On my first day in the office, I got to know a part of the head office’s team. Everybody is really kind and helps me settle down here, which I really appreciate. On Monday, they were moving to another building. The chair was not in Shenzhen in my first week, so I am yet to meet him. The average age in the office is around 28. The atmosphere in the office is very „easy-going“ and the separation of office life and private life is not as strict as in Germany. Colleagues have lunch together and they have even often dinner together at the end of a work day. Yet, work does not end when leaving the office. A large part of the communication and agreements take place on line via WeChat – in and outside of the office – on weekdays and on weekends – on your smart phone, tablet pc and/or your computer.
This week, we went to a village called Da Peng that has an archaeologically historic coastline and a historic old town. The team wanted to find a potential route for a future marathon event. We stayed one night at YododoInn where we were offered an office room and very delicious food. The evening was long, after dinner, we illuminated a camp fire, had some Budweiser and black Guinness beer and afterwards went to the beach where some of the group took a bath in the ocean. The area at the beach was very touristy, there were many bars and restaurants, and playgrounds. Even at night, the beach area was still very frequented. I was told that in such an urbanized area like Shenzhen, people are longing for beaches and landscapes. The next day, we visited a magnificent Buddhist temple with an impressive architecture.
My work this week consisted of making research about community-based tourism and international foundations focusing on intangible and tangible cultural heritage as a preparation of our common project. This is yet to be started, we will work on a guided tour in a historic village of Shenzhen.
This weekend, there is an event in a village/farm four hours away from Shenzhen, where a special sort of peach will be harvested. The Chinese NGO has been one of the organizers. However, the team is not going to the event because we didn’t find a possibility to get there – neither by car nor by bus.
Since I don’t speak Chinese – apart from the nihao (hello) and xiexie (thank you) – of course, I cannot follow any of the Chinese communication – including agreements and organization, and obviously, I also miss funny jokes. As a result, I miss verbal communication including agreement and topics of daily conversation, also during lunch and dinner. This prevents the possibility for me to get to know their daily (office) life. However, I am often being explained the result of the conversation.
I am happy to be welcomed this warmly by everyone, which makes me feel comfortable. I am very much looking forward to five more weeks in China!

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