I apologise in advance for the shameless ardour underneath. 😀

Wohoo!!! Leaves are turning in the education & employment chapter! My good friend got a place in a master’s programme in environment management. We’ll see about her coming here. My other good friend got a contract extension as an analyst at the evaluation enterprise she has been working for. This means that she won’t be able to come here during my exchange period (but who cares — this country is not going anywhere! Employment is a different story.) and I sealed a contract as an information systems specialist at the Ministry of Education and Culture after my return. My yet-another good friend, who just graduated, is able to come here for two weeks. Exciting times!


A typical Hubei spring downpour. The streets resemble water slides, and you have to really restrain yourself from jumping around like a kid. (Or do you really?! … :D) The sky was clear 15 minutes before the picture was taken.

Chinese people have a very nice habit of ending a course by having a big meal together. Me and my friends took the long route and had lunch two days in a row — first some hot pot, then Xinjiang-ese food. Xinjiang food has Arabic or Muslim influences, and their traditional dresses differ significantly from the Han people’s dresses. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from that restaurant, since we were so hungry we tucked in immediately.


The Xinjiang-ese restaurant was in a shopping centre. I wondered why there was a dragon dance performed downstairs. Turns out, every time a new shop is opened, there is a ceremony welcoming good luck and spirits to the space, and to bring fortune and health to the shop owners.

In two weeks, another of my good friends will be here. We’ve made up an action plan, which consists of sights (Wuhan University, the villa of Chairman Mao Zedong at East lake, Guiyuan Temple, Heptachord Terrace, Yellow Crane Tower, Hubei Provincial Museum, Ji Qing Jie night snack street, Hu Bu Xiang breakfast street, biking around the East Lake) and hiking for eight days from Wushang Mountain via Badong to Jingzhou in Hubei. We will also explore Sichuan province — especially its capital, Chengdu — and its giant panda research centre as well as Jiuzhaigou, which is one of the most beautiful remote scenic spots in China. Luckily, I don’t have any compulsory lectures to attend during this time interval.