My Chinese adventure is coming to the end very fast. I had an incredible balance between work and play. I had enough free days to enjoy Shanghai in all it`s glory, travel around, as well as enjoy the peaceful lazy days. I can`t imagine to spend my summer after graduating from university any better than this. Chinese culture and people are very different from everything I knew before. They live differently and think differently too. My advice is to keep your mind open to every little thing that happens to you because there is no better way to learn about foreign culture than by living it. I mean fully experience all the good and all the bad. Everything what you do have its positive sides as well as negative. They come hand in hand, and they both teach you something. Here are few reasons why you might experience culture shock when you arrive:
- People shout when they speak
It doesn`t matter if they compliment you, or if they are angry at you. In both cases they will shout at you.
- They spit on the floor
Everywhere…really…yes even when there is a carpet on the floor in five star hotel…I`m not joking… (Today I was having fruit for my breakfast, when this guy arrived, spit in his hand and then wipe it into his jeans. My ability to swallow the fruit stopped for a minute)
- There is a million people everywhere
You want to go for a quiet walk in a park on Sunday afternoon? Too bad. It doesn`t matter where you are or what time you`re out, there is a million people everywhere. In. Every. Corner. Of. The. City.
- If you`re foreigner they really want to talk to you
The truth is I have never felt more save than in Shanghai. Maybe I was just lucky but I met just nice people who always wanted to talk. In a subway, in a shop or on the street. They are so sweet, and magically even though they knew two words in English, and I knew two words in Chinese we always had brilliant conversation (maybe because of that)
- The streets are dirty, and smelly
Especially if there is 40 degrees outside. Or if they sell durian on streets (It`s a fruit, which will hunt me in my dreams forever)
- They eat (almost) everything
I mean everything…yes even that what you just thought of…
- I know now why it is called “Chinese whispers”
They gossip. A lot. They know more about you than you do. Trust me.
- There are markets everywhere you go
Colleague of mine asked me the other day if I have visited any of the markets yet, and if I bought something. It made me laugh. It is impossible not to visit market. You find them everywhere you go, and I love them. It is also impossible not to buy something. Because suddenly you need all the stuff they sell. Plus bargaining is my hobby now.
It`s a great place, you should come, and then tell me if I was right or wrong 🙂 Carry on and travel. Have a good day.