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旅行印象:德国的曼海姆  

2010-03-31 19:15:08|  分类: 旅行 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 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 one of the 11 students who arrived at the same hotel that day in Mannheim.

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.  Once I rode on a bus running on a circular path around the city.  I felt sleep until a fellow Chinese student spotted me and woke me up.  He asked me where I was going.  I said I was going back to the dorm.  He was so amused that he pointed out that I just passed the dorm station.  By then I realized that I was circulating the city once already.

Among my fellow Chinese students, I liked to tag along three fellow students, one from Shanghai (Wei Meng), and two from Beijing (Gao Xiaoyang and Shi Chuan).  Beijing dialects were so fascinated when the two Beijingners talked, like comet talk shows. Once the Shanghaier stated certain topics, the two Beijingers ‘attacked’ immediately with wits and humors.  Every time I found their ‘show’ was so interesting that I couldn’t help laughing to tears. Their ‘show’ made my life in Mannheim more tolerable, and sometimes very fun and enjoyable.

I spent my birthday in Mannheim.  On that day, I cooked 2~3 dishes and invited three girls.  One dish was fried pig kidney, which I made by memory because I like the dish my mother cooked at home.  I thought it’s good stuff.  When He Xiao-shan tasted one bite, she almost threw out!  She asked, did you cleaned it? I said, yes.  ‘But I smelled something very bad from the dish. You must have not cut the smelling things out of the pig kidney”.  I was so dumb founded.  I didn’t know a thing about cleaning port kidney then.  Oops! The dish ruined my birthday party. Too bad.

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)

39 “看CCTV-9学英文”

……

我初学德语时,上海外语学院和德国曼海姆歌德语言学院的老师们从一开始就训练学员们的听写能力:老师读一篇短文,学员们听完之后就写成一篇短文。我刚到歌德语言学院时,每逢“复述”练习(德语是wiedergeben,练习的内容是先听老师念一篇短文,学生再根据记下的笔记写出一篇短文)的时候,我几乎听不懂老师念的德语文章,写的时候常常头脑一片空白完全想不起来要写什么,常常交白卷,非常难为情。但是几个月训练下来,我的听力被磨练得灵敏些了,居然也能凑合出德语小短文,立即上交老师。后来,去德国北部的布伦瑞克技术大学学习,谢天谢地,这种在德语学校训练出来的听写技能真帮了我的大忙。

……

8 “勤动脑,多提问”

……我留学德国时一起学习德语的一位中国同学说起一个谚语:“雄辩是银,沉默是金”。很有些自我解嘲的意思。当时的情形是:在德国曼海姆歌德语言学院里,我所在的班上有好几位中国同学。在班上,我们真是沉默的一群人。可能一方面原因是大家都是德语初学者,另一方面,与其他外国学生同在一个班级,也担心问出来露怯,给中国人丢脸。当时我们确实具有极强的民族荣誉感,加上那时国内刚刚改革开放,经济水平远低于其他国家,多多少少让我们有些自卑感。好像这成为了“沉默”的借口了。事实上,我远比其他中国同学更感自卑些,原因是我在国内念大学时,除了课本与考试之外,两耳不闻窗外事,没有对国际、国内大事关注过。印象最深刻的是德语班上同学、老师针对美国三英里岛核泄漏事故(Three-Miles Island)讨论得热火朝天,我却是一脸茫然,完全不知道他们在说些什么。除了沉默,真是说不出什么。

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