Shanghai is an eye-opener!!!
I have to say Shanghai is an eye-opener! For someone like me, Chinese-American born and raised in New York City, to see Shanghai - its buildings, people, clubs and restaurants, is terrific. I never would have known how amazing it is here. It's going to be sad to leave but I'm hoping to be back later for business.
And I have to give kudos to chinesepod since my tutor uses this for my lessons. I can't speak very well but I understand more / better only because of cpod's audio.
RJOctober 25, 2010, 04:28 PM
Well, for an American like me, raised during the cold war when "Red China" was an “unfriendly overpopulated third world nation that happened to have the hydrogen bomb," it was an eye opener as well. It does pay to travel.
I'm currently teaching English about two hours away from Shanghai. Unfortunately, I only passed through it when I flew into the airport. I was able to get away for a week during National Day and visit Beijing which was a great experience. Cities like Shanghai and Beijing are definitely the more modernized cities in China. In the town I'm living in it's kind of modernized, kind of not.
You are right Pretzel, I have always wanted to go but to answer your question, no, I have not been. Ni ne? Somehow though I always held a healthy dose of skepticism regarding what I heard about the Soviet Union and did some of my own research. I was very angry with myself after seeing China for allowing the picture I had to form, and to persist, as the world changed. There is still a huge level of misunderstanding in the US when it comes to China. Many people are amazed when I tell them what I have seen.
suxiaoyaOctober 26, 2010, 02:45 AM
akasinjin, I have to agree with you about Shanghai! I just wish it had some decent-sized parks like London.
Really interesting for us to learn that you use ChinesePod with your tutor, too. I hope it all continues to go well and that you find your way back here soon!
I'm definitely a city boy - I live in Toronto now and my first few months there, I had allergies and hives every morning due to how much green there is. My buddies joke with me about how bad I need concrete and glass to sustain me....and Shanghai definitely fits the bill.
Yah, my tutor prints out your lessons and saves the audio for me when I do my road trips. The audio enactments help me memorize situations and when it arises, I can hear the skit in my head. Only problem is pronouncing each word correctly - thank god for cocktails!
I'm using ChinesePod in a similar way. I'm living in China for a year and knew virtually no Chinese when I came here. My coworkers give me lessons four days a week but they're trained to teach English, not Chinese. I use ChinesePod lessons to help organize my lessons, expand my vocabulary, and work on pronunciation. I've only recently began using ChinesePod but my coworkers are always surprised when I say something they didn't teach me.
That being said, I really want to visit Shanghai next time I get the chance! I live two hours away. I'm not exactly as much of a city boy (I'm from the St. Louis, Missouri area) as I am a person who likes to live close to them so I can visit often.
xiaophilOctober 26, 2010, 09:29 AM
I'm an American who likes Shanghai too! I hope this doesn't sound too personal, but I am wondering if you feel some sort of connection to China? Oddly enough, even though I have quite a few nationalities flowing through my blood, and I have been to a reasonable amount of countries, I have yet to go to any country where my blood originated from. I often wonder if I would get a sense of connection.
Funny you should ask about this, In some instances, I felt like an outsider to the other people (MBA classmates) who went on the trip and in others, I was a typical American. For example, I loved how the street hawkers would run up to everyone else and completely skip over me but then how natives would strike up a conversation with me at a bar because my "English was so good". It'd be unfair to generalize based on this one trip but it looks like locals haven't completely come to terms with Chinese born elsewhere. Once I got to know some folks, they would say they "just assumed I knew how to speak Chinese". Some thought I was just playing around and expected me to blurt out Mandarin from the hip and at any moment, but unfortunately, my Mandarin is horribad!
Getting back to your question xiaophil, yes, I felt a connection to China, especially Shanghai...not only from a people or ethnicity point of view but also from an appreciation of a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis perspective.
la_duziOctober 27, 2010, 10:12 AM
I am also an ABC raised in NYC/Boston who came to Shanghai for the first time last week and I absolutely fell in love with this city!! I was amazed at how developed the infrastructure was, and the architecture was positively gorgeous. The nightlife is also really unparalleled anywhere in the world; The expat bars are filled with friendly, good looking people but who aren't also pretentious, which is a nice change from a place like NYC or LA.
The only thing that really got under my skin was all the dishonest shop owners, but I guess it's pretty easy to avoid them if you wanted to.
The Shanghai winter coupled with a lack of insulation in buildings is a bit too cold for my tastes, but I'll definitely try to make it back next Spring to live and work here for a while!
DaveCraginOctober 29, 2010, 03:11 AM
I love the architechure in Shanghai. When I mention that to Chinese friends (in the US where I'm located), they assume I mean the older European buildings. However, it's the modern buildings that I like. All shapes & sizes - not boring box structures that you see in many cities. The metro is great as well.
Kudos for CP's Hungry traveler because during our recent trip to Shanghai & Hangzhou, I knew the local cuisine each is known for.