and had a really nice time. Kinda random to meet a japanese girl with a finnish boyfirend here. Had a slight hangover today but still had to go to work. The trip from and to work took in total 3,5h and i only worked 3h. Damn traffic in Beijing...

Wednesday, September 23

From B to B+

Today i got permission from my teacher to change from normal B to B+ class. Tomorrow it will be a lot more challenging and so on. Pretty busy here at the moment because a lot of english teaching and chinese school now. I haven't even had time to go to the gym for over 1 week now. Getting fat 我胖了

I'm helping a chinese friend to pass her english IELTS at the moment so she could go to Switzerland to study in the end of this year. Pretty much every Chinese is doing their IELTS (Europe) or TOFL (North America) which is a english certificate they need to have in case they want to go abroad and study. It seems like every single student is planning on going abroad to take their Masters degree or some other degree. Really amazing, or maybe it can be interpreted as studying in China only is not enough. Competition is really fierce here and if you don't have anything extra you will probably not get a god job, in fact you might end up unemployed because of the world finance situation. At the moment there are around 20 million newly graduates without a job in China...

Tuesday, September 22

School - BLCU is on again

The school thought i was so awesome that they put me in A class. I have no idea why, i already finished A class with 85 out of 100 points last semester.
The people in A class were unable to understand anything the teacher said not to mention talk anything (reminds me of the good ignorant days in China). So i went through a process of 1h of waiting in some office where they told me to go there, do this-that way and finally gave me the new B class books. If only it had been that easy. To my big disappointment the B class is from book 3-5 and i already did book 1-3 last semester.

Now i got 2 options and 2 days to do it before deadline for class change.
1: Change to B+ class where they already start with book 5 where I'm probably gonna be like some retarded OR
2: Hang around in B normal class and study a book i already did last semester.

Sunday, September 20

Chinese National Day Show - "The Reviving Road"

Every year all countries have their independence day. But unlike the others, China really shows it of BIG TIME! I went to the most famous National Day show today. The show is called Reviving Road but for reasons i don't want to write it in Chinese here. The President (Chairman), Prime Minister and other party leaders of China were also present.

The show was about Chinas history from 1840 until present day. The whole thing started with the foreign invaders in 1840 (France, Spain, England) who came to China and shortly after that the Qing dynasty fell and ended. After the fall of Qing dynasty there was the form of the Communist party. The show was a lot about how the communist party made China so nice and great.
The also played out a few of Mao's poems and speeches and of course a very short mention about the Culture Revolution even though it lasted as long as 1966-1976. But the Culture Revolution is like a dark past of China. People don't discuss it because not much good came out of that time. It tore up families and got many innocent people killed, peace rest with them.
Then for more happy scenes! They made a REALLY long number of how the discovered and were able to produce the Atomic Bomb. A lot of dancers and smiling people were performing while in the background there was real fotage from 1960 and the underground bunkers how they made the BOMB. kind of contrast when seeing all these happy people dancing to the most destructive bomb ever build by man. In the end of this scene all the names of those Brilliant scientist were published and people gave them a lot of applause...

To more recent history: there was the first chinese astronaut, the big flood in 1998 all over china, the terrible earthquake that took place last year in Sichuan (where i was in February) and the last but lot least! The Olympic Games in Beijing 2008!

It was a good history lesson about China, i learned some new things at it. BUT, it had a real propaganda touch to it. Everything was build on how great the Communist Party is and how great this country is because of the party. Well it's very true that China has become one of the most powerful nations in todays world but too much is sometimes just too much.

I loved the show! They had 3200 people performing at the show (phew!). The special effects were also incredible and i have never before seen a performance like this one! Long live the Red Flag! :)

Got some pictures from chinese news sites

Friday, September 18

Chinese are so damn kind!

I forgot to mention that yesterday when i was going to the school i couldn't get any cab at the morning rush hour so i had to take a buss. Problem was that i have NO idea how to get to school by buss...
So i asked a Chinese woman how to get there, and she knew. She was actually going in another direction but she still took me to another buss (10 min away) stop to change buss and then explained to me when to change the second buss to the subway. This was a total stranger whom i never met before. No favor or anything in exchange asked, we could really take an example from this in Finland towards other people and foreigners...

People! Be kind to the others around you who need help!

Some Art...

Today i was on my way to a photo exhibition about the reform since 1978 to 2009. 1978 is a very important year for China because that's when they allowed foreign companies into the Chinese market and also foreign investments in China. Too bad that the exhibition was hidden so well that we didn't find if :(

No matter, instead we went to good old 798 which used to be a factory but now days works as a gallery for modern artist. 798 is actually the number of the factory that used to operate at this area more than 50 years ago. When the factory was abandoned, a lot of artists moved in and made it into studios. Today that place is rather commercial and a tourist attraction, never the less, they had a interesting thing here: A room full of airpumps blowing on flags pictured as children. That room had a louder sound than any club I've ever been to, even beats the airport! Not to mention how energy efficient it is :)
Also some pictures from a random gallery we found far outside the city.

