Special moments of feeling so German 2

Don’t pick your nose in public.

This might be one elemental rule you will learn from your parents in Germany. But in Hong Kong … I have seen so many women in the train, cleaning their nose very thoroughly.

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Special moments of feeling so German 1

Living abroad does not only leads to a better understanding of a new foreign culture. At first you will learn a lot about your own cultural background and identity by feeling the difference to your new surrounding. And this happens almost once a day to me.

At the train. A simple unwritten agreement in Germany:

First let the passengers get out of the train before you enter.

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Mr. Q sais #1

Mr. Q is the facility manager of the residential complex, in which I live now here in Hong Kong. In other words, he is the chief concierge of the pink palace. Mr. Q is unwittingly one of the characters who help me to understand my new environment.

Mr. Q sais:

The previous tenant of this flat was a very very rich family, they owned two Benzes!

Mariko thinks:

two Benzes = very very rich

one Benz = very rich

one Toyota = ? (my status in Germany)

no car = ?? (my status in HK)

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wonder and laughing in Hong Kong I

The second week of teaching in Hong Kong is over. Many interesting and weird things happened–almost every day. Some times (or even many times) they are so bizarre that I am not sure how to think about it.

Episode I

It was one week ago, during my information aesthetic class, during my presentation. Every one in the class were looking at the projection, most of them interested, one of them sleeping. Suddenly I heard a burp. I tried not to looked surprised or even annoyed. After some seconds a second burp and the a third one… The initiator, sitting in the first bank, was looking at the projection, interested like his fellow students. I was very bemused, not knowing what this will mean. I decided to ignore this occasion.

On the way back home, I wondered by myself, if the burp is a kind of comment on the content of the presentation.

Some days later I asked a colleague about this happening.

Laughter.
He may had some thing wrong for lunch. Why didn’t you make a joke about it?

Mmmmh. So, how would you translate:

Erzähl noch mehr von Zuhause.

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My way to AVA and after my two first classes

Last Thursday and Friday I had my first two teaching classes in Hong Kong. The typography class, I opened at Thursday, was good and rather long for a registration day. For me it was very usefull having taught typography for quite a long time in Germany.

On the second day, at the end of the information aesthetic course, I felt like running out of English. Suddenly I wanted to speak German, Japanese or French, any language but English. It was like a bug in my system…

Anyway, for this semester I have chosen an interesting topic for the information aesthetic class. “Creating a new orientation system.” The first assignment for the students is, to record their way from home to AVA.

I did this exercise by my self, last monday to be able to find my way to work and back home. My example is a very simple one, but it was very helpfull. I found my way without getting lost. For me, a big success.

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Hochschule Rhein-Waal, Kleve and Kamp-Lintfort

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An office and a certificate

It is done, now my fate is bound to the Hochschule Rhein-Waal, yesterday I recieved my certificate. Its not only that I like this piece of paper because I am german and it looks very official, they actually managed to design a nice one (for a certificate).

And got an office, not the one I had chosen originally, but actually more practical. This is how it looks like right now, without me (no key yet). And without all the things I intend to place inside, and their tendency to wander around in the rooms I usually inhabit.
My office

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First Meeting at AVA

Today, I had my first meetings at the Academy of Visual Arts. After almost three month of email-contact, I got to know the staff and my colleagues personally. All of them are very friendly and helpful. The meeting in the morning was with all teaching staff and in the afternoon, the four new members, including me, got an introduction by our Programme Director of BA, Peter Benz. All in all, very interesting.

My personal disk is almost full. Sooner or later, I have to find an external hard disk.

Today I recieved my most important equipment, my MacBookPro and I got the key to my blue little office box. My “office box” is completely ananymous. I would lie, if I say it is simple. Because simple means for me a design statement. But this little box has nothing to do with design. It looks like a part of cube farm in japanese or american big companies… So one of my prospective activities will be the improvement of my small blue box.

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Three days at Hong Kong without internet

Marcels and my third day in Hong Kong is almost over. We had three days without connection to internet, three days without laptop and three days full with new impressions.

During this time we tried to fix our daily life. We opened a bank account, ordered two air conditioners, one washing mashine, one vacuum cleaner and the access to internet. Everything is so different to Germany and it is devastating not to know the hierarchy to be maintained. Two times, we failed to get an appointment at the immigration center to apply for the HK ID Card. The consequence is, we can not order an iPhone.

One good news: our container arrived in HK. The very bad news: our container will be inspected. So early next week we have an appointment for examination. I hope, that we will get through it without any troubles. And hopefully we will be able to sleep in our own bed after this week.

Tomorrow, it get’s down to business. My first meeting with the new colleagues of the academy of visual arts will take place.

From the adventurous life in HK.

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First and last

Monday was my first day at the campus in Kamp-Lintfort! We had a meeting on the curriculum of the first semester, and a first glance at the rooms and labs we will be teaching in. First good news: There will be a colleague, we will start with two profs for the first semester. And there is a lot to do. Beyond lessons, credit-point and the coordination of the teaching-assistants, our first step is to buy things needed for a design education. Sounds quite normal, but there are so many “artefacts” one would take for granted, asif they “naturally lived” in design-faculties. Of course there are the most simple things, we need to order chairs, tables, room deviders, black (and white) boards, chalk and pens, easels, stools, pins, lights and so forth. And these are the basics, think of more complicated tasks, like buying computers for design-teaching. We will need hardware, software, network and connectivity blablabla… and of course fonts, lots of fonts!

But for the time beeing, I am still a visitor at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal, my contract starts at September 16th. So while all the things we decided to buy accumulate in my future-office and the “Atelier” in Kamp-Lintfort, I will try to enjoy my last two weeks as freelance designer and design-researcher, and then my first days as a professor ,)

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