shanghai

Yes, you may spit in public: Cultural Differences in Shanghai after 4 weeks

shanghai chian

[Photo taken on June 18th, 2015 while walking to the subway from IKEA]

It’s been two weeks since my last post(I haven’t sat down to write in a while) but I finally found time to write about a few cultural differences I’ve noticed while being here in Shanghai, China. Here are the main ones:

People are genuinely kind

For the most part, Chinese people in Shanghai tend to be kind. They smile at you, they laugh, and they help you when you ask for it. I haven’t had any issues yet(fingers crossed) but I don’t expect to either.

Chinese people are very superstitious

Often you will hear fireworks go off randomly around the city. Anytime a new store is opened, they shoot off fireworks to scare away the ghosts. The color gold is used to also scare away ghosts and “protect” certain buildings and stores. Also, the number 4 is unlucky because it is a homonym for the word death meaning it is the same word, but in a different tones in Mandarin and some other dialects of Chinese.

Spitting in public is socially acceptable

In public, common to hear people gathering up all the saliva and mucus in their mouth and then yucking it onto the street. It may be disgusting to hear and see but it’s most likely due to the air pollution that they have to eliminate all that gross stuff from their system. I

Men grow out their pinky nails to pick ear wax

I wish I had a picture to show for this but yes, some men will have long fingernails on their pinkies with the specific purpose of cleaning the earwax from their ears.

“scooterpooling” and “bikepooling” is common

Almost anywhere I go in Shanghai, I always see multiple people on scooters and bicycles. I carefully observed scooters and bikes when I’m walking and it seems as though almost all are built to hold at least two people. I personally think it’s awesome! They’re saving electricity(most scooters are electric) or just sharing a ride! I wish my bike back home had a seat on the back for someone- I’d give friends rides more often! I don’t have a picture I took but here’s one I found on Google Images so you get the idea:

bikesharing

Well, hope you enjoyed the short post with a few observations about cultural differences in Shanghai! Next week, I will write about what my experience has been like teaching English! Zàijiàn!

###

 

Next trip: teaching English in Shanghai, China for two months!

what to pack for two months in shanghai china for an internship teaching english

[Everything I’m bringing to Shanghai minus a daypack with a few belongings]

So I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted on here but I hope you’re still interested in being a part of my journey! The next chapter takes place in: Shanghai, China.

Seems kind of random right? Well, there’s a good reason I’m going to Shanghai this summer! Lucky for me, Katie, one of my good friends who I’ve known since elementary school, told me she was doing an internship through the company her dad works for in Shanghai this summer and her dad was able to find me a job as well doing what she’s doing- teaching English to teenagers at a private English institute- els.cn

Between May 26th and July 23rd, I will be sharing my observations and experiences here about my life in Shanghai! I fly out on Sunday, May 24th and will be traveling from Los Angeles to Vancouver to Shanghai! Hopefully there will also be a 10 day trip to Thailand that Katie and I are planning on taking towards the end of our internship. If this sounds like something you might be interested in reading about and seeing pictures, definitely subscribe and I’ll promise to do my best to keep you informed and entertained for the next two months 🙂

Lastly, I want to give a special thanks to the University of Arizona Honors College for generously helping me fund this opportunity with a scholarship. I honestly wouldn’t be able to afford it without them. Sending lots of love their way, to the UA and Tucson ❤

 

###