Perspectives of the Clueless
I think I have to start with a confession. I've worked at GoEast for a bit longer than a year and I haven't learned any Chinese. For the most part I don't really know anything about the Chinese language or culture beyond the obvious that I picked up from movies and friends. So moving to Shanghai for 4 months was bound to be a huge shock, right? Right...
Not exactly. My first week in Shanghai has served to show me how misinformed my perception of China was. I came here expecting a socialist country with concessions to economic development. Grey bureaucracies. Concrete skylines. Crushing sameness.
It wasn't so different from any other global metropolis
It was none of that. When I got here, I was greeted with something that (in broad strokes) wasn't so different from any other global metropolis. It was buzzing with commerce. People seemed friendly, happy, and hopeful. There was a lot of greenery (greenery!). Most importantly, I felt comfortable being here.
What I saw was a thriving, exciting place that in one word you could only describe as "fizzy". It's in the air.
...that was just my first week though, so what do I know?