So, we’ve made it to week 2. This week was less about exploring, and more about getting the final papers completed for our Chinese Urbanism course we still have pending in Weimar. It’s definitely been somewhat discouraging and unmotivating to write these papers, as there are millions of distractions all around us, at all hours of the day. But hopefully I’ll be done in the next week with the other 2 3-4 page reviews I have to do – nothing too far from possible to do before our end-of-march deadline.
As for our apartment hunt, the hunt is done and we signed the contract today. It’s crazy to think about the degree of Chinese efficiency when it came to this apartment: we gave our intention for lease deposit 6 days ago. 6 days later, they had installed new closets, bought 3 new beds, put new hardwood floors in the bedrooms, washed the curtains and the “forro” of the sofas, and wallpapered the entire apartment. Honestly, I really don’t know how they did it. But they did and it looks awesome. Pictures to come soon. However, we decided not to take the cheaper option with the better view, as we found a ton of water damage in the walls of the bedroom. But hey, the view was to die for:
We settled on this view instead (same view, only 23 floors lower):
As for school, we began classes on Thursday, with Urban Sociology and Inspect on Chinese Modern Architecture. I was happily surprised to be able to understand the Chinese instructors, a fear I had prior to coming here…. but so far so good. The Sociology course is more of a ‘primer’ to research in Sociology methods, whereas the Inspect course is similar to the Urban Design course we had at CMU. We signed up for a site around shanghai, and now we gotta break down its physical and functional characteristics. In doing so, we have to seek conclusions as to improving the public sphere of our assigned spaces. On Wednesday, we had a tour of the campus with some students from the international office. They were kind enough to tell us where we go buy architecture supplies/print when we need to, as well as a general overview of the university campus buildings.
We started the tour at the CAUP (college of architecture and urban planning university library)
This is where the CNC mill and woodshop are- however im unsure yet we’re allowed access….
The main architecture building – there’s a piano on the lower level, and someone is always playing (it’s free!).. it gives the environment a ‘sophisticated’ feel
Mr. Mao welcomes us every time we enter the campus – behind is the 8 floor university library (at the center of campus)
This is where we buy cheap architecture supplies
the Chinese-German cooperation building
No clue, but also on campus
The Chinese-French cooperation building
One of the main arteries of the campus – when springtime comes, all the trees will blossom white/pink from what they told us.
As for life, the weather was finally warm enough to go running. So today I ran around the outer walls of the campus, in all a 3.13 km run. (cool website- http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/create/) I also went to Wal-mart to buy a basketball, so weather permitting i’ll get some good springtime exercise. The city at night is a completely different city from during the day (there’s just so much smog). All the buildings illuminated, people out on the street. It’s really a feast for the eyes. AND IT”S SO CLEAN. Definitely not the Shanghai I remember from 6 years ago.
This week was also Sebastian’s birthday, so we decided all to go to a karaoke bar – a fancy place where they put you in a room and you can completely make a fool of yourself. I was a great night. More stuff to come later. Out.