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Why?? Facebook came along... No need to keep updating the same stuff on two different places.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Pub Crawl

Lanterns, cave girls, hot doctors, ladyboys and so on...
A couple of weeks ago Shoshannah had the idea of doing a Halloween Pub Crawl here in Kunming. But since Halloween is on a Wednesday this year we decided to move the party forward a couple of days. So this week was spent shopping for costumes and attributes and I must say: we all did a great job!!! None of us knew exactly what the others were going to be, but that made the surprise even bigger. The plan was to visit five bars and do some silly games at each of them. We prepared a boat race, an egg run, the apple-on-a-string game and a round of mummification. The team leaders (Shos, Marc, Sander and me) were armed with waterguns filled with sangria and the use of these led to very diverse reactions... No more talking, just look at the pictures and decide for yourself whether we had a good night ;-)

My first Halloween: One Big Success!!!

Ruudje "Chinese Lantern" Batta

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

With Maastricht University in Beijing

Kunming and Beijing are both Chinese cities but they couldn't be more different!

Last Friday after class it was time to leave for Beijing. Some of my students arranged one of those "private" taxis for me and I was at the airport in no time. A decent flight, a busy airport, a long bus ride and a ride in the subway I arrived at my hostel. The next morning it was time for the Education Fair. Got there in time and had to deal with the standard disorganization that is common for fairs, but luckily I am a foreigner and could walk through everything without the need of a badge (which weren't ready yet...).

The EHEF itself was set up nicely and there was a huge crowd of Chinese (prospective) students, all looking for information in one way or the other. Some took their time to check the brochure and ask questions while others just seemed to be hunting for "old" paper... The most common questions were: what are the requirements to get accepted?, how much does it cost?, do you have any scholarships?. Some of them were genuinely looking for a place to study in the Netherlands while others had absolutely no clue what they were looking for. What you get is the following:
"Hello, can I help you?"
"I want to study."
"What would you like to study?"
"Ehh, maybe biology or business..."
But overall it was a good way for the people of the UM to get to know the Chinese student population. And of course there was also some time for fun! I took the UM people out to hotpot and for a beer at Houhai. On Sunday there was a big dinner for all Maastricht Alumni in Beijing and several deans from the UM. Met some very nice people and we ended up in the Sanlitun bar area in the Q-Bar. I am sure I will see several of the alumni again in the near future.

On Monday I planned to go to the Great Wall, but I was too tired and couldn't be bothered and went to the Temple of Heaven Park instead. Nice place, but definitely not the highlight of Beijing. Later that night again back to the hotpot restaurant with a Canadian and an English couple I met and to Houhai for a "couple" of beers... It got pretty late and drunk, but it was the perfect closing night of a great weekend in Beijing!

Before I end this post I just have to show you this group of Chinese women I came across while I was walking around in the immense Temple of Heaven Park. It seems like they are prepping for a rugby match against the New Zealand All Blacks and want an even better "warrior song"...

That's all. I am going to pack my stuff and head back to Kunming!

Monday, October 15, 2007

No news is good news

Just another very normal week...

This is going to be a very short post since nothing really happened. We planned to do our cycling trip on Saturday, but due to lousy weather decided to postpone it. And the rest of the week was just working, watching some movies, grabbing dinner with friends and going out on Saturday night. That's about it... So I won't bother you with a lot of nonsense :-)

This Friday I leave for Beijing. I got all the materials that should prepare me for what I have to do there. At least the entire Saturday and Sunday are filled with the fair. The Monday I will spend either going to the Great Wall (again) and/or preparing stuff for when my parents come to China at the end of this year!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

National Holiday Week

Didn't go anywhere! Boring... ;-)

Oh well, not everything was boring of course! I had a really hard time getting to work, so most of the time I just was slacking off and doing some random surfing, playing games, watching movies... But there were also good things: I went cycling quite a few times and did some really amazing trips, we went out with friends, visited the Yunnan Wild Animal Park and went bowling!

So the start of the week consisted of cycling. A 60km trip near the airport, a 125km trip to the hotsprings in Anning and back via Haikou and a spectacular 60km trip with Mark north of Kunming. The scenery of the last trip was so amazing that we took up the plan to get more people out with us to do that trip. The "problem" is that most of them usually don't cycle and after the first 11km there is a 14km uphill stretch, poor people ;-) But it is worth it (see picture below for an example of the views you get)!! On Thursday (4 October) it was exactly one year ago that Shos and I met, so we planned to go out and celebrate that in Haigen Park, but the weather gods prevented us from going (instead we went there on Saturday). On Friday we made a trip to the Yunnan Wild Animal Park, a kind of really big zoo. It was very nice to be out and the animals seemed to be enjoying themselves. Lots of funny signs and "crazy" Chinese people trying to feed the animals were enough for us to have an excellent time there. It is really worth a visit, but you do need 4-5 hours to see everything!

Later that night we went bowling with a bunch of people and had a lot of fun. The lane didn't work properly, they told us they only had five beers (and we were with seven people) and we were just in a crazy mood... It was bowling with a Chinese touch! :-)

And one final piece of really cool news: I am going to Beijing for the weekend in two weeks!! Maastricht University is present at the European Higer Education Fair (EHEF) in Beijing and were looking for Alumni to represent the UM. I told them I was interested and this week I got the confirmation that I am invited :-)Looking forward to that!!

That's all for now folks!!!

De Mazzel,