Category Archives: Shanghai

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)

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.

The First Week in Shanghai

My past few days have been quite boring and depressing because I have been sick. I think I have some kind of pox but it shouldn’t be serious because I have these red points only on my feet. Yesterday I slept all day and that`s my plan for today also. Girls were lovely and brought me Finrexin, noodles, chips and some magazines so I won`t get too bored. But now I have time and some power to write my blog. Tomorrow I have to do something more interesting, otherwise I will become crazy.

We arrived to Shanghai last Saturday morning. The first week has gone just handling school and housing things for example I did registration, paid study fee, got identity card, got Internet working ( which won`t work very well..), got laundry card and bought necessary items for our rooms. I live in dorm unit which isn`t very luxurious but manageable for three months. The dorm is located inside big campus area and nearby shops and restaurants. It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to go downtown.

I have been also wondering in the city and done little bit shopping and pampering . First shopping day went in fake market which was quite interesting experience. Sellers were aggressive and everything was fake and expensive. I had to try haggling and therefore I bought one little bag. I think that I still paid too much (about 10 Euros) but I just had to try! Every seller tried to explain that `you are my first customer; I just opened my store` when people haggled prices down. That`s just part of the game. The first time I was little bit scared in here Shanghai when we got invited in backroom (which was closed with a key). There was `better` fake products and in which inspectors are more interested (sellers could get fines). That was my first and last visit in fake market! After this trip we girls went to do our nails and hair. We found this hair salon in where washing, blow-drying and straightening costs only 1, 5 e! I like that! I hate washing my hair because it takes so long time to accomplish that so I think I will go there in every week.

It is quite funny to be so different from the mainstream. People are staring us and some have come to say how beautiful and stylish we are (I don`t know about that…). I have heard that Chinese people are using more and more cosmetic surgery in order to look more alike western people. This is easilly seen in every advertisements. For example all creams in here are with whitening effect (luckily I brought my own from Finland!). Only thing I like to be with whitening effect is my toothpaste!

Internet is working very badly today. I don`t know is it because of Japan`s earthquake or just China`s censorship( at evenings it can be noticed that police is little bit on alert). Yesterday I thought that I got my Facebook working but not anymore :(

Next time I will write more about  food what I have eaten and something about culture what I have experienced but now I go back to sleep and hopefully get better soon. I want to visit more sights and not just watch BBC world news from TV (although it was surprise that it is shown in television).

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