Today after lunch Hongtao showed me around the Jiaotong University campus, he used to study here until a few weeks ago. Our new office is in the incubator center right next to the campus, the main gate is just around the corner. Jiaotong University has a very nice campus, with lots of green areas and some old buildings. After going through the gate (nobody checks anything here) you walk straight ahead for about 200 meters and then get to a big lawn (kind of like a park) surrounded by old buildings.
The first thing that struck me that people were sitting and lying on the grass. Normally in China that is not allowed in parks, and guards already start screaming the moment you just consider stepping onto the grass.The weather was beautiful (although a bit colder today, around 15-16 degrees), and the atmosphere was relaxed. Around the campus banners where announcing that the university will turn 110 years this Saturday. A celebration for this will take place on the Universities biggest campus in Minhang.
Hongtao showed me his lab, his former dormitory and of course the library. I was especially interested in the English section, but that was a bit disappointing. The most recent books seemed to be from the early 1980’s. Not unlogical, because students using this library can get all the books they need in Chinese, and English books are 5-10 times as expensive. The library reminded me a bit of the library of the university in Grenoble where I studied many years ago: a bit dusty, wooden desks, and even the card index system to find books, and in serious need of renovation (repainting would already help a lot).
Although the campus is next to one of the busiest places in Shanghai (the Zhaojiabang Lu / Caoxi Bei Lu intersection in Xujiahui surrounded by several shopping malls), it was actually very quiet here. A nice place to go to during the weekend, just lying on the grass reading a book. And you can even bring your laptop: there is wifi everywhere!