Well, after 4 month in Shanghai, I have to say it has become the city I like the most in china. After being in Germany for over 16 years, I found a lot of interesting things which I wasn’t very familiar with. Let me list some of them to you:
- An Internet café is a place for me, where I can go to play games with friends. Not because I can’t play at home, but because you can play with more people just as if you are on a LAN party except that you don’t need to bring your PC along. But two things are necessary for an internet café. A clean environment is required and at least a well equipped PC to play with. But that’s what I didn’t find in Minhang. 500 MHz with 256 MB Ram and a Geforce2MX 64MB was the system I was using there. It was worse than my desktop computer I used in 2000. Playing Counter-Strike at 800×600 at 50fps is one thing, but having to use a mouse that was almost glued to the table… So much for gaming fun.
- Course grading is also something I wasn’t used to. 35% of the grade comes from whether you went to class or not, another 35% comes from your homework, 10% could be earned by raising your hand in class and asking something and finally 20% for the “big final exam”. So basically, when you go to class, have an intelligent group for your homework and ask some stupid irrelevant questions, you could pass that class with an nice and shiny “A” even if you fail the exam with zero points. This is definitely not what education should be. This is of course only one course of the two I’ve taken. The other one was completely normal to me with 20% for homework and 80% for the final exam. But I was told that most master-courses where like that in SJTU. Bachelor-courses in SJTU are one of the best, but master-course are for the monkeys. PhD on the other side is supposed to be very good. But that’s only what I’ve heard.
- Bike theft is another major thing I will remember. I heard a lot of bike theft before, but I never though that my bike will be stolen too. Well, I guess I should have brought the big lock with me that day… Anyway, Frank is riding his 4th bike now and a student from the US had bought his 8th bike or so.
- Buying bikes on the other hand is so cheap compared to Germany. You can get a really nice GIANT bike for 1200 RMB. For an equivalent bike in Germany, you have to spend at least 6000 RMB!
- You can pay your bills in every little supermarket. This is a very convenient way to pay your bills. I really liked this effective way because it’s perfect for lazy people like me.
- It’s amazing how many QQs cabs there are in Minhang. One third of all cars around the campus were QQs. They look incredibly small, but I heard they are quite comfortable. I never sat in one of them though.
- Every weekend, where I used to enjoy my long beauty sleep, I was woken up very early by those extremely noisy crackers. Right when the hour pointer of the clock reaches 240°, I jump out of my bed thinking the world war 3 just started.
- Shanghai has a really nice skiing hall. You might have seen the old snowboarding video before. Anyway, the point is you can go skiing every time in the year, but there are no one single shop selling skiing clothes in the summer! I figured that out after intensively searching the city for 2 days.
Anyway, I had a really nice time in Shanghai and I want to especially thank these people for making my time so enjoyable: Shen Xiao for taking care of Frank and me the first days, we would have been lost if he didn’t show us around. Li Bing for managing all of our university needs, finding us the correct classes, getting us through the bureaucratic stuff. And finally Zhao Ming for helping me improve my Chinese. Thank you a lot! Hope to see you again soon!
Here is a video of us snowboarding for the last time. Enjoy!
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