22 Jul Cultural Surprises
Since I arrived in Shanghai, there have been many surprises culturally and about the city in general.
First of all, the city is absolutely massive. There are over twenty four million people here compared to the couple million in the city where I am from. It was a pretty big adjustment at first getting used to the busy life of the city and especially the lack of personal space. Although it took awhile to get used to, I can confidently say that I am adjusted and can tackle anything that comes my way in Shanghai. At first I was a bit timid and too polite because of the environment that I am from. Now I’ve learned to adapt to Chinese culture and do what is necessary to advance and to get what I want. If I need to get off the metro, I must force my way out. If I need to cross the street, I must make the cars stop for me if I have the right of way.
Although the city is very large, it doesn’t seem that way. There are so many modes of transportation that can be used to get around the city quickly and efficiently. Whether it be taxi, metro, bus, or walking, all of the prime locations are a few minutes away. All of these prime locations are also pretty close to one another as well as the hotel where I’m staying.
One aspect of Shanghai culture that was surprising was the food. There is food from all over the world here so it is not uncommon to find food from home. Although the food is mostly Chinese and things that I have never seen before, the city offers many choices of cuisine from all over the world including food from the United States. It is nice to get food that is comfortable every once in a while, as well as venturing out into the unknown and trying new things. In the city that I’m from, all of the Chinese food is catered to what American people like. It is very hard to find real Chinese food. Being in Shanghai has opened my eyes to how different the food actually is to what Americans think it is.