25 Dec The Chinese really do know service
After spending 12 hours in transit, making friends on the plane and watching some of the new release movies….I finally arrived in Shanghai! I must admit I was thoroughly intimidated by the sheer size of the airport. It was the kind of building that you can’t see the end of, and the guy next to me told me it stretched around the other side as well! However, regardless of the size and inevitable heavy traffic, getting through the airport was a delightful breeze. As we drove into the city the only thing I could really take in were the masses of neon lights and the fact that every driver in Shanghai likes to think they are a F1 driver. When we arrived at the accommodation I was pretty impressed by the spacious, charming rooms we were given and the quality of apartments.
I was lucky enough to travel to Shanghai with Absolute Internship at the same time as my boyfriend and 2 other friends, so the four of us went out for Chinese Hotpot that night together. The hotpot was amazing and the service was even better, with a waiting room downstairs while you wait to have dinner there are snacks, hot soy milk, games like Chinese checkers and even a nail parlor all for free! The Chinese really do know service.
The next day all the interns met downstairs for the Absolute Internship orientation where we were given tips and tricks to not get ourselves in trouble or make bad impressions, including a quick Mandarin lesson and some tips on how to do business in China. After that we were shown around a little bit, including where the grocery stores were, where the subway was and all around our apartment blocks and the facilities we have access to.
That night I headed to the Bund for a magnificent view of the river and took a boat cruise as well. The view was spectacular with all the buildings on the Pudong side lit up with different displays, ads and lights. I also got to try some pretty amazing Chinese tea literally translated to Iron Monk. The next few days I spent just settling in, and taking in the surroundings. One thing that I noticed almost straight away was the amount of people that would stare at me. It wasn’t an aggressive or nasty stare- more like they were just curious and couldn’t help themselves.
My first day at my internship was full on, but a really great introduction to my company. The Absolute Internship team took us to work and introduced me to my boss, and then orientation began. All day I was learning about the company, their policies, what they do and how they do it. I really like the people at my work, they are all like one big happy family, and with most of them being expats, they all had plenty of handy tips and tricks and things to do and places to eat. Lunch time was really great too as we all went to lunch together and had a welcome lunch to welcome not just me, but another new employee. We had traditional Chinese food and got to know each other more, and it was just a really wonderful day.
All in all, it was a good way to start my internship and life in Shanghai and I definitely felt the city made a lasting positive impression on me. I can’t wait to see more and really get down into the local stuff!