Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last days in Changzhou

My time in Changzhou is almost over. Tomorrow will be my last day and then I have to start packing and organising myself. The latter will most certainly prove to be difficult, as I have done nothing so far...

The time in Changzhou has been interesting and enriching in many, many way. I hope that I have done enough for sustainable urban development in China, although I am aware that the country definitely needs more help. I just heard from friends in Wuxi that there is no bottled water anymore available and drinking from the tab is no alternative due to a long list of harmful toxics. Development comes with a price…

As for myself, I will soon will leave this country to start something which I think I will enjoy very much... travelling back home! For those interested, I will first explore China a little tad more. I have not even been to Beijing yet, can you imagine after having spend almost a year in China!? I have no concrete travel plan, but intend to visit Mongolia (if only to ride a horse in the Gobi desert!) and of course see the Asian side of Russia.

Don’t get jealous now; instead visit my blog every now and then to get a glimpse of beautiful Eurasia!

A lot of love and good dreams,


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Filonov and Pessoa

I am the escaped one

After I was born,

They locked me up inside me

But I left.

My soul seeks me,

Through hills and valley

I hope my soul

Never finds me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Betrayal of Surrealism in three Parts



Anti- Revolutionary
Anti- Imaginary
Art kiiller



Sometime ago I promised to upload some more photos of the city that hosts my presence. Although the city has not a lot to offer in terms of nightlife, cultural events or tourist hotspots (with maybe the exception of China's biggest pagoda), it nevertheless is an interesting place.

Away from bustling
Shanghai (2 hours by train) where time is being sold, Changzhou rests in its bigger brother's shadow and dwells in its own pace. In a city that is four times the size of my hometown, there rests a certain tranquillity that is illustrative for its deference. At the breaking of the day, you can see people opening their shops or walking to work, while others enjoy a good noodle breakfast in the early morning sun.

Dont get me wrong, life in
Changzhou is much faster compared to European cities! However, moments last longer than in many other Chinese cities.

Chinese cities in general are visually appealing, full of colours, different faces and interesting street scenes.

Rusty bikes

Colorful melange


Country of contrasts

Street scene

More birdies



Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Right… my vacation in Xiamen. Finally, I found some time to write about my unique experiences in China’s Southern coastal “pearl" (?), which constantly teases Taiwan’s independence fantasies. To make the latter better understandable, please check the picture below:

Molto vicino!

Xiamen’s unique location (on a clear sunny day you can see Taiwanese/ ROC’s land) has enthused the PLA’s decision to build massive bases in the surroundings of the city. Although the military is most certainly present in the city, the atmosphere is still rather tranquil and laidback.

I left together with Ryan (a “Mid West Americano”) on May 1st from Wuxi (where I stayed the preceding nights). The first day we explored the city and the surrounding of a huuuuuuuge high-rise building…, our hotel. We passed the night away drinking good old Tsing Tao (Chinese beer) next to a beautiful lake in Zhongshan Park (centrally located). The barman asked us whether we were interested in staying at his place, but we declined politely. Fortunately (thanks to Wang Fang) we found a better located/ cheaper hotel on the second day. Wang Fang became a good friend of mine, who I met earlier on the GTZ's Eco City Programme's symposium (for those who dont know, that is my employer!). We spend the whole vacation closely together, which led to brilliant experiences and marvellous misunderstandings :). Three continents, three completely different cultures, three different people; exchanging their ideas and enjoying foolish adventures.

We visited a lawless village, where 5 prostitutes manage to sit on one motorcycle and where thinks are still black and white.

Going back in time, way back...

We illegally sailed with a fisherman to a Taiwanese island, where surely no Dutch man has ever been (I think....).

A real fisherman

We visited the most amazing houses I ever saw, where Hakka people (ethnic sub-group of the Han Chinese) still raise beautiful children.

People really live in these "earth houses". There were built with the initial aim of keeping the people together and fending off attacks from other ethnic groups and wild animals.

Boys stay boys, always

And we had an amazing lot of great fun!

Improved simplicity

I hope to soon upload all photos on Picassa and to post a new message on my board to share some images of Changzhou (not as bad as you might think :)).

Love to you all!