Thursday, September 17

More of that wonderful daily stuff

Today we had a placement test at school to know how high peoples chinese level are. If you Chinese level is high you will be put into a more advanced class. I started from A class last february which is the most simple and now i will start in either B or C class. At the moment i have 5 days off from school to do whatever i want, again...

I also went to the Construction Bank of China to open an account and get a Debit card for myself. It was really smooth and i got the card after 10 minutes! WOW! Smooooth! In Finland you have to wait for a Electron card for around 1-2 weeks. In China they just took the card from a box and registered it in my name, ChiChiiing. I got to have more than 50 euros on my account at all time, otherwise they will charge 40 cents to "handle" my cash. Weird, i mean if i have more than 50 euros it requires no handling? ^_-

A picture of the place I'm living at the moment before i get my own flat...

Wednesday, September 16

Daily stuff

Lunch! Lush! Best place in Wudaokou to eat (Niko and Jonas can concur this info, right guys?) And a great way to start the day!

Today i went to school to register...well ofc there was a problem: I had not registered at the police that I'm living in China. Off to the the police station and put my name on the records. Now I'm registered in Wanfujing with Hyans DAD :)
Tomorrow do a second try at the school and then the studies should begin.

After the hazzel with registration we went to a tradition Chinese hospital where they use traditional Chinese methods to cure all kinds of illnesses. My favorite was taking bad dark blood out of your head when having a headache with some sort of needle :P (no mom i didn't try it, don't worry, I'm still finnish!)

Saw some farmers or whatever they were riding a truck in the town (wonder what happens if the truck does a quick break?) and took a picture. Actually there are a lot of these people, some are migrant workers from the country side that come and work on building houses or other projects. Their salaries vary from 0 to a few hundred bucks a year. I wrote 0 because there have been a lot of cases where the people have been without pay for example a huge amount of the people that build the Olympic stadium for the games 2008 (work for food,yei!)

The sun is totally red because today was very "misty", picture from Wangfujing which is the biggest shopping street in Beijing, kinda like our Mannerheimintie but 100 bigger and brand names. They also have a Nokia Vertu shop here :)

Monday, September 14

Wuhan day 2

Wuhan day 2

You probably wonder what the first picture is, yes it's exactly what you think, 2 feet! These are some really rare specimen from a old woman and date back over a 100 years. Some chinese used to tie the feet of women in small shoes so that the foot itself would remain small. Small feet was considered elegant and only upper class had them (lucky rich people). Got a picture of it because my friends dad is a doctor and had found this somewhere :) Freeeeaky

Ate something bad and don’t feel too good today so I got up pretty late. The only thing we did the second day was driving around the East Lake and visit a park with a public swimming pool in the lake.
The lake is full of dead fishes because the water is lacking oxygen so you can imagine that swimming there isn’t that pleasant. Still, there were some Chinese swimming there enjoying their beautiful East Lake that smelled like rotten fish, you can see it floating around in one of the pics.
On the way home i saw the longest kite ever! Probably hundreds of meters and so much details on it, must have taken some time to make it. Also a pic from the boat that is crossing the Jangze river.

I went back to Beijing with a train and this time even had a bed. The bed was pretty small and there were 6 beds in each room. The 5 other beds were occupied by Chinese women and they all told me that they would love to go to Finland someday.

Wuhan day 1

Wuchang day 1

Early wake up! Wuchang is known for this old town territory where they have all kinds of local specials for breakfast! For 2 Euros you can buy a pack of hot noodles, some rice cakes, meat bread and plum juice. This stuff kept me non hungry for at least 7 hours.

The most famous attraction in Wuhan province called the Yellow Crane Tower. It’s a 50 meter huge rebuilt holy temple which has mythical stories behind it, and it’s the only 5 star attraction spot in Wuhan (wonder what 1 star places are like).

After the temple we went by a ferry over the Yangtze River (yellow river where Chairman MAO swam ”over” 50 years ago).
The ferry took us to the financial district called Hankou which was a place of huge shopping malls and tall buildings. Later in the evening we went to check out the nightlife in Wuchang. The bars weren’t that many but one of then had a black dude signing Chinese RMB songs which was kind of strange in this place.

