Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Charlie Parker - China Boy

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


There are some things I need to say about Wuxi before I leave:

- No heating in the apartments, actually this phenomenon is evident across the whole of Southern China (Southern China is everything below Beijing, *not joking*).

- The "no- heating situation" also means no heating in the classroom. Hence, all students attend classes with gloves, heads and thick winter jackets.

- The campus is about 50 minutes away from Wuxi city centre (by bus) and looks a bit like a scene from Romero's "Land of the Living tead" (please find some photos attached).

- The convenient store "lady" does not like foreigners, as she always spies on me and tries to rip me off for a few Yuan.

- The amount of bikes on campus is of similar greatness as the total amount of bikes in the whole city of Leiden (for those who don’t know Leiden…. That’s a whole lot of bikes).

- The bikes are even crappier than the bikes you'd buy from a junkie in 0031. They fall apart as soon as you sit on them!

- I used to go for dinner in a nearby *village*. However, all the street vendors and their stalls have mysteriously disappeared.... I am betting that new skyscrapers will replace them within a year (as happens to so many traditional houses in urban China).

- Pollution, pollution…. everywhere…

- Wuxi is called "Little Shanghai", as the city is swiftly becoming a major business centre for (especially German) foreign direct investment. However, the city is also famous for its computer engineering industry.

- The Southern Yangtze University (where I teach) is world famous for its food science department.

- All first- years have to do military training on campus prior to the start of their first academic semester.

Of course there is much more to the story, but I'll leave that for later!



View of a campus lane

One of the three student cafeterias

Friday, January 19, 2007


Hi all!

My teaching experience is rapidly coming to an end. Next week is my last week at the Southern Yangtze University in Wuxi. However, it is merely the end of my stay here in China!

I have sent two applications to universities in Harbin (capital of China’s northern Heilongjiang Province), where I hope to attend a three months Chinese course. However, my decision to study Chinese is not yet completely been made, because I also consider a possible internship for a German state owned development organisation (GTZ) in southern China. I hope to make a final decision next week and will inform you when I know more.

In this post you'll find some pictures of the campus where I stayed the last 4 month, more pictures can be found on my Picassa page (see the link “my pics” on the right of this text for more photos).

Concurrently I have been busy browsing for PhD offers in universities across the UK and one in Italy. I found a couple of professors who were enthusiastic about my proposal, but I still have to submit my applications for both a place and a studentship. Especially, the latter one proves to be very difficult indeed! Keep your fingers crossed, because I need all the help I can get!

That’s is for now, I will write more hopefully next week when I made a final decision where I will be staying for my last three months in the Middle Kingdom.

All the best and good luck with the many storms in Europe and Northern America!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

One day, I found a big book...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bonne Annee!

From a cold and rainy Wuxi, I would like to wish everybody a beautiful and prosperous 2008! I hope that this year will prove to be a chance to fulfill old dreams and create new ones!

The last day of 2006 I spend together with Jana in Shanghai, which was a bizarre experience. Why? Because there was no fireworks! Nevertheless we had an excellent start of the year, as we visited the old city of Suzhou and a scenic water township called Zhouzhuang. Please find some nice pictures in this post and some more on my Picassa (

As for my resolutions for the New Year, I decided that I really have to post more frequently on my blog. The last few months have been rather busy and chaotic, I am sorry for the big intervals… I promise to try harder this year to allow you all to taste a tad of my experiences here in China.

With lots of love and friendship,


Ps. I miss you all!