With bittersweet regards

I am now back in Finland and I don`t know what to think about it. I have to admit that I am having a culture shock. Although I haven`t ever been really excited to meet foreign and strange people in Finland I see that I have changed my mind after this trip. I loved to live three months in a big strange place in where you never knew what is going to happen and who you will meet.  Of course in a big city you will meet not so nice people but I met also really nice and interesting people who I never would have met if I have staid studying only in Finland. I will definitely encourage all to go on exchange and be opening their minds on their trips. I realized that we Finns are really (or too) wary on meeting new people. Of course you have to have common sense in a both Finland and foreign countries. But I learned about myself that I am sometimes too on alert when I meet new people.

Although Shanghai felt sometimes too big and crowded, I noticed that it wasn`t necessary bad thing. If something bad would have happen, there was always someone to help you. Two days after I came back to Finland I went to my hometown`s city center by car and it felted like only two cars would have driven in the streets. When I was crossing the street by walk, I noticed that I was checking where the all people are. So it is definitely strange to be now in city of 100 000 people than city of 20 million people. It is funny that the change is stranger in this scale than before I went to Shanghai.

My exchange period definitely helped to improve my English and international skills. I learned much about China`s culture which you cannot experience only from books. I realized how big China`s economy is and how good valuable my trip is for my future career as a business women. I liked a lot of Shanghai so I will encourage going on exchange there! I am already waiting for getting back to Shanghai.

Here are some tips for people who are thinking of going Shanghai:

  • Dormitory is not the most fanciest accommodation, but you can survive with right motivation
  • Although many Chinese don`t speak English and communication feels difficult, you noticed that you will manage there well! Remember to have address on Chinese language (or call English helpline which is very easy to use and helpful)!
  • Chinese language is not difficult with right attitude!  Pronunciation is only difficult but practice, practice, practice
  • Travel in China! Shanghai is not the most Chinese place in China.
  • Be open minded and meet lots of interesting people
  • Visit many interesting restaurants and bars (there are thousands of them)
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Too Cool For School (?)

The last week starts and my blog has been in quite bad shape for previous 2 months. Partly the reason is in myself but also I can blame this school`s Internet about that (it is too slow!). Three months has gone so quickly and I almost forgot my whole blog. These last seven days I really try to best to help you explore all the things what I have experienced in last three months.

Now as I am here on EXCHANGE is should maybe write something about school here in China. Although school is already ended. I passed my all courses, which where Chinese language, Chinese economics, Chinese culture& history and E-commerce (or everyone passed all courses that they took).  I changed my learning agreement and took little more credits than I should have to take. I have to be honest that some courses` information where quite unnecessary but in the other hand the other courses where so interesting. Here is some in list a little bit information about the courses which I have taken and what I think about it after school is finished.

Chinese language: The horror course which everyone was so afraid of. After all Chinese is not so difficult language if you pronunciation is right. There are not hard grammar rules in Chinese language. This was our biggest course by credits (9 etc) which basically meant that we studied Chinese almost 9 hours per week. In the middle of course the participation started to decrease a lot! I have to admit that the most of Finns were lazy students and as a result the international office made up this rule that people have to participate 2/3 of classes in order to get grades (is was a new rule for all the courses). Our teacher was called Lana. After we get to know her better we found out that she was a very good teacher and nice woman also.

I have to clarify that we studied Chinese spoken language not the written one! Three months was also too short time to really learn how to speak Chinese. Everyone passed our Chinese test because actual exam situation was epic (I am not going to write more about that…). But I am still proud of myself that I almost learned to spoke Chinese. I also think that if I stayed here for more I would have really learned it.  Now I can surprise Chinese exchange students in Finland and for example ask how they are and if I come back to China I can discuss about some prices and weather. In the other words I can speak Chinese small talk and I think that is helpful in my future business career.

Chinese economics: I really loved our economics teacher. He was a big surprise for us. He talked very straightforward about China, it`s past and it`s government. This course was for me the most interesting one! His English wash also very good and it was easily shown that he knew what he was talking about. Sometimes he was too excited and we was not talking about economical topic but he taught me the most about the Republic of China and maybe little bit also about Chinese culture.

Chinese culture and history: I hoped that this course would have been interesting but it was not. In this course I really understood what propaganda is in China. Subjects of this course were quite boring. We were taught how good things are in China and how everything is so wise and beautiful. Arght! Only thinking of this course makes me irritated. I have learned more about Chinese culture and history in school in Finland.

E-commerce: This course was also a little bit unnecessary but I liked a lot about our teacher. He was trying so hard to satisfy our information needs about this subjects but he almost all the time talked about 3 D technologies. After all we discovered that he was actual selling them by professional. His English was quite poor but I still give him blessing about trying and also teaching to us something about Chinese E-commerce.

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Starting to miss Finland…

Compared to previous text this is text is less happy and more about complaining. As you all know everything in China is not so good. I won`t start to write about politics, human rights and etc but I will write something (or complain about) what I have experienced on this first month living in China and something about Chinese people.

WHY the hell Internet won`t work probably? I really miss my mokkula so much (you cannot even image how much)! It`s so frustrating to not know when the Internet will work and when it doesn`t work. One reason can be that because I live in dormitory so all the other students use same net. But in some days all the Chinese WebPages work but no foreign pages. In other words reason is maybe in somewhere else.  Off course, it isn`t so big a deal if I cannot check my Facebook profile in every day or listen Spotify all the time but It would be nice to read blogs or news more when I have free (read boring) time.

