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39 years old, DancingShoes was born and raised in the rural part of Wuhan. Finishing her education in Beijing, she has a Bachelor's degree in Engineering. She has been working professionally and living in Xiamen for many years, but now calls Wuhan home. A single mother for 8 years so far, DancingShoes has been growing up along side her child, maturing more and more. Independent emotionally and financially and working as project manager in a large international engineering company, DancingShoes is well traveled around China and parts of Europe.
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Travel to Germany 1 我的德国之旅(一)    

By DancingShoes'
5387 Views | 14 Comments | 2/23/2014 2:07:16 PM

On the Chinese Forums, I have seen some ladies here who hope to know more about Germany, because they are going to make business trip there or some of them are so fascinated with the German men. So I would like to sort and organize some of the information based on my experience in my trips to Germany, along with some pics to share with all of you.  Hope it helps you to learn some more about Germany.



Visa & Entry (签证和入境):



My first trip to Germany was made in 2008. I still remember that, I brought the invitation letter sent by our headquarters in Germany, to have the visa interview in the German Embassy. A staff sitting in the window, who was a Chinese woman with a poker face, asked me in Chinese, " Do you speak German?" I said no. She asked again, "What can you do in Germany, now that you can’t even speak German?!" There are very few colleagues in our companies in China who speak German, except the German bosses & colleagues and the Chinese colleagues who studied abroad and received their degrees in Germany. Also, we need to travel to the company in Italy for business sometimes, and we work together with a lot of Italian guys.  Does it mean that we should speak Italian as well? There are also some colleagues from Russian, Austria and Turkey… working in our company. Everyone works in English here,  in emails, reports, and presentations in the meetings.  There is no barrier on the communications at work.  Although, some of the German also speak or write the broken English as we Chinese do, and they like to mix some German words in their English, we can still understand each other, the work is still going well. Finally, the lady said she could only give me a Visa of two weeks stay, but I didn’t agree and I told her, my work could not be finished in two weeks.  It was no way that you get me back to China in two weeks just to renew my visa and then go abroad again ~ ~ she had to agree to issue me a visa of a month. As a Schengen visa, the German visa allows you to travel around many other places in Europe.



Now I do not have to go to the embassy to have the interview for my visa, now that I have some old Entry/Exit stamps on my passport.  And our company has a green channel in the German Embassy so that we do not need to wait in line, and it normlly takes only three days to get a visa, and the visa is valid for at least three months to six months, or one year stay with multi-entries. I just need to deliver my passport and other documents by express to our Beijing office, the reception girl in Beijing office can help me to submit the files to the Embassy, the driver can go to the embassy to pick up the visa along with the passport in the afternoon on the same day. Before my departure from Wuhan for Frankfurt, while I transfer the flight in Beijing, I can ask somebody to bring the visa to the airport to me.  The administrative GM in Beijing is a very nice German woman who speaks very good Chinese.



After arrival, the immigration officers  at the exit gate in the airport will probably ask you many questions and ask you to show them all the documents as the invitation letter, your return flight itinerary or ticket and your destination, etc , when they see you are a single woman while you are trying to enter Germany. I guess it is because the single woman is always suspected as an illegal immigrant. I went to Germany alone most time, and I have not encountered such a strict enquiry. They just asked me where my destination was, and how long my stay would be, and then stamped on my passport.  Once in Frankfurt exit, I saw a Chinese woman who was stopped by an officer with many questions. This officer was a Chinese, he spoke the Chinese in Canton accent. In Frankfurt airport, there are some Chinese working staff.  One time I asked an Asian woman in English for some information at the Check-in desk while I was leaving for Beijing, she noticed that I held the Chinese passport, and she immediately changed her language to Chinese.  But you should not mistake all the Asian face people on the street for Chinese and go to speak Chinese to them . Some of them are actually the Japanese or Koreans working or living there. I have made a such mistake on the street.



If you don’t speak German (关于德语):



If you do not speak German, it is really a little bit inconvenient to travel or live in Germany. I still remember when I arrived at Frankfurt Airport in my first trip and I travelled alone that time.  While I was waiting for my luggage, I turned on my mobile phone which was shut off for nearly 10 hours during the flight.  The signal was been switched automatically from "China Mobile" to "Vodafone", and then there was an incoming call, I picked it up but the caller talked to me in German. I did not understand too well, and I asked him if he could speak English. It was funny that he understood my words, and replied “No”.  I looked around and I asked a German man beside me if he spoke English, he said Yes. I was happy and I handed my phone to the man.  He talked to the caller in German, and then translated to me in English, "This is the driver to pick you up at the airport. He speaks no English. He said there was something wrong with his car on the road and he has to be late. Sorry that he will arrive in about an hour. Maybe you should have a cup of coffee at the meeting point in Terminal 1? " (Faint~~)



