by Susanna Jankowicz
Within the last two weeks in February, everybody of the group arrived and the big adventure could begin. All of were sharing a few same experiences during the first hours and days in Shanghai. These situations I want to describe this problems, feelings and findings.
I have had some frightened moments with the traffic – and I know it was not only me. On our arrival day we took a taxi from the airport to the dormitory. The taxi driver rushed over the highway with 150 km/h and hooted all the other cars and trucks out of our way, without paying attention on them. Our second taxi ride was not that better. The eyes of the driver became smaller and smaller, he looked tired. The bad fact was, that we haven´t been able to stay him awake by a conversation, because he didn´t understand us. The car was stumbling when he felt into a microsleep. But not only the taxis and their drivers are interesting, also the busses and scooter. Red lights are more a proposal, then a rule and crosswalks they even don´t know. All of us have had their problems by crossing the streets and a few shocking moments appeared. The way Chinese people are waiting for their busses is also interesting. When a bus arrives, hooting in most cases, all of them are running on the street and pushing into the bus, like there is something for free on it. Waiting lines are almost unknown words it seems.
Our first way (through the traffic), was to a very well-known shop called Walmart. And we haven´t been there only once; we all came there nearly every day during the first five days. Everybody needed some stuff for the dorm and also food. For a Austrian breakfast, we bought bread. Supposing to get normal bread, we all bought the sweet Chinese softy bread and were a bit disappointed. From this time on, breakfast has been consisted out of cereals. Same happened to coffee.
One stereotype, which was also discussed, we now can verify. Chinese people are coughing and splitting all over the street. Not sure if it comes up from the Smog, – which you really can feel – or from something different, but they do. Although the Europeans caught a cough too, they behave completely different, luckily.