The Foreign Gang
Besides me there are four more Europeans at our academy. Three Frensh guys, a couple, Alexander and Gale, and Juliette. All of them are from the Art Academy in Paris. Marcus, another German from Frankfurt, is also part of the exchange scholarship, sponsored by the DCKD in Duesseldorf.
It is really great to have them here, as far as it is really nice to just see a "familiar face" once in a while. Especially because only very view Chinese people are able to talk English, so communication is quite difficult most of the time.
I think we already grew to be quite a close group and we go out together some times, considering that all of us love to explore the city by night.
I will post their full names and websites, if they have one soon, so you can check out their work too, if you want.
When it is getting darker and the night breaks in, some places turn into bright, glowing streets and what looked so grey and colorless by day, turns into almost science fiction like Dystopia, which I am really amazed by. Tall buildings begin to glow and from far away the pollution creates a giant light blur in different colours.
It feels like you are part of this science fiction movie, and this is certainly not because of the estimated over 30.000.000 CCTV cameras all over China watching you with every step, wherever you go.
Big City Life
I was lucky to be able to already have seen quite a lot of cities all around the world. From the beginning of my childhood travelling was important and so thanks to my parents I grew up with the opportunity to see places all around the world. So I came to China with the memory of the feeling of what I thought were big cities like New York, Vegas, LA, London and Rome.
And now I can only say that my idea of what a big city is, totally flipped upside down. About 8 million people live in Xi'An downtown, only inner circle. If you compare that to Manhattan with a population of about 1.7 million people, you can only imagine how huge this is here.
A lot of really crazy traffic, where nobody seems to care about any traffic light, and where a road with four lanes in one direction is used as a six or seven lane road. The rule is: the bigger the vehicle, the bigger is your priority to go.
Lots of cars, Traffic jams and pollution is the outcome. But surprisingly I have not seen one single accident so far, because the crazy the traffic seems, the more responsible the drivers seem to be, in a chaotic kind of way.
After one week in Xi'An I've already made some very interesting experiences. I learned that most of the Chinese people are really nice, maybe especially to foreigners. They are very welcoming and worm, even though they are really amazed at seeing western people, which is kind of like an attraction for them I think. It seems like all Chinese people have dark eyes and dark hair, so when they see tall, blonde European people with blue eyes they flip and just pretty much stare at you. I guess I just have to get used to this...because even though it was nice to get this attention for the first couple of days, it changed into just being a little annoying in a way.
From German to English
So I decided to do this little blogging thing here in english now, as far as I have international viewers from Germany, France, China and America. I hope that this is OK for my german audience ;)
There is one more thing I wanted to offer you guys as well: If you feel like leaving a comment under one of my posts or if you want to discuss anything, please feel free to do so. That's what this is for and conversation is really important.
Ein bisschen Zuhause?
Es ist wirklich merkwürdig, aber ich sitze gerade in einem McDonalds und gönne mir einen kleinen Snack für zwischendurch.
Die amerikanische Fastfoodkette, welche ich in Deutschland nicht häufig besuche, da sie echt kein gutes Essen macht, hat mich hier auf eine, mir unbekannte Art und Weise, geradezu magisch angezogen und gibt mir, traurig aber wahr, ein Gefühl von westlicher Kultur und von Zuhause. Taylor Swift läuft im Radio und meine Pommes, halb aufgegessen, sind mittlerweile pappig und kalt und starren mich an.
Ich bin super entspannt und zufrieden für den Moment...
Irgendetwas läuft da falsch.
Heute, am ersten "richtigen" Tag hatte ich etwas Zeit den doch recht überschaubaren Kampus bei Tag zu erkunden. Auf einem kleinen Hügel, gibt es ein paar interessante Spots und eine interessante Aussicht zu genießen.
Nach knapp 24h Reisezeit bin ich endlich im Studentenheim der Xi'An Academy of Fine Arts angekommen. Ab Beijing Airport (Foto) war ich der einzige Europäer im Anschlussflug nach Xi'An, was sich erstmal sehr merkwürdig und ungewohnt angefühlt hat. Nach 36h ohne Schlaf werde ich jetzt noch schnell eine kleine, abendliche Tour über meinen neuen Camus machen, um dann erschöpft in mein Bett zu fallen.