Culture shock; Here comes the food.
The first thing you think of when you’re on the plane headed to Shanghai is the people, the traveling, the adventure, all the plans you have set, yet food is most likely one of the least of your worries. That is, until your stomach starts rumbling as you walk up and down the street looking for a good bite to eat that either isn’t out in the open or on the street, yes, on the street. My first experience to this was as I passed a busy street of meat vendors, all trying to sell right? No, just cutting meat, putting it on display, and what didn’t fit on their display cart was left on the street. People passed by as if it were normal, but wait, to them it is. As I stand by nearly paralyzed for a split second as thoughts of proper sanitation kept bothering me, I then realized something crucial, and that’s that, because it’s different. Doesn’t mean it’s better or worse, just new.
I suppose that’s the experience that’ll be most frequent in china and many other Asian countries, the moments where you just stop and look. Expecting someone to look at you with the same face of amazement, it doesn’t happen, if anything, people are more confused by your reaction. Be warned, things are different, yet like I commonly say, “You don’t go to Italy and drink Starbucks coffee, or little caesars pizza, you go there to explore, the same as with china. Please, please, please don’t eat in McDonald’s when there’s cow tongue right outside! Yes. Cow tongue. Ever tried it? Of course not! It’s different, it’s new, and it’s China more than Hong Kong! Hong kong, stepping back from the food. Let’s talk history, which is another thing you’ll see a lot of. History as vivid as the present, shaping and morphing the cities of today, having stories, monuments, and affects in one’s day to day life. Not to say the USA doesn’t have a history, yet, it’s different. The USA lives to forget, while china lives to remember. A common yet subtle theme all around the nation.
What does this all mean? Am I giving you the crazy moments before you come? I suppose you could say that. I suppose you could also say I’m writing this article to prepare you, yet, not to scare you, but to excite you. Because although I’ve had plenty of moments where my jaw drops, yet for all of those moments there were equally as many, if not more, moments where a smile rose naturally, curiosity sparks even louder, taste buds scream out in euphoria, and amazement becomes nature. China, no, the world, awaits. Your next adventure is here, waiting anxiously, wanting more. Contact me now if you’d like to hear more!