Before making the final decision whether to do an assignment or not, Continental offers an “Orientation Trip” to the potential delegation location.
In our case, we already made up our mind before starting the Orientation Trip:
Whatever it is gonna be like, we’ll go for it! 🙂
So we took advantage of the orientation trip to organise already as many things as possible for our move in the beginning of 2014. On the first of November 2013, we headed to Changchun to spent two weeks of appointments, sightseeing and regular expat duties. Whilst Rawi was at work having meetings with all his future colleagues, I (Veerle) visited various institutes with my local “coach” to look where I could find a good job for myself. In between we looked for housing, explored local markets and sport facilities, did the obligatory medical check and dove into the ‘wild’ natural environment surrounding Changchun. Some impressions of our first two weeks in Changchun:
AIR CHINA business lounge – Juhuuu it’s gonna happen!
AIR CHINA business work 🙂
Beijing airport – With fresh smell of burned plastic (or at least that is how the smog smelled like).
Charming Jilin – more than just imagination? – Arrival in Changchun airport. Luckily without smell.
A drive of one long hour through misty/smoggy/dusty construction areas brought us from the airport to our hotel. Very shocking..
Then we came to our hotel. There it was actually not too bad: Here is the view out of our hotel room during the first days. And the smell was not as bad as in Beijing.
First impressions of Changchun out of the hotel room
Same view on the third day Lots of space and construction works. Hilly woodlands at the horizon mark the Jingyuetan National Park.
Sheraton hotel Changchun – View on the hotel from the other side, taken on the steps of the Jilin Science and Technology museum.
Hotel entrance hall – Giant place, with a different background color every day.
Our base camp for two weeks – First time for me (Veerle) in a ***** marquee! I must say, one gets pretty easily adapted to it..
Conditions could be worse 🙂
Big tub in the basement – This was actually a truly beautiful pool with a pattern of little blueish sparkling mosaic stones.
Map of Changchun: Red and Green line: “light train” (~ tram) – From North to South: Railway station; Downtown; South Park; Our future neighbourhood; Continental plant II; Southeast: Sheraton hotel and Jingyuetan National Park.
Changchun outskirts – View along the river in the direction of the city, taken from the neighbourhood where we will be living. The white spacy building next to the river is one of the light train stops.
Changchun constructions – Construction works e v e r y w h e r e cause lots of dust and noise. It goes on for kilometers and kilometers.
Changchun constructions – With hundreds at a time.
Changchun constructions – Subway system, will be ready next year.
Plastic wonderland – You thought these flowers are real?
More plastic wonderland
Changchun downtown – Playing men and Chinese rubbish toys.
Changchun downtown – Quite a lot of green spots and many trees (not well visible in autumn).
Changchun downtown – Huge modern shopping districts.
Changchun downtown – Downtown shopping by night.
Changchun downtown – Downtown shopping by night.
Changchun downtown – You don’t want to know the price of that ‘ensemble’
Changchun Weekend destination
Rawi’s future playground – Outside
Rawi’s future playground – Inside
Changchun South Park – Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge
Changchun South Park – left
Changchun South Park – right 🙂
Changchun South Park somewhere in the middle – almost got lost
Changchun South Park – north
Looking for housing with Ling, our housing agent
Looking for housing – which one to pick?
Looking for housing – Mostly gated communities. Some rather new and with a bit of green in the middle like this one.
Also on the inside.
Others a bit older and often with moist problems
All interiors quite similar and a bit kitschy.
Communities are equipped with a private coal heating system (look for the smokestack).
Changchun’s smokestack collection: Chinese culinaries:
From fertilized ovum to little chicken
More little chickens
Half-sisters of the little chicken
Chinese eating etiquette – Taught to us by Peng (one of Rawi’s direct colleagues) and his wife Han.
Dumplings and smoked tofu, truly delicious. Our favourite!
Toasted half-sisters of the little chicken
Direct Japanese import
Continental Changchun plant II – Outside
Continental Changchun plant II – Inside
Continental Changchun plant II – Natural decoration
Jilin University (Notice the electric post delivery bike!)
Medical check – Mandatory for foreigners applying for a visa.
Chinese blood pressuring technology
… and pipi
Bike ride to Jigyuetan National Park – Starting on the loaded parking lot of Plastic Wonderland (taken on Saturday! at 12 am)
Chinese safety – An unlocked 1000 dollar bike on the street.
Changchun’s fresh air – found in Jingyuetan National Park. An icy winter breeze hitting our face..
including ski slopes, bike trails, walk trails, and cross country ski trails. We are looking forward to come back in white winter time!