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  • Writer's pictureAnja

From Shanghai to Changchun

The days in quarantine are like two peas in a pod. Not even the weather outside the window brings variety. The same drizzly blue every day.

We have tried to capture the highlights of the days ;)

Day 4/15 - Anja can't sleep in the bed anymore, the mattress is too hard.

Day 5/15 - We shot up our Amazon account - after hours of struggling and help from the customer centre, it's now working again.

Day 6/15 - Denny has mood swings and is grumpy. He tries to get handle on it with sport.

Day 7/15 - Anja built a TRX out of luggage straps

Day 8/15 - Denny is already working via Skype

Day 9/15 - Anja has exerted herself so much on the TRX that she can't move anymore

Day 10/15 - Denny gets into TRX, finds it exhausting

Day 11/15 - it rains outside for a change

Day 12/15 - everything as usual

Day 13/15 - today it's time for the farewell coronatest

Day 14/15 - packing our bags

Day 15 - finally FREE!!!!!

Two weeks of grounding are over! We both have camp mania and are just happy to be able to leave our mini room.

Checking out of our quarantine hotel went faster than expected. However, we then stood outside the hotel not knowing how to get to the airport. Thanks to Diana, who works as a teacher in Beijing and had already installed all the apps on her mobile phone, we were able to get there. When we arrived at Shanghai airport, we first had a real coffee. After two weeks of instant, it tasted really good.

The flight to Changchun was quiet and after only 2 hours we were already there.

(and yes, we were the only two blondies on the plane).

Tuesday, 20 October at about 21:00 we finally arrived in our new adopted home Changchun.

Our first day in Changchun (and yes, we have sore muscles from all the unaccustomed exercise yesterday).

How do you get integrated into the country?

First of all, you have to go to the police and register. You get a document in triplicate. You can't do anything here without it.

Next stop: mobile phone shop, get a SIM card. 15GB and 200 free minutes cost the equivalent of €10 per month here in China.

Then it's off to the bank. Denny needs an account. Anja doesn't get one for the time being because she has the wrong Visa. (After 1.5 hours, Denny finally opens the account and deposits the first notes. As soon as we are standing in front of the bank, we get a call: Oops, that was the wrong bank. We don't have time to open an account at the right bank because Denny has his first appointment at work and Anja is also expected at school.

In our appointments we realise we have mixed up our documents, Anja has Denny's and Denny has Anja's....

Around 5:45 pm the first long day is over for the time being and we are taken back to our hotel.

Appartement search

The 2nd and 3rd days are a bit similar, we look at flats.

On both days together there are 12 of them.

The Chinese style of living is a little different from the German ;)

We live in compounds. These are enclosed residential areas, which can usually only be crossed on foot. Cars are parked in underground garages under the houses or outside the compound. Depending on their size, the compounts usually have one to three entrances and are guarded by security personnel. The Chinese pay to ensure that only residents of the residential area have access. (The higher the security fee, the more prestigious the compount) If you live in a house or a residential area that does not have a security gate, it is for poor people and (in the words of our agent) dirty....

The residential areas we visited are arranged like gardens. Often there are signs: No trespassing on the lawn, no playing football, etc.

Usually the centre of the flat is a large living/dining/kitchen area. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located off this area. Of the 12 flats we were able to visit, none appealed to us. So we are still looking.

In addition to the flat appointments on Friday, we had a second bank appointment and a visit to a language school. It will certainly take a while before one has really arrived here.

Our hotel

The Sheraton Hotel, where we are currently staying until we find a flat, is very nice. We had to change rooms because the ventilation in the bathroom and the heating didn't work. At night, when it's around zero degrees, it does get a bit cold...

Nevertheless, we can feel very comfortable here and definitely appreciate the luxury, after our quarantine experience. There is a gym and a small swimming pool, the breakfast is really tasty and the staff are very friendly. And the view from the 25th floor is really great.

After the first few days here in Changchun were so packed with appointments, we were already looking forward to the weekend. No scheduling stress and sunshine.

Changchun has over 300 days of sunshine a year, so the November blues don't stand a chance. ☼

On Saturday, Denny went out on foot to see the area. There are some parks here that are built along a river. On Sunday, the two of us went for a walk together.

First we visit another park, this time with a lake, and then we go for shopping. The shops here are open 7 days/week.

The smaller Chinese supermarkets have many things we don't know and don't want to try (yet). Therefore our choice of hour was >Metro<

Here we fought our way through the shelves for at least 2 hours, the mobile phone with a translator always at the ready. We found milk, butter, yoghurt, bread, sausage, cheese and even more things.

And a lot of other wild things too ;)

Because Anja was already dreaming of schnitzel in quarantine, we went to the German inn "Drei Kronen" on Sunday evening. Apple soda, beer, knuckle of pork and schnitzel.

*yummy yummy*

But of course we have already tried the Chinese cuisine:

We had hot cucumber water to drink. At first we thought it was to wash our hands. Meat-filled dough rolls, cauliflower with whole garlic cloves, glass noodles with shrimps, pumpkin and Chinese schnitzel with honey. Especially the schnitzel had to be eaten quickly and hot, as this honey breading becomes rock-hard when it cools down.

Greetings, now with 7 hours time difference

Anja & Denny

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