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  • Writer's pictureAnja

What a mess

At the end of May I had my super-duper birthday party. With lots of sunshine, a wonderful cake, champagne and water guns. It was just too hot...

And since June, we've been using every weekend again to get to the water.

I already introduced you to the spot on the river in the last blog. This time there are also a few kite pictures and a walk of shame from Fabi ;) including getting stuck up to his thigh in the mud. (I helped him, of course, AFTER I took the photo).

And we found a beautiful lake in June. Clean, clear water, visibility depth of about 2 metres, an absolute rarity in China.

There is a fence around it with signs: No fishing, no swimming, but the Chinese there also enter the area. And I have to say: Sadly!

In the meantime, we have twice filled the trunk of our car with rubbish collected there. Fishermen and swimmers leave their bottles and fishing lines, throw their fags into the water and have even put a sofa there, which is now slowly rotting.

At the last barbecue there, we were invited for a few skewers and beer, but the generous Chinese left all their rubbish lying around. They collected their leftovers in a bag, but only carried them 20 metres and then threw them into the countryside.

After a few days, I was back at the lake and messaged one of the revellers to ask why they hadn't taken their rubbish away. The reply came promptly:

"There would be staff for that." Later he promised they would clean it up.

Unfortunately, this was again not true. The next visit of Denny and me was again dedicated to collecting rubbish. And I am not exaggerating when I say that I almost vomited. A week's worth of old food and beer leftovers in the sun really makes you retch.

Again it was two rubbish bags and a bucket, then our trunk were full. We had to drive with the window open until we reached the next container, it would have been unbearable if it was closed.

Both rubbish bags didn't seal though and the shit leaked into our luggage compartment. We spent the whole of the next week cleaning the back and all the covers, what a mess! In the meantime there is nothing left to smell.

And not even 6 days after this action, the following scenarios awaited us near the lake:

What is wrong with the Chinese, please? And yes, I am judging a whole group of peoples here, I am well aware of that! But I'm deliberately leaving it at that.

I would be interested to know what their homes look like, do they live like animals? When I look into some of the windows here in the city, I have the thought that they really do. Junk up to the ceiling.

So far I have only met a few individuals who really think about what they are doing. The majority, however, don't give a fuck.

They simply dump their ashtray contents out of the car window at the traffic lights, flick other rubbish right after them and leave their plastic wrappers lying around after a picnic in the park.

Within the city there really are staff who clean up after them, but that can't be the point!

I have often experienced here that the effects are dealt with rather than the cause.


  • 50 days of traffic education in Changchun (started this week)

Cause: lack of basic training for learner drivers, no trained driving instructors.

Effect: everyone drives like mad, parks wildly and sticks their phone number behind the windscreen so that they can be called if the person parked there wants to drive away.

  • Job creation scheme

Cause: no one takes their rubbish with them

Effect: without the staff, everyone here would suffocate with rubbish.

By the way, we are still testing diligently. The time between tests varies from every two to every four days. But in our compound, it's pretty well organised. There is a group message in the chat in the morning and then everyone is tested. Currently every three days.

If you need an up-to-date test outside of compound times, there are little counters set up all over town. Show the mobile phone code, open your mouth, insert the test stick and after 8-10 hours at the latest, the result is visible on your mobile phone.

Since May, I had dedicated myself to a team project that Nadine had to work out for her studies. The topic: collaboration.

Her idea was a podcast about activity opportunities here in Changchun. And for that she chose me as a partner :)

We have put a lot of time, work, sweat and creativity into our project. Both of us as podcast virgins had imagined the whole thing to be a little easier, but aren't the innocent the blessed? Well, we weren't quite that stupid in the end. You can listen to the results of our collaboration here: (in german)

And in mid-July we finally had the first dance event after the lockdown. Maypole. As the name suggests, this was planned for May, but all gatherings were still forbidden then.

Denny and I had a lot of fun anyway, I even sank the nail first and got a voucher for noodles.


Anja & Denny

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