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  • Writer's pictureAnja

Christmas greetings from Changchun

Christmas greetings from China just in time for the holidays.

Actually, Anja wanted to sit down again at the weekend and write down our experiences, but now she has already done so on Christmas Eve.

What happened during the last 2.5 weeks?

We had a cat for 5 days.

Anja found her abandoned in a box in front of Walmart and brought her home. We couldn't understand how you could abandon an animal at -10°. So she sat in her box and meowed pitifully. At home, Anja put her in the bathroom, we didn't have a litter box and litter, but a friend quickly made an emergency purchase. After the cat dared to come out of the box, she disappeared under the bathroom cabinet for 1.5 days. Who knows what the little one has had to go through. But with patience and attracting, she gradually made friends with us. But it took a few days until she trusted us enough to let us pet her and cuddle her.

Keeping her was not an option because we are waiting for Kedi and it is very difficult to bring cats to Germany without German tests, so with the support of Anja's Chinese teacher we found a family who gave her a new home.

Housewarming party

In mid-December we had our housewarming/mulled wine party.

With a fire bowl and a mulled wine pot on a tripod outside on our terrace.

You can't buy mulled wine here in China, you have to make it yourself. So Anja spent almost the whole day at the cooker to taste the wine. 1 spoonful of honey, 1x taste etc... :)

And for later, when it got too cold, we had cheese-leek soup. By the way, you can buy the meat here:

The boys from Braunschweig: (from left to right) Denny, Thorsten, Herbert, Thomas, John

Driving licence

Denny has had his Chinese driving licence for a week. Anja failed the test twice. The German and international driving licences are not valid here in China. But you only have to take a theory test if you already have a German driving licence. You have to answer 100 questions, and if you get 90 correct answers, you pass.

Denny got 89 on the first attempt, Anja 84 and on the second Denny 90 and Anja 87.

You can study for the exam with an app that you download beforehand. However, we only found out AFTER the exam that Anja had studied with a DEMO version. Instead of the usual 1600 questions, she only had 350 questions! So only 1/5 of all the questions. Very annoying. And Denny had also infected Anja with his cold shortly before. So the examination requirements for her were extremely difficult.

Since foreigners are only allowed to take exams on Fridays, it would actually be her turn tomorrow. She also studied diligently with the full version during the week. This morning, however, she was informed that the system was not working and that it would also be closed on the next Friday (1.1.2021). So she can't sit the exam again until 8.1.2021. So two more weeks to wait :(

But here you have an excerpt, a best of the questions, as they are asked in the APP and later in the exam. With some of them, it is quite understandable why there are many traffic deaths here in China, despite a 0.0% alcohol limit.

Last Sunday, 20 December, we took our car, a Golf, on our - uhm Denny's - first round. We drove east out of Changchun, towards Moon Lake until we reached a small ski resort. Actually, we wanted to take some nice pictures with our drone, but unfortunately the battery of our mobile phone ran out. There you are in the middle of nowhere without a navigation system and you can't even ask for directions because there's no one there. Oh, and Anja's mobile phone doesn't have a navigation app yet, because it's Android.

Google Maps doesn't work here, the other options are only conditionally recommendable. MapsMe doesn't really work either, and the Chinese version of Google Maps is in Chinese!! and there's no way to change the language. Well, this situation led to a lengthy discussion, we'll spare you that here. ...

Our cautious attempts to get closer to Chinese cuisine have been put on hold for the time being. Instead, we discovered a great café/ restaurant/ outdoor shop. Very tasty food with a view of the snowboards, skis and bouldering wall. There is even a waiter who speaks English.

Home update

In the meantime, we have also installed a dishwasher, after a lot of toing and froing, as you all know. It's running, hurray!

Since Anja will not be working for the time being, she has put her energy into her fitness room in our basement. In the meantime, it already looks quite good. All that's missing now are all the things we loaded into the container. Denny is still drilling anchors so that we can hang a TRX and the screen still has to be screwed on. Then it's ready.


Today is Christmas. Christmas Eve. As we have already told many of you, the Chinese do not celebrate Christmas. No mulled wine, no fairy lights in the windows, no Christmas tree, no punch, no Advent candles and no run on presents.

All that Christmas spirit, excitement and anticipation is missing. There are no holidays here either. Denny has half a day off today. You can buy plastic Christmas trees for 5€/ 40RMB, but they look plucked o_O

The only thing that fits the mood today: a bit of snow is trickling outside.

We haven't made any plans for today either and have agreed that we won't give each other any presents. Our Christmas will be when our container finally arrives. Since 21 December, it has been at customs in Dalian. Keep your fingers crossed that it will arrive before the end of the year. Then we can finally unwrap our presents.

We wish you a magical Christmas, we are thinking of you and sending you very small, tender snowflakes.

Anja & Denny

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