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23 million plus one more

23 million plus one more

With Shanghai’s population just over 23 million people, I can only hope there is room for one more in this beautiful city. I arrived in Shanghai after a 14 direct flight from Chicago on July 5th with a smile going from ear to ear. The time difference didn’t bother me as much as the other interns as I have done this many times, I got 3 hours of sleep before the flight, and 5 during. So when I arrived in Shanghai, you always worry about your baggage or who’s picking you up, and thankfully the Absolute Staff was there waiting for me with a huge sign. Driving to our apartments was the most difficult thing for me my first day. By this I mean that I was essentially coming home, a place where I am so fond of and I have missed dearly. The Pearl Tower, crossing the bridge, even seeing the different colored taxis all brought back memories of how much I love and missed Shanghai. I knew I had to make the most of my time here as it will fly by too quickly for my liking.

A traditional Chinese family dinner is where the family sits around the table and has many dishes, making sure to pass them to the next. This is the exact thing that we did as soon as we got to our restaurant, fried rice, spicy pork, tofu soup and seasoned green beans were all set out for us to enjoy. You start right off the bat meeting new people, learning everything you can from them, and exchanging business cards. After wards we went to our apartments, again meeting new faces and exchanging our goals while in Shanghai. There were interns that had been there since June so they took us out to see the nightlife, and from there it was a night to remember. From here, our next two days were even better. We started off our Saturday morning by walking around our area finding the markets, street vendors, and nearest subway station. A group us went to the fake market, and for those who don’t know what it is, imagine all the designer bags, electronics, and clothes that you can barter for. Now since it is a fake market, everything isn’t the actually thing, so girls were getting GUCCI bags for around 100 RMB (around 16$). From there we all went to Din Tai Fung, which is my favorite restaurant in the whole world, my mouth was watering on plane just thinking of it. On Sunday, we got a tour of our own area from the staff; along with a family dinner where is it sponsored and we all go out and talk about our weekend. In the end, Shanghai was treating me well and I could only wait till Monday to go to work.

“Believe you can and you are halfway there,” once said Theodore Roosevelt. This is what I’ve been thinking for the past six months, and now is the day I take the wheel to my future. I woke up early just to make sure I had everything all set for my first day. Walking up to my building, I was amazed; it was in downtown Shanghai, the heart of the most populated city in China. As I’m going up the elevator, I keep on telling myself, “Xing Hue”, or “nice to meet you”, something to tell my new boss. As soon as I walked in, I saw other fellow interns that I had met and knew everything was going to be all right. My first project is going to be helping develop the new website of my host company, talk about pressure the first day! Robin Wang, the CEO of my company introduced himself and assured me to come talk to him if I had any questions. Now at the end of the day, I thought about just going back to the apartment but instead, my fellow coworkers asked if I wanted to go one of the most beautiful places in Shanghai, the 92th floor of the Park Hyatt. So after spending about two hours at the highest place in Shanghai so far, I was ready to sleep and prepare for my next day. Could this trip to Shanghai get any better?

You know it was worth everything to come back to a place when after only three days you want to stay for the rest of your life. There is still so much to do, see old friends, visit other places of Shanghai, and finish the website (the most important). I was able to finally Face time my parents, as they were happy to see me, yet still nervous as every parent is. I am fine and loving it in Shanghai, my only concern this far is for me to do something and have the Des Moines Register front page say “ISU Student Causes International Incident”. Will keep everyone up to date while I’m in China, and miss you all!

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