Now it was more or less 2½ months ago since I wrote something here, and it is mainly because I have forgotten about it. I have been quite busy with living a completely new life here in Shanghai.
It was surprisingly easy to fall into how to do everything here.
Sure, the first couple of days I was completely lost… New currency, new people, no one I knew, new room to live in, new ways to do everything… But after just a few days I started to settle in to the situation.
Shanghai is an amazing city, it probably got everything (Excet for clean air). It got huge shopping malls, expensive car stores (Porche, Ferarri), beggars in the stairs to the subway, gigantic skyscrapers and well polished façades behind which there is sheds and worn-down houses. It is somewhere around 20 million people in the same city, living, breathing, working, growing up, dying… It is a city where there 50 years ago more or less was nothing, and 10 years ago looked like this:
I am also really enjoying my education here. It is very hands-on and very business like, compared to Bond, which was more of a theoretical education. I am living with people from 5 different countries on my floor (Norway, USA, Hungary, Turkey, Russia), and in my class… well I have no idea how many nationalities… Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, India, Philiphines, Honduras, Libanon, Canada, Thailand… Just to mention a few. The environment is really good and the classrooms are adapted for discussions (we are sitting in a horse shoe formation which is really good and makes people more involved than if everyone is just facing the whiteboard).
The teachers are generally good, and we have had for example one professor that have been teaching at Harvard. All the teachers has actual knowledge from the fields and are still working with their own companies normally. I feel really motivated to learn and to perform well here. On the two exams that I have gotten back this far I’ve scored two A (MVG in Sweden), so it feels really good this far. At the same time I start to feel that I am soon done with the education part of my life, and I want to get out there and do some actual work and earn some money.
Got to get back to study for my Business Math exam on Tuesday next week. What we did in 12 classes in my bachelor, we now reviewed in half of a class, and then we had another 2½ class with new stuff on the same level, so I really need to bring my A-game to manage this one I feel.
I think I am starting to realize what I have been doing for the last year. How fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and the possibility to have this experience.
Now I am living in a hotel in Shanghai, China. A city I did not even believe that I would visit in my life.
For the last year I have been living abroad, and I have been doing something that very few in my group of friends has experienced. But it is hard to take in. It has been my life. It has been normal days for me. Normal life. Nothing out of the ordinary.
The spectacular and the unusual becomes very fast the normal life. It took me a few weeks to get used to be living on the other side of the world, from where I was born. In the beginning everything was new and there were a lot of “WOW!”experiences. But I think it is now, when I have left that part of my life behind me, that I can actually start appreciate what I had. I were living at the Gold Coast, Australia. An area with white sandy beaches, blue water, wonderful environment, wonderful people, and that is something I will never experience again. It is kind of sad when I think about it. That was what I had. And to me, much of the time it felt like “Meeeeh…”. I guess one starts to appreciate things when one does not have it any more. When one realizes what a wonderful environment it was.
I wish I would be more amazed when experience things, and not when looking back at them. In a few weeks, Shanghai will be ordinary. Still very different to what I am used to, but I can already feel that this is becoming normality for me. I hope I do not get trapped in that way of viewing my surroundings, but that I will keep being amazed and surprised of the things around me, and not take them for granted. This is an amazing experience for me and something that none of my friends have done. And I should appreciate that more than what I am doing. I should not let my self think “It is just Shanghai”, as I did with the Gold Coast, but instead think “THIS IS SHANGHAI!!! This is China! This is awesome!”
I also think that I should be more proud of myself. Of what I am doing. Of how I am shaping my future, and letting myself encounter things that is completely foreign for me.
My feeling of this at the moment is “this is something that anyone can do. This is nothing special”.
Perhaps this is not something anyone can do… and perhaps this is kind of special… I just have to realize that it is… and realize that being capable of doing it is what actually is Me.
Now it was a really really long time since I wrote anything here.
I am not sure where to begin. So much has happened so it would take a long time to cover everything at once.
I can begin with my current situation, and then I will cover the rest of my time since my last post in other posts later on.
Right now, I am sitting in an apartment on the 17th floor (out of 30) at Rayfront Hotel in Shanghai.
I arrived yesterday, after a long and tiresome journey from my former home at Gold Coast, Australia.
What strikes me is the extreme difference between these two locations (which of course is not that surprising).
I have spent my last year in an area known for great surfing, long sandy beaches, sun and relaxation, and now I find myself in one of the worlds biggest cities (23 million citizens… that is 46 times more people than in Gothenburg… Just saying…), where I can’t see the sky (not sure if it is due to pollution or that it is just cloudy), and where ordering food requires me to point to different pictures to explain what I want. My knowledge of communication in Mandarin limits to Hello (Ni Hao) and Thank you (Xie Xie). This at least make me seem polite, but is not sufficient to order food at a local restaurant. The fact that McDonalds is situated 5 minutes walk from the hotel is a relief. 🙂
There is so many questions to be answered at the moment. Can I drink the water from the tap at the hotel or do I need to buy water at a shop? How do I get around in the city? How will I manage to survive without seeing the sun for the next 8 months? What am I really supposed to pay for food, drinks, coffee? Why can’t they all speak English, like normal people?!
My first impression of Shanghai is “It’s so big!!!”. This is such a difference compared to anything that I have encountered before. (Perhaps Bangkok was a similar experience). It took me about 45 minutes by cab to get from the train station to the hotel and then it wasn’t even rush hour. I am not sure about the regulations for cars, but if this would have been in Sweden, the government would make so much money handing out fines. Red lights doesn’t seem to bother most of the drivers, and crossing a road seems to be to gamble with your life, even if there is a green light for pedestrians.
The local shopping centre is bigger than probably anything back at home, and contains most of the major brands. (I still need to find an H&M store, seems like there is one 2km from here., but the local shopping centre had a Vero Moda store… that was a bit surprising)
I am feeling extremely confused and lost, and this is so different to when I went to Australia for my bachelor. If I would gotten lost in Australia, I would at least have known how to communicate with the people. Here I got nothing. I got the address to the hotel on a business card if I would get lost, so at least I got something, but since I haven’t been able to get a SIMcard with 3G included, I would not even be able to use Google maps to navigate. Most signs are in Chinese Mandarin, and since I have no knowledge about the written language, it is completely useless to me.
At the same time, I like it. I like to test my limits and expand my knowledge, and being confused, lost, and have no knowledge how basic things works in Shanghai is quite fun. There is so much to learn and get used to. I am really looking forward to my time here in Shanghai. 🙂
It is about 15 days until classes begins, and 11 days until the orientation at Hult Campus. Hopefully I will have managed to get used to the environment by then. If there is anything you want me to talk about, let me know 🙂
(konversation under lektion… Tänk på att Andre är från Malmö och uttalar saker lite annorlunda…)
Jag: Är det där en MILF?
Andre: Näe, Gay.*Malmödialekt*
Jag: vadå gay? Jag menar hon där… inte han…
Andre: Ja, Gay.
Jag: vadå Gay???
Andre: Gay som i Grandma
Jag: Jahaaa du menar G???
Andre: Ja det var ju det jag sa hela tiden! Jag sa gae… inte gay…
(jag viker mig av skratt)