The ticket vending machines at the bus and train stations are mostly in German only.  If you can’t read or do not know how to get a ticket there, you have to wait in line to buy a ticket from the staff in the window. It takes more time.  Normally the hotel I checked-in provides a free travel ticket to me which indicates my stay dates in this city. During my stay here, I can use this ticket for all the public transportation lines, without the limitation of times. If you buy a ticket at the station, then you should punch the ticket at the machine behind the driver seat while you get on the bus.  Nobody will have your ticket checked on the bus. But nobody dare to steal a ride here.  I am not sure it is a matter about the personal credit or something else? But I am quite sure that there must be a lot of people doing that if in China.  Another reason is the penalty fine will be very expensive if you are caught, in Germany..



Staying in a place for long enough time, I got to know about every place that I am going, even though I couldn’t read the German of the station name.  There will be a voice radio to announce the station name in German at each station, following a reminding ring that sounds like the church bells. There are also some LCD displaying the station names that you are approaching. So I have never taken the wrong station.



There isn't any advertising on the bus, both the interior and exterior of the bus are very clean and bright.  And there is no big gap or rugged steps between the platform and the carriages floor. So the people can drive the baby stroller and elder’s wheelchairs onto the bus directly and easily.



To be continued.



在中文论坛里我看到一些女同胞对德国和德国男人比较感兴趣,希望我能介绍一下德国,那么我就把我以前去过德国,留下的印象整理一下,加上照片,给你们讲讲我眼中的德国,让你们对德国有一点点印象。并且我以后还会在博客里分享一些和德国人打交道的故事。



签证和入境(Visa & Entry):



我仍然记得第一次去德国出差前,我拿着德国总部的invitation letter,在德国使馆面试签证的情形。窗口的工作人员,一个拽拽的中国女人问我:“会德语吗?”我说不会。她反问我:“那你去德国做什么?!”我们中国公司很少有人会德语,除了在中国工作的德国上司及德国同事和一些曾在德国留学的中国同事。并且我的欧洲同事还有不少意大利人,我们偶尔也要去意大利的分公司出差,难道我们还必须都要讲意大利语才行?工作中我也遇到来自俄罗斯的同事,还有奥地利的土耳其的,等等,跟我们一起工作完成项目。出差开会汇报工作大家都用英语,没有什么障碍啊。虽然平时来往的邮件里,欧洲很多同事英语甚至都不如我们中国人,他们那些英语德语词汇参杂的邮件和口语我们都能明白意思,也没有耽误工作。最后使馆那个女人说只能给我2周的签证,我说不行,工作无法完成,你总不能让我中途回中国来续签证吧~~ 她于是给了我一个月。作为欧洲的签证申根国,你可以持德国签证在欧洲很多地方旅行。



除了第一次,后面我再也不用去使馆面签了。现在公司的绿色通道也能让我们3天内就拿到签证,而且签证有效期都是至少3个月或者半年甚至一年。只要把护照等证件快递给我们北京公司,北京公司的前台MM就可以帮我们办好,司机当天下午就可以去使馆取回签证。临行前,从北京转机去德国的时候,可以让人把签证和护照送到机场来带走。北京公司管行政的GM是个非常和善的德国女人,讲得一口很好的中文。



单身女人在德国入境的时候,排队等候出关时偶尔会有移民局的人上来盘查你,我想单身女人是不是容易被怀疑有非法移民倾向?一次在法兰克福出关的时候,我看到一个中国女人被一个移民局的工作人员盘查很久,让她出示很多证件包括德方邀请函,甚至问她回程日期,出示她的行程单,或者回程的机票。这个移民局官员是个中国男人,讲的浓重广东口音的普通话。其实在法兰克福机场有不少中国员工。但是,在德国你不要遇到亚洲面孔就去用汉语招呼,因为他们很可能是韩国或者日本人,听不懂汉语。我曾经在街上看到一个亚洲面孔的女人而上去问路,结果人家说不懂汉语。幸运的是,每次我去德国也是单人行,还没有遇到过这么严格的盘查,出关的时候工作人员只是问我目的地是哪里,呆多久,然后很顺利地给我的护照盖戳放行。



关于德语(if you don’t speak German) :



不会德语,在德国的旅行和生活的确有些不方便。我记得我第一次旅行到德国的时候。到达法兰克福机场,飞机着陆后,我把关闭了近10个小时的手机打开,手机信号已经从“中国移动”切换到"Vodafone" 了,这时我接到一个电话,对方一开口都是德语我根本不懂,我问他会讲英语吗?他却听懂了我这句话,回答说no。我于是问旁边的一个德国老人,他说他会英语,于是我把手机递给身边的德国人,老人听完对方的话,用英语翻译给我:“这个是来机场接你的司机,他不会英语。他说他的车在半路上坏了,很抱歉,让你在Terminal 1的那个meeting point 附近喝咖啡,等他,大概要一个小时以后到~~”我晕。