Friday, September 11

Nanjing day 2

Hotel is really nice that I’m staying in, if anyone comes to Nanjing I can definitely recommend this one, it is centrally located just outside a subway stop and just around 26 Euros a night. The cleaners actually left a sweet letter to me while I was gone because I had left the DON’T DISTURB sign on the door. The letter said:
”Dear Guest, Due to DND card on your door so we cannot clean your room. If you need cleaning you may contact with reception. Thank you for your understanding”
I mean that’s like super fine service and you got to love the Chinglish :D
Then for today’s program: The Ming Tombs, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum (founder of the Republic of China) and Linggu Pagoda (huge 60 m Chinese tower).
The sightseeing was great and I wondered alone the scenic spots for 7 hours alone. Now and then there were some Chinese people who wanted to pose with me on some pictures and I have no idea who is watching pictures of me at the moment…

In the evening I went to a German restaurant with some friends and had a Apfelstrudel (German dessert) which was surprisingly good and washed it down with the strongest Whiskey colas I ever had. After the German place we went to an opening event of some club called “Club 21” but it was kind of lame. Just had 1 free drink on the house and then left. Maybe should have gone there later in the evening when there would have been more people…

That was pretty much Nanjing, a really nice city where I should have come earlier! Price level here is also a lot lower than Beijing and Shanghai, you can get by on a really low budget. If your doing a China trip this is a must see city! There will be a second subway line build soon so it will be even easier and faster to get from A to B 

I added some pictures of all the 3 main famous scenic spots along with other things I met here.

And the club posted a pic of me on their website:

Nanjing day 1

Because I had a whole week of free time before the school began I decided to travel a little in China so I went alone for a 1 week trip. My first stop was Nanjing, I made this trip a real budget travel after an expensive Euro trip this summer.

The train I came with to Nanjing took 16 hours and I only had a NOT so super comfortable seat, no comfortable bed. But the ticket for this long trip was only around 15 Euros which I think is very affordable. After 200 pages of Kjäll Westös book and 16 hours later I finally arrived in Nanjing. The railway station was pretty nice and not chaotic at all like the Lonely Planet had described it. Now it was just to go and look for the hotel,
I found the subway station of the hotel without any problem (even though all signs were in Chinese only) but I didn’t have a map where the hotel was so I wondered a little around the area but didn’t find anything. Out of nowhere comes this Chinese guy and asks if I need any help and by random he knows where the place is and takes me there. He tells me he’s going with an American later this day to check the war memorial (Japanese occupation of Nanjing) and asks me to join them. Well of course I want to join, the occupation museum or Nanjing massacre museum is the main reason why I even came to Nanjing. First I went to the hotel and sleep a few hours because the train ride was pretty long. After 4hours I went to meet him and we start walking, after a while a car pulls up on the road and picks us up. At this point my alarm clocks are ringing; the whole situation seems a little dodgy. I’m just about to step into a stranger’s car without having any idea where we are going or who these people actually are, this might as well be an attempt to rob me off my kidney. But the whole thing turns out to be fine and we pick up an American guy who looks just like Jesus and then drive to go check the memorial. In the memorial it wasn’t allowed to take pictures but I managed to snap a few anyway. The people I hang out with is really nice and the American guy is some kind of artist, he game me his card and this was his webpage

After the memorial I go and meet a friend of a friend and we take a walk in the Confucius temple with a lot of old beautiful Chinese buildings lit up but cool lights in the evening. Surely an interesting day, expenses for today’s food, transport and hotel altogether today is around 25 Euros.

Sunday, September 6

English teaching

Went to my old english teaching work today. I had one class with a half korean half chinese 9 year old girl. The rest of the time i sat 2 by the computer checking random stuff. They still paid me for 3 hours, how great isn't that.

The english teaching company had change the place of the center, it's much more central now and facilities are a 1000 times better then before the summer, they even have students there no :D Which they were lacking some time ago...
The company also hired 2 full time american teachers and one of them is black. Now here's the funny thing with chinese language : NIGA means like öööh/hmmm when you try to find some words. So all the kids in the class were like Niga Niga Niga and the black guy just said "ain't no god damn nigga here, say hmm, or eeeh or something like that children"

Niko, if you read this, can you send me a link to your Blog? Good luck with everything in France!

Saturday, September 5

Tianjin for a day cruise

Went with Hyans family by car to Tianjin to meet a cousin and have some dinner. Takes 3 hours to drive an expressway and when you arrive to Tianjin the roads are covered with all kinds of stuff and trash. The air in Tianjin is really really bad! Full of smog and no sight of the sun at all (no clouds it's all just pollution).
For the first time in China i went to a harbor with a lot of huge cranes and ships. Took some pictures but the smog covers a lot of it so it's not much to see...There was also a man made "fake" beach and people were just standing there admiring the beautiful view :D

Tianjin had the highest GDP per capita in China because it's almost only industry there, but who wants to live in smogtown?

Friday, September 4

Back in Beijing!

Back from the cold but beautiful north! Beijing is dusky, misty and kinda poluted at the moment. There is no wind and it feels like Finland when there is thunder in the air...Can‘t see very far either because of the smog.

Recently THE GREAT FIREWALL in China had been blocking a lot of internet sites for example: youtube, facebook, blogger etc. Luckily a chinese friend of mine helped me to overcome this problem and now i can keep contact with friends and write weird stories from China again :)