Admitted, China is not one of the top competitors when it comes to baking. The average Chinese family doesn’t even have an oven to begin with. But the Chinese people (at least the experts among them) can surely create some very yummy looking cakes. (Whether they taste as good as they look – that’s for every individual to decide for themselves!) Anyhow, the average Chinese birthday cake isn’t even meant to end up in people’s mouths or stomachs as they (especially the students) prefer to smash them into people’s faces or wherever else (not sure where they got that from). But not my birthday cake. My birthday was enjoyed thoroughly and civilly by whoever made it to our little luncheon today!
It’s the Easter weekend, and to all of you that care about such things, I wish you very happy, restful and delightful Easter holidays. Make sure you keep some chocolate bunny leftovers for me, because here in China, we certainly don’t get much of Easter in any way. It’s just another normal, busy busy weekend like every other!
… at least in these parts of the world. It’s Spring Festival! Which means, little sleep, lots of fire crackers, and of course everything shuts down around here for basically two weeks (though I’m glad the big supermarkets will only be closed for about 2 days!). At any rate, I got myself prepared again, for the big fireworks display right in front of my building. And lo and behold, I wasn’t disappointed. Shortly before midnight, the guards began to set up their boxes with all the fireworks, which was my cue, too. This year, I was a little better prepared – all bundled up warmly, I seated myself on a stool on my balcony all ready to shoot away myself (shooting pictures, that is). The only disappointment: I didn’t expect the grand display to be over so soon. (Last year, it took them at least half an hour to fire up all that they had set up down there.) But this year, I was just getting warmed up with my photo shooting when it was …
Welcome to the year of 2012! My best wishes to everyone near and far, and I hope that this new year of 2012 will turn out to be a year of plenty, of success, and of growth!
Wishing all my family, friends, and readers a very merry and wonderful Christmas! And now the same in German: Ich wünsche meiner Familie, meinen Freunden, und allen Lesern dieses Blogs ein frohes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest!
Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday where I grew up, and neither is it a holiday here in China. But living in an American community, I get to celebrate whatever is most important to my American colleagues, and Thanksgiving certainly is one of the most important holidays to most people around me. I don’t mind though. Being thankful always is good, and I have many reasons to be thankful. Most of all, I’m thankful for the love and support of my family and friends, their encouragement, when life far away from home gets tough. Thanks to everyone who is helping me be the person I was meant to be! I’m grateful to have you in my life, and thankful for whatever memories and experiences we share! Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Today, exactly one year ago, my parents arrived in Shanghai for their first visit to China, and since at the time I didn’t have a blog to share about our experiences yet, I thought today would be a good opportunity to share some of the highlights of that trip. Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai I’m flying to Shanghai to meet my parents at the airport, and then we take the transrapid (highspeed train) into the city. Traveling up to 450 km/h (280 m/h). Day 2: EXPO 2010 Getting up early, because we have one goal: The EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. My parents want to visit the Africa exhibition, and then we check out Iceland, Norway, Canada, Holland, Finland, the Caribbean Islands, and of course Germany. Trying not to be biased here, but I have to say that the German pavilion indeed was the highlight of the day (even was awarded the best pavilion officially at the end of the EXPO). Also, word of the wise: Always check out, whether citizens of the respective …
Like most other traditional holidays in China, the Mid-Autumn Festival has a long history. It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which in the Gregorian calendar usually is in September or early October. Various legends exist as to the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival, in most of which the moon plays some more or less important part. In modern day China, probably the most important aspect of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the eating of the so-called “mooncakes,” small round pastries decorated with ornaments on the outside and filled with various blends of fruits, nuts and/or beans inside. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday, which means schools and other public institutions are usually closed.
So, I’m rather confused these days. That is, every time I step out onto the street I get confused. Why? Because of the traffic. It’s all upside down – or I guess the term is “left-sided.” Anyways, I always end up looking in the wrong direction first when I want to cross the street, and then I realize, things are different here, and then I get confused. Which way does the traffic go? Is it this way? Is it that way? Wait a second – how was it back home? I don’t remember any more! Argh! There’s good news though: I’ve survived this far! Will I ever get used to it? Not sure, but I hope so! (And by the way: not every street is as empty as the one in the pic above, and still I manage to be utterly challenged when crossing it!)
Wow! That was a stressful week! Finished my 3+ hours final exam yesterday, and then slept pretty much through what was left of it. Still feel a little tired, but when some of my classmates (and teachers) decided to go to Stanley Market today, I decided to hop on and join them. But while they were out shopping, I was looking for something else … the beach! Fortunately, I didn’t have to go far to find a little strip of sand, and that’s where I spent my afternoon in Stanley.