公交车站还有火车站的自动售票机几乎都是德文的,看不懂售票机屏幕上的德文就只有去窗口排队跟工作人员买票了。要多花时间。一般我入住的酒店都会提供一张交通票,上面显示我在酒店入住停留的日期,那么在这段日期内我都可以凭这张票乘坐市内所有公交不限次数。如果在车站买的车票,那么上车之后要主动去那个司机座位后边的机器上打孔。不买票不打孔也几乎没有人会查你。但是这里的人不会逃票,我不知道是否是个人信用问题还是什么,但是我知道要是在中国的话,肯定很多人逃票--反正没有人查票的嘛!哈哈!另一个原因是,一旦被发现,这里罚金相当昂贵。



在德国呆久了,即使那些叫不出来德文的站名,我却依然能知道自己要去的每个地方,因为每到一个车站,喇叭里响起一声类似教堂钟声的铃声之后,会有自动语音德语报出站名,车上很多液晶屏也会显示站名,我从来不会坐错站。这里的公交车,车上几乎没有广告,车身内外干净明亮,有轨电车的车身很低,站台和车内的地面几乎平齐,婴儿手推车,老人的轮椅都能轻松地从站台推上车。



待续。


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 14) 1 2 More...
#2014-02-23 14:28:04 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Considering how popular German men are becoming on CLM I have to believe this will be an exceedingly valuable blog for the Chinese women. And the men, all of them, not just the German men, should give it a read to. Getting your lady her visa, regardless of your country, and whether it is to move there or just to go there with you from China to meet and visit your family, is no small task.

Start seriously planning for it the moment you say to yourself "this is the one". And let her know you're thinking about it and you're going to do everything possible to make it happen. Because in her mind it is a big deal and a frightening prospect. Let her know she's not in it alone.

Great blog DancingShoes, I look forward to the next one.

#2014-02-23 18:12:28 by pourquoipasamour @pourquoipasamour

@ dancing shoes Your article is very interesting and informative. One branch of my family was originated in Hamburg (they arrived in Brazil prior to the Nazi catastrophic experience in every way you look at). So, I did few trips to Europe ans specially to Germany. I do not know if you plan to mention this later, so I am affraid I am jumping the gun, but besides Historical and interesting cities like Berlin, Bremen, Wiesbaden, Cologne, Munich etc, perhaps one of the most interesting tours a person could do in Germany is to go on a trip on barges that travel in the German rivers. Most rivers in Germany are not deep, they have shallow waters, so the barges are the only way to go. Some of these barges were outfitted with many desirable conveniences, like restaurant, comfortable cabins etc. Some of these tours will take you to places that most tourists never visit and you will be able to see castles and amazing scenarios. Germany started to exist, to take shape after the triumph of Herman (Herminius for the Romans) which inflicted terrible losses to the legions of Rome stationed in what is today German territory. He managed to convince the leaders of different tribes to join efforts to kick out the Roman invaders. Herman destroyed completely, decimated mercilessly, three complete seasoned legions and made the Romans re-think about conquering Germania. The Roman losses were staggering. At that time, Germany was basically composed of a dozen or so tribes, some composed by very aggressive fearless warriors (mind you, these tribes fought against each other, they would not get along) and others very peaceful. So, the German people is very different from region to region. Some are very strict, very organized and disciplined and then you have the "free Land of Bavaria", that was an independent kingdom. There is the home of the BMW (the jewel of the German automotive industry), excellent beer and the fun loving Germans. Its is impossible to compare Germany to China. China is formed by 54 (if I am not wrong) completely different people, even though statistically the Han are 80% of the population and is an immense country with very diversified landscape. Germany is a small country in Central Europe and they had only a dozen or so tribes. It is doubtlessly a very interesting country to visit, but for those who plan to go there, please also consider visiting Austria. Vienna is considered today the best city to live in the world. I hope you will treat us with a series of interesting articles, I am quite sure you will. Good luck, God bless. Thanks for your article.

#2014-02-23 21:00:57 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

As an English man myself, I only have one problem with Germany

It's full of Germans !