I went last weekend to Zoo and started to think have I become old or WHY the Zoo was so depressing place. I almost started to cry when I went to `pet zoo` section on firstly I noticed this little dog in one meter  time one meter class box. I saw Pandas but they seemed very depressed inside their box also. There were also reindeers on the concrete section and very strange looking goldfishes (they looked like in some alien film). The nicest and biggest living conditions were in birds’ area (that wouldn’t be my first choose). I think that was my last visit to any Zoo in the world. I want to have my lovely childhood memories about Zoos like Korkeasaari.P4010010

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Our Finnish drinking habits are well known even in here (although I have heard this from expats) and it was quite big surprise. I have to say as A FINN WOMEN that I can somehow drink booze nicely and I know my limits quite well but here some Chinese women are crazy drinkers and outlook is not nice. In clubs bathrooms I have seen these skinny, little dressed, high heeled and drunken Chinese women fighting, vomiting, crying and almost passing out. In the other hand I don`t doubt the outcome if these women drink REAL champagne as shots!

Last but not at least I complain about men expats who lives here in Shanghai. WHY THEY ARE SO GOOD LOOKING? Girls, you cannot even image this. I mean seriously good looking men. Off course most of them are also very gentlemen. Finnish boys, although you don’t have same charisma as a French vineyard`s heir, you can become gentlemen also and I will promise that is the right way to get girls’ attention!

Mum, I don`t fall in love with any foreigners I will promise that again! That`s all for now! I miss family and friends but luckily I feel little bit like I am at home because my STRONGBOW cider and some Snören candies from Ikea.

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Don’t waste your time or time will waste you

I thought that it would be quite easy to update the blog daily but it`s so hard when you want to see all things in Shanghai and don`t want to miss happenings. But I really try to uppgrade my blogging habits now!

In this week weatP3260113her has been quite warm on daytime and flowers have start to blossom. It`s a spring! It`s funny to see how much energy you will get when the sun shines and you start to dress up more lightly. I have been so happy on this week. I really am glad that I am here! Some Finns have started to ask the question what you miss about Finland and complain quite much almost about everything. I am so proud of myself how well I have managed allthough I am picky concerning food, company, toilets and sleeping places I have to admid! Maybe I am coming to be more and more grown up (?) Hopefully… Now when I started to talk about what things I am proud  and happy about I have to tell that I found new set-ups on camera! Taddatadaa! I thought my new camera was bad but flaw was probadly in the user! I am so bad with everything that is technical… But there is just one way to go up and learn more! So my pictures are not YET perfect but I let you enjoy my photographing education.

Inside JianMao Tower

Inside JinMao Tower

In the end I think I have to put list about things what I miss (just a little bit…)

* of course family and the dearest friends

* clean water and fresh air

* Dad`s food and dark bread (limppu)

* and so bad I miss dry apple cider (or any cider!) It unfear for all the girls (or for a girl who drinks almost only dry apple cider) that they sell beer and strong booze in every shop and bars but NO CIDERS!!! Luckily Lonely Planet`s Shanghai city guide tells that there is some pub who sells that! I have too check the place on next week because i need my cider…

Okey that`s all for now! Hopefully you will get my moans and as you can see I have managed quite well in Shanghai, the Republic of China.

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This funny building with three baubles is more fancier in the evenings with all glinting lights

The tallest building in Shanghai

Very big building! It has said that the best view of the city is from deck 88 (almost 500 meters). There it is really seen how big this city is.

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(NOT) Picky me…

Happy or sad face?

Happy or sad face? This sign is on every restaurant in Shanghai ( but I have doupt that there is`nt corruption on who gets good results from food inspections)

After one week I noticed that how picky I really am concerning what I eat. At home I am used to eat really good meat (without bones, well cooked, no strings and preferring beef, lamb or chicken). Couple times in here Shanghai I had to endure with my stringed and bony meat in order to not be impolite. Chinese people use all parts of meat  when they co

ok in the most restaurants which is quite clever I have to admit. Many people in the whole world would be grateful of piece of meat. So pickiness is not allowed from the European girl!

And what an international student buys from food market? -Off course, mainly international known products. Today I bought for example Nestlé’s water, Haribo`s candy, Lipton`s tea, Pringles, Kinder`s chocolate, Ferrero`s yummy candy and fruits that I know already. I have to improve my buying habits and try more Chinese products but it is so difficult when everything is written in a Chinese character but maybe I just have to be daring (little by little…)!

Price level at restaurants in here Shanghai is quite same than in Finland if you are not eating at Chinese restaurants (without English menu). I was bold with Emma and tried to order beef, chicken and rice in Chinese restaurant (where was spoken only Chinese) quite successfully. Thank for Lonely Planet`s help! In the back of Shanghai`s city guide is helpful language section. However, we didn`t eat the chicken because it was quite red from inside… But beef was very good and cheap!

List of unusual things what I have eaten or drank after one week in China (I am proud of these so no laughing)

-different kind of mushrooms and cooked vegetables

– Octopus  (We finished eating when we found octopus` head)

– Coffee (I never drink coffee in Finland)

– Shandy (beer and Sprite) and Chinese beer (just practicing…)

– Rice wine (not good… I think that taste something alike kilju)

– Oyster

– Sake

In Japanese restaurant

The best place where I have eated! The chef makes food in front of you. It is really cool show.

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