16 Dec East Side Story: First days of Shanghai
This was it – months of planning and anticipation have led to these short weeks in Shanghai. My first day was overwhelmed by the colours, the skyscrapers, and the sheer number of people, leading to a very impressionable start. I, along with other Absolute Internship participants, was put to the test in our very first few days with the Shanghai Amazing Race. After much aggravation, running around, and sacrificing our pride to complete bizarre tasks like singing Chinese opera, we were rewarded with a much needed Sichuan dinner.
So far a definitive highlight of the trip, the exhaustive but extensive race allowed us to truly get to know Shanghai and its landmarks such as the Pearl Tower, World Financial Tower, People’s Park and the Nanjing Road pedestrian walkway. The following day was then the commencement of my internship – which I admit feeling a bit nervous yet excited for, but I was received warmly by my supervisor.
Now, after having a few days of living in Shanghai under my belt, there are several features of this city which has intrigued me – let’s take a look at it below;
It’s a smorgasbord
There is definitely no shortage of food here with street vendors around every corner, shopping centres with food courts at practically every block and restaurants littering the streets. I was also quite surprised at the large variety of different cuisines available – I myself had Italian, Japanese, and Western food since I arrived. There is no fear for me getting hungry here!
The metro is my friend
As my team buddy and I discovered during our grand Shanghai Amazing Race, the metro is one of the most convenient features Shanghai has to offer. Admittedly putting Sydney Trains to shame, the Shanghai metro is easy to navigate, placed in convenient locations, and extremely cheap to use. So of course, the metro is used extensively by the Shanghainese which means during peak hours that I usually receive a face-ful of my neighbour’s hair.
I feel very small
In a city of towering skyscrapers, walking among a constant sea of people, and living in a multi-storey apartment block identical to neighbouring buildings, it is easy for me to feel like I form a very small, insignificant part of the system. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself – it is simply different feeling from staying in a city quintuple the size of my home city.
To conclude my thoughts for these first few days – Shanghai definitely did not disappoint and I am looking forward to the rest of journey the next few weeks!