German people only have one problem with England - It's full of English (well, actually it's not - it's mainly full of Muslims, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Croatian's, Slovakians, Sudanese, Ghana, and a whole host of other nationalities)

#2014-02-24 02:37:01 by zhshwu @zhshwu

(f)(f)(f)

#2014-02-24 15:19:04 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes

The advertising board at the street corner is the advance notice for the coming football match between Fortuna and Bayern Muenchen. Most of German are facsinated more with their football than anything else. For example, if there is a match today, when I read the email from my German boss, I will always notice that he ends his email with " good luck to the match tonight, have fun!!"
街角的广告牌上是即将到来的足球赛预告。大多数德国男人对足球是狂热的,胜过对女人的狂热。比如,如果今天有一场球赛,那么我的德国老板给我的邮件里最后总会有一句今晚的比赛好运一类的话。

Besides the football match, automobile and beer are other two favourites to the German. The German and their automobiles are a legend, as close as the lifepartner. Adolf Hitler created a famous slogan," free citizens, free driving." And he cancelled the vehicle speed limitation in 1933 when he started to hold the power.

除了足球,汽车和啤酒是德国人的另外最爱的两个东东。德国人和他们的汽车是一个传奇,是命运的伴侣。希特勒曾经有个口号:“自由的公民,自由的驾驶”并且他上台以后就废除了汽车限速。

On averge, one German drinks 143 liters of beer a year, of course, in Bavarian it is up to 200 liters, plus wine and liquor, there are about 12 liters of pure alcohol flowing through the throat of each German! This figure is the results of a survey and it is said that, most German would be rather giving up sex than giving up alcohol.

平均每个德国人一年喝掉143升啤酒,当然巴伐利亚人的平均值高达200升。加上葡萄酒和白酒,每个德国人的喉咙里每年要流过12升纯酒精。这些数据来自某项调查。并且他们称,大多数德国男人宁可放弃性爱也不愿放弃酒。

The buildings patterned in one picture are the museums. There are a lot of museums in each city. Almost all the cities were ruined in the 2nd World War, everything was razed to the ground. Today all we see here was re-built later, but the German cares about their history, they respect the history. "It is disgraceful to forget the history." It was said by one of the German colleauges, while we were visiting the three-gorge Dam, and he got to know that many old buildings were flood by the water due to the damming project. He could not understand these old buildings would have to sleep under the water forever.

每个城市都有很多的博物馆,如拼图中那些建筑。在二战中,德国所有的城市几乎都夷为平地。今天的一切都是后来重建的,但是,德国人很在乎历史也尊重历史,就像他们自己所说的“忘记历史是可耻的”,这是有一年我带德国同事去三峡游玩的时候,一个同事说过的一句话。当他们知道三峡截流淹没了两岸的一些古建筑还有整个秭归县城,他们感到不理解。

#2014-02-24 17:12:38 by Barry1 @Barry1

@dancingshoes

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm mighty impressed at your obvious intelligence and talent, DancingShoes.

Being able to speak both Chinese as well as English - plus have a rough working knowledge of aspects of German as well - is extremely admirable, I believe.

I'm sure you'll make some lucky man a very good catch - wonderful stuff indeed! (clap)

#2014-02-24 21:49:31 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes

@Barry1
thanks,Barry! You are always so sweet!

#2014-02-25 07:18:12 by shirley9183 @shirley9183

@dancingshoes 你写得真棒,让我神游了德国一小趟,很喜欢和向往这个历史悠久、人民友善和文化璀璨的国家,希望能够早日踏上这片土地,透彻地学习它、认识它和融入它。现在唯一就是觉得德语的发音对我们中国人来说相当地费劲和困难,不象英语和西班牙语那么容易琅琅上口,真的是挺别扭和拗口的,真心希望可以慢慢攻克这门语言,到时候就太开心和有成就感啦!希望尽快看到你的第二篇关于德国的文章!

#2014-02-25 15:32:01 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes


@pourquoipasamour

Yes, you are right that it is an enjoyable journey to have a cruise on the River, especially on a sunny day in the summer. There is usually a live band playing the music on the barges. You will see the castles on the Rhine in your trip from Mainz to Cologne.

"Germany started to exist, to take shape after the triumph of Herman (Herminius for the Romans) which inflicted terrible losses to the legions of Rome stationed in what is today German territory. He managed to convince the leaders of different tribes to join efforts to kick out the Roman invaders. Herman destroyed completely, decimated mercilessly, three complete seasoned legions and made the Romans re-think about conquering Germania. The Roman losses were staggering. " --- actually I do not know much about the history of Germany, that is why I was so confused when I saw the portraits of the Herman King on the wall at the square along Rhine River, and I saw anywhere the bronze statues of the King riding on his horse. And I visited the Dom in Koln, I saw there were a lot of statues and murals inside the Dom telling the historical religious stories, but I do not know the religious culture and this historical background here.

Thanks for your comments and I look to read more from you.

#2014-02-25 22:32:48 by sunny0078 @sunny0078

hi dear girl, it is good article for me. i will learn a lot before i come to Gernany, thank you!!!

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