Altstadt, Chinafest and a Friendly Face
Can’t believe three weeks have passed since I was boarding the plane and moving my life out here to Germany.. I think the trick has been to keep myself busy! I really haven’t had much time to myself to spend sitting and thinking about anything and there have been so many new people I’ve met and new experiences that the time has passed by in a bit of a blur.
On Wednesday, I met up with another of the FSAs (Fremdsprachenassistenten / Foreign Language Assistants) to enjoy a piece of cake. We found a sweet little cafe – Engels Cafe (Angel Cafe) – not far from the old town and spent some time chatting about our experiences at the different schools.
Friday brought with it my first day off and marked my triumphant completion of my first week at school as well as the start of my three day weekend.. woohoo! I made the most of no work and had wonderful and much needed lie in. After a spot of breakfast whilst watching some strange German soap on television I headed off to the University to complete registration. After walking quite some distance through the campus I finally found the International Office and handed in all the relevant forms.. within a week my Student Card will arrive and I will be an official Erasmus Student at the Heinrich Heine Universität!
After everything at the Uni was done, I headed back into the city and spent the rest of the day wandering around. I had some lunch (a panini, nothing fancy) on a bench along the Rheinufer and then did some old town sightseeing..
The Düsseldorf Radschläger (the Cart-wheeler of Düsseldorf) is one of the city’s oldest traditions and landmarks. The Radschläger symbol can be seen everywhere in the Old town, featured in shops on souvenirs, sculptures, on doors and gates and even on manhole covers!
On Saturday the Market Square, which only two weeks earlier had been transformed into a Historical Market, was adorned with red lanterns and filled with small pagoda tents, ready to host Düsseldorf’s very own Chinafest. A friend and I spent a great morning investigating the many pagodas, each offering different snippets of Chinese culture – from tea ceremonies, Chinese massage and Tai Chi, to the absolutely amazing art of Leaf Vein painting.
On top of that, there were a number of stage performances ranging from Dragon dance, Acrobatics and live music. It was absolutely incredible..!!
Can’t forget to mention the yummy Chinese food 😉
After the excitement of Chinafest, I made my to the Airport to meet my lovely Mum who made a short but sweet visit to see me this weekend, bringing along with her a gratefully received bar of Dairy Milk – nothing quite beats it! It was lovely to have some company and be ‘wined and dined’, but it was difficult to say Goodbye again this afternoon!