On 12/10/2006 Christiane Schinkel and her 9 years old son Johannes go on tour again. They start in Beijing, where Johannes takes part in a pupils exchange program of his Primery School. Next of the following six months: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Neu Dehli, 4,5 months Bodh Gaya in North of India. Johannes goes to school there, his mother works as volunteer. Trips to Nepal und Sikkim are planned. Mai 07 they go back to Berlin.
Johannes spends two weeks with his exchange group and I go my own ways.
Berlin - Frankfurt - Beijing
We change plane at Airport Frankfurt.
Pupils of the exchange program
The happy boy in the last row is called Li Chan Jie and he is the friend of Johannes. This year in Juli he visited him in Berlin. Now Johannes visits him.
Li Chan Jie, Ma Chung und Johannes pit their strength against them by pushing arms
A classical chinese diner: a pot filled with vegetable soup is heated on a flame in the middle of the table. You order vegetables, noodles, meat and side dishes that will be cooked in the pot. That's fun! And delicious!
Barbecue on the table. Yummie!
Jörg picks out a chinese mobile phone card and a mobile phone, although I carry my own with me. Take this, he says, this is cheaper. Then he paints the closest shopping center into the map that he printed out for me, gives me the key of his bycicle right in my hand and wishs me good success. I ride the bike through Beijings busy streets, the traffic is enormous, but when i get into it as flowing as I know it from India, my heart is jumping so high, that I’m nearly afraid, that it jumps away. If I should explain joy, I think this would apply to it the best!
Here we are!
The hospitality that is offered to me is so pleasant. There where people in the past, who measured me with their own behavior patterns. And they resent me personally for my way of being and living. I am still happy, that I did not allow them to unsettle me too much. But nevertheless it is difficult for me to receive airily and without feeling guilty all the presents which life offers me again and again these days. So it seems to be my exercise to remain true to my way of being and to go the way of life that fits to me best. Even if I had to outpace people one my way. Life offers me great stories, which tug at my heartstrings. I thank life humbly!
Beijings Silicon Valley
I miss Johannes. Ever and anon. Fortunately I know that he is fine. How good! If he felt worried he could call me by mobile phone. Thanks to Joerg who borrowed me his.
way to the great wall
wonder of the world
Lost in thought about a question I stand there and watch the Summerpalace. Then I ask heavenwards to motion to me an answer. Three minutes later I run across an old grass style calligraphist, who writes with water a story on the floor of the garden. His story tells about the rainbird and the fishermen’s boat. The two of them meet in the middle of the lake. The beholder is a distant prospect, so that he can only see the nice picture very fuzzy. That makes it even more beautiful, because there is left a lot of space for fantasy. Would he be very close to them, the sharpness of the picture would reduce the freedom of his imagination. I think about my question and in this story I find the answer.
We sit on a metall fense and drink tea. I give Wendy a view into the biggest western religions, which, although being so different nowadays, all arised from the same root. Beside us two chinese ladies take place. They both carry her lunch on a filled plate. As one of them pauses eating, or has she already finished, a tiny old lady approaches her. She looks desirous to the still nearly full plate. Then she speaks some soft-spoken words. The young lady passes her the plate without a word. The old lady murmurs something and then walks away slowly. There’s a matter of course in the air that you find seldem in our modern society.
The story of the emperors mother Cixi (pronounced like the austrian emperor Sissi...), who was the inofficial ruler of the Qing Dynasty, is impressive. After Wu Zetian she was the second and last woman in the history of China, who held a position of such importance, where she acted as the inofficial ruler behind her husband and son . While her husband the emperor abandoned himself to vice, she held the office. After the emperor died, she supervised the politicial activities of her and her dead husband’s only son in that way: behind his throne, hidden by a curtain, Cixi was sitting and prompted him all answers. The servants knew about that but noone ever protested. When he started to make his own decisions Cixi set him in housearrest in the Summergarden Palace. After her dead the last Dynasty terminated. On the fotos which were made of her 1903/4, when Cixi was around 80 years old, she was still a beautiful woman, but beside that her face looks hard, adamantine and not really happy. Which price she had to pay for her power?
six months they won't meet. But they are already used to it. Last year Robin went to Canada for three months to go to school overthere. They can keep contact via email as usual.
After arrival at the partner school in Beijing the adults start with welcome speeches. The pupils are very tired and nearly cannot stand this official procedure.
The three teachers of the Victor Gollancz Primery School of Berlin Frohnau
For a better understanding the school sends a professor of the nearby located Institute of Foreign Languages. He knows our school very good, he took part of all exchange programs during the last 10 years.
Breakfast at Joerg and Petra
Petra and I are sitting at the breakfast table. After our first meeting in the kitchen last night, when I nearly frightened her to death because she had forgotten my presence, no wonder, i already slept when she arrived back home from work, we have now the first chance for a talk. During the last days she had been to a seminar with her company and ... now she is really exhausted. Her work as the marketing manager for VW Beijing she has had a hard works week anyway. As she asked me for my work I tell her a little about it. I work in advertising. And design books! It’s very nice and I love my work. Which kind of books? For example childrens books, encyclopaedias for one of the biggest publishing houses of germany, WissenMediaVerlag of Bertelsmann. Oh, how interesting, my mother just brought a book of this company for Ella, she says, how are yours looking like? Squared, padded cover...maybe, she says, where do I have it? My view focuses the shelves, she is walking to. There is a squared sized book, ah no, I consider...but...the colour...the headline...and then she holds it in her hand, shows it to me,’My first pictured encyclopaedia – animals of the farm’, I worked on it! Look here, this is my company's name, SCHINKEL Medien & Design, this is me, I tell her excited. The world is a shoebox...
Police shoots Police
I dial the number, that Tong Win Di, in the following called Wendy, emailed me. She picks up immediately and offers me, to pick me up with her car tomorrow. We got in contact by hospitalityclub.org. In that forum she mailed me and invited me to be her guest for my stay in Beijing. Mind you, she mailed to me! Normally the principle goes in opposite direction...
Beijings biggest Duck Restaurant
chinese stamp for Xin Youhan (Johannes)
...and one for Xin Tian (Christiane)
The world of european cheese
Joerg introduced me into an european food import shop and we bought 9 different sorts. Wendy wanted cheese fondue...we made cheese fondue.
The great wall and I
The business with the great wall
The way down is like a switchback. It reminds me even more of an amusement park.
A little cat turns around and around. It unweary hunts the tip of it's tail. But it cannot catch it at all. Whenever it believes that it's got it, the tail escapes immediately. What are you doing, her mother asks. I want to catch my tail, i think I will find happyness in there. My dear darling, turn around and go forward, your happyness follows you.
dancing through life
Next blog SHANGHAI
In Shanghai Ishiki is awaiting us on November 24th. She is also a contact over hospitalityclub.org. Joerg had booked for us the flights Beijing-Shanghai and Shanghai-Hong Kong on his account after Ishikis invitation and acceptance of the dates. I am happy looking forward to seeing him again. Tokyo three years ago, now Hong Kong. Yes, the world is a shoebox. The tickets are delivered at home for cash. In Shanghai Daniel does this part for us, he borrows us the money in advance. I am happy looking forward to meet him again in his adopted country after nearly two years.
28.10.2006-12.11.2006 HONG KONG
On our way to the big Buddha on Lantau Island/Hong Kong. The queue for the cable car is long.
Since 12.11.2006 TAIWAN: In this buddhist monastery we live
Chung Tai Monastery, Puli/Taiwan - http://www.chungtai.org.tw/index.htm