Mannheim, Germany (德国的曼海姆)
To me, the most memorable thing in Mannheim is the Rheine River, winding through the Mannheim city. In the evenings, several of us students would saunter to the banks of Rheine. The waters reflected the golden color from the setting sun. The grass on the banks were green like a blanket with small yellow flowers adorned. We took many photos there using our newly ‘acquired’ cameras.
My life in Mannheim buries in my memory. This morning when I read H.D. Thoreau’s essay, ‘The Wildness of Life’, the scenery along the banks of Rheine River suddenly popped out of memory. The bits and bytes of my 6-month life in Mannheim flashed in front of me like a slide show.
It was evening when I arrived Mannheim. We settled in a small hotel, and it’s the very first hotel I stayed in my life. Each of us student got a single room, with nice carpet, and a warm bed. How sweet!
That’s my very first experience of overseas travel. . I was in a group of 40 students from about 40 colleges and universities in China, who were awarded DAAD (Scientific Stipendium from Germany) to study in West Germany at the beginning of the Chinese open-door ara in the early 80’s in last century. We flew from Beijing Capital airport , which must be very small comparing to the modern airport I so often travel in the last 10 years or so. We might be stopped in Saudi Arabic airport before flew to Frankfort, Germany. I couldn’t remember now. When we arrived in Frankfort airport, I was so disoriented that everything seemed blur to me. I blindly followed other students to pick my two large suitcases and slowly moved to the train station adjunct to the airport. I can’t remember how I pulled those two large suitcases to the hotel. Might be in a taxi. Certainly I got help from on
When I woke up, it’s already another day. It’s so quiet in the morning. I must had breakfast in the hotel, or maybe just some candies. Anyway, I can’t remember food business in the first day, but the quietness. So quite. The hotel was in city. I walked around a park, and saw nobody. Nobody? How strange! From the cities I was so used to there were so many people, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, to name a few. I was so surprised that homesick struck me like thunders.
I went to Goethe Institute to study German for 3 terms during the 6 months when I was in Mannheim. There were 9 Chinese students living in the same dormitory, scattered on the 3 floors of the dorm building. I was on the third floor. There was a student from Taiwan, who was a political science student and was several years older than most of us. All the students on the same floor shared the same kitchen. I remember we had several serious debate in the kitchen, several of us against him. The topics were always around Mainland vs. Taiwan. He had many ‘facts’ that we didn’t agree up on. So, we argued, argued …We also called him names, like a spy. Sometimes our hot debate scarred other students entering the kitchen. But every time we felt so righteous with our own point of views.
In Mannheim, I realized that I was very direction blind. On
Among my fellow Chinese students, I liked to tag along three fellow students, on
I spent my birthday in Mannheim. On that day, I cooked 2~3 dishes and invited three girls. On
Following is an excerpt from my recent book draft, ‘Personal Coach – How to Win in English Speaking Software Outsourcing”.
摘自《私家教练 - 助你赢在欧美软件外包行业》（电子工业出版社，2010.1）