By Lisa Brennauer
I’ve been in China twice already so I knew, that you never know exactly what to expect of a country so far away from home, with such a different culture and lifestyle. My first impression was: grey sky as always, but if you come to Chongming Island you have to admit that even if the sun doesn’t often come through the dusty sky lots of forests, rivers and little townhouses give a beautiful natural contrast to the big city of Shanghai not far away.
First person I got to know was our translator. He fluently speaks German and good English and tries hard to show us during eating times what he learned about European culture in his 10 months he spend on German university during a student exchange. He’s sometimes nervous but he tries his best to make our stay as good as possible and tries to cheer us up with funny Chinese games while we’re waiting for the opening ceremony to start. Ally and Lotte seem to be the most “Asian ones” of us, as they like the food, try almost everything at the buffet and eat with chopsticks. For me, food is quite ok, but I’m sure I don’t need rice anymore next month and to underline the fact that I am really German (my teammates do not always believe that) I’m looking forward to some homemade Schnitzel. But till then there are some exciting days to go.
Did you ever see somebody fixing a start number onto the race jersey with a needle and thread? I didn’t! But when Ronny handed out the numbers he smiled and gave us a white thread and a needle he had been given with the numbers to make us do so. We all laughed and were secretly happy that all of us had some pins somewhere in our backpacks to fix the number in a “normal” way.
First stage was actually kind of boring. A flat short race of 74km, not many turns and not enough wind to split up the peloton although we tried hard. Even if we didn’t win the race today we still got 4th, left with the feeling that there will be a new chance tomorrow and Chloe directly found something at the finish place to cheer us up: