The dorm

Waitan aka 'The Bund' -  Shanghai

Waitan aka ‘The Bund’ – Shanghai

Shanghai doesn’t need any introduction.  Known as a huge & modern metropole and with it’s population of more than 23 million souls, it is the largest city by population in the world!  For centuries a major administrative, shipping, and trading town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 1800’s due to European recognition of its favorable harbor location and economic potential, being a thriving city today.

Zhuo & me @ Tongji University

Zhuo & me @ Tongji University

At my arrival I met Zhuo, a local student who I hosted back in 2012 in my home near Brussels.  It was so nice to meet him again.  He told me I could stay in his university but we had to travel for 3 hours to do so.  Isn’t that guy fantastic?  I hosted him and his 2 friends for 2 days in Belgium and he travels now 3 hours just to pick me up at the airport at 1.30 AM!  Some people are just too nice!  Anyway, we arrived at the university at 4.30AM and of course went straight to sleep.

Havin luch with Zhuo in Tongji University

Havin luch with Zhuo in Tongji University

The next morning Zhuo showed me around in the huge university & we had lunch after one of his classes.  Tongji Univerity is like a small city really with shops, restaurants, public transport & has more than 30,000 students and 8,000 staff members! The German government & some German physicians in Shanghai established it back in 1907 which means Tongji is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China.  Quite an experience to be hosted in his dorm, having lunch among hundreds of other students,… It made me feel like a student again.

In Shanghai with Zichen

In Shanghai with Zichen

In the afternoon I explored the city while Zhuo had some more classes.  I met his friend Zichen, who I also hosted in Brussels back in 2012.  Zichen showed me around Shanghai city and we walked along the most famous area in Shanghai, Waitan aka ‘The Bund’ with Shanghai’s main symbol… ‘The Oriental Pearl Tower’, the highest building in China built in 1994, featuring 11 garish pink balls.  The Bund is the waterfront area in central Shanghai with a fascinating mix of East & West with historic ‘Shikumen’ houses that blend with some old Western styles.  We enjoyed the sunset with fantastic views on the river & the sweeping lightshow on the surrounding buildings. Beautiful!

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