|On the road again
Yes, we know, it's some time ago since new year and our last report. We already had the second new year here in China. Since third of February we write the year of the rabbit. As we have enough experience with Chinese new year already, we abandoned the country this year. Regina went to Germany and Stephan to Finland and India.
Real snow in Finland and -28°C and delicious food. But after a short working week there Stepha went to the more interesting country. In Chennai - some of you know it better under the old name Madras - was no snow but around 27°C. That makes a rough temperature different of 55°C. Cool, isn't it?
First day of the trip we visited our head quarter in Chennai city. Well, I expected a bit more impressive building. Here just two pictures of the mail box and the stairway.
The people are really friendly and helpfull. They understand pretty much english. Well, unfortunately it's not that easy to understand them. But face to face it's somehow possible.
In Chennay are living around 8 mio people, it's roughly the same size as Suzhou, but there are no buildings taller than the 12 floor. It's quite simple, the international airport is not really outside the city and depending on the wind, the approach part of the planes changes. Next day we went to Kansheburam where our factory is. 80Km, 2.5hrs ride. And a big surprise: Eicher is not closed since the sixties, they still build trucks in India.
At the moment we're constructing a new building next to the factory to get enough space. Safety in the factory and in the construction yard is important. Basics like wearing shoes and helmets are explained to every new employee.
The area and the buildings are all perfectly cleaned but the consturcion yard. Wow. I'm not an expert of construction yards but the differnesation of the scrap area and the build area was not that clear for me.
Challenging in India is to eat with the fingers. Well, my parents forbid it when I was a really small child, so I had not the chance to practice much ;-) But somehow it's working out. Just mix up the rice with the sauces, curries and veggis and dig in. But only with the right hand, the left hand is used for completly other things.
Talking about food, it's really really delicious. A bit spicy (even if I ordered all the time without any spices), but yummie. And I had no single problem with my tommy, everything fine. In every other street there are small shrines or altars so everybody can have a prayer or bring a sacrifice on the way to work or wherever.
The traffic in Chennai and the area around is, hmmm, well, how to say, really challenging. I thought after Naples and Malta there is nothing to top it. Then there was China, where I survived the traffic in all parts of the country. Well and then there is India. To qoute a driver here who found out that I'm a bit nervous about the style of driving: "no worry, Mister, only body dies". Somehow the religion and the traffic are not fitting together.....
People are wearing cloths in all colors, there is such an incredible noise in the streets (chinese people do not use the horn compared to indians) and the smell is really intense. It's a real experience.
Next time I'll take the real camera with me and take some time walking through the streets.
Parallel to Stephans Finland/India trip Regina visited in our home town, Schwäbisch Gmünd before the hay fever time starts. By coincidence there was a culinary night at Mara. Gabi, a dear friend from Suzhou who moved back to Stuttgart cam to help Regina tasting all the different type of food. A perfect mixture of feast and chat.
Regina was pretty busy visiting plenty of friends and the glas beading training at Isi Merkel (sorry, it's a german link).
Unbelievable what's possible with only some glas sticks, a gas flame and some skill. I guess the real word is art.
Visiting the relatives in Schwabach is never boring. This time Matthias was the surprise, or let's say his appendix. A surgery was necessary and it was definitely not planned. But everything went perfect, he was already able to call with Stephan in China (or was it India).
Just back in Suzhou we got some visitors, or at least we got them nearly. Penny and David which we know from our early days in Suzhou and which moved back to Sweden 2 years ago, anounced to visit us. It was a bit chaotic, but at the end at least Penny and Regina were able to meet.
As we're moving hopefully soon, we are looking for some furnitures. We don't need much, but it's better to have an early look. In the car, down to the SND and searching for this nice massiv wood furniture store, we heard of. We had a lot of fun, even if we haven't found any furnitures. But there are plenty of small things to discover, just take a look to the next two pics:
For sure there were also some furnitures. Different styles also and some of the even massiv. But not really our style.
Of course a real chinese apartment needs an auqarium, without goldfish you have no chance to get rich or happy. If you don't have any space for a separate aquarium, you can easily take on of the table aquarium. Really nice idea. Stephan also found a hifi high end shop in the mall. Tube amplifiers and nice speakers. For only 10.000 Euros. Nice sound but Regina said, we already have a stereo at home.
One of the last look out of our old apartment we nearly fell into shocl. On top of the crane at the construction yard were some people climbing around. Looked like they did some repair work. And no, we don't want to know, how they secured them selfes.
Now to the real important things: we moved into a new apartment. After some chinese typical difficulties (the apartment we wanted and we signed was available any more, the real estate informed the night of chinese new year that we can't have it, Regina was in Germany, Stephan in India, so a complete normal situation here for house hunting) and the change of the real estate management we found a nice apartment very close by. The moving company was in time and the wetter was also good enough.
During the pre-visit of the moving company we asked them, or at least tried to explain them, that we want some air foil to protect our sofa during the move. And it worked, they bought it extra for us. We have nowadays enough expereince that we bought 5 rolls of duct tape, so they could really use the foil. Now we are in a pretty nice apartment, a bit bigger than the last one and also in the 22nd floor.
Only the view isn't that perfect any more. We see some of the lake but only between some buildings. But there are also some stunning sun risings.
Maybe we put some more picture only soon, depends on the time it takes to unpack all the boxes.Talking about unpacking, here two pics of some piece of art, still packed and already used by the people. Why not?
The earth quake in Japan and the risk of radiation here seems to be hotter discussed in germany than in china. Currently everybody is buying iodized salt before the radiation is coming close. Well, if it helps....
Fukushima is farer away from Suzhou than Tschernobyl was from germany. So let's see. There are currently no evacuation plans and we don't have a plan to go the europe soon. But if it's gonna be real dangerous we'll jump in the next plane, but this is hopefully a completly different story.......