Beauty has many faces
Every chapter ends somewhere at some point. Though, these experiences never really end. At least, not if you are capable of maintaining the lifestyle you created for yourself with respect to the culture you’ll be going back to. As for me, I will defs bring a lot of culture and new personal findings back home. Moreover, here’s a thing about travelling and stories: it is not all about the things you see, do, experience and the stories you make from it. It is all about how you cope with a tremendous amount of external factors whilst developing a personality through grid and resilience.
All things considered, Shanghai has been one of the most amazing experiences I’ve been through. It has actually been quite the rollercoaster if you’d ask me. It is the 5th time living abroad, but it is the 1st time I had to combine travelling with studying whilst working as an intern. Every individual aspect has been done before at some point in time abroad. Switzerland was studying, Australia and its travels while Romania was a total focus on work. Shanghai combines all of these aspects in a mere 3 months time span. So it defs is different but it is also very hard to grasp.
If it were easy to explain I would, but it’s not. To put it simple, the reason why it is so different and simply astonishing is their cultural flow. Nevertheless, it would be very general and ignorant to say that it is just a cultural difference. This also means it is your culture, your personal culture, colliding with it. In my case, it is the person I became after growing my roots in Belgium in combination with my previous destinations. So it’s not even close to a proper nation-bound cultural aspect when having personality as a variable in this equation.
For instance, what amazed me was their sense for collectivism. From an economic perspective, it is something one might assume. Communism with its comunal control, a night clock at 22 pm, public ownership, etc sure do lead to collectivism. Though, that doesn’t mean people like it. Nevertheless, Chinese do establish a collective social construct and do respect a whole lot of things. Let’s take the combination of the social construct and communism and you’ll get to the sharing economy here. It relies on trust and a push from the government. In my opinion, it does make life a whole lot easier here whilst I sense most of Chinese people just respecting the rules together with creating and undergoing the construct.
Some differences since we are talking about the rules. They do like proper classic and authentic rules. What we are dwelling away from in the West is what they keep on embracing. It sure does has its beauty in it and they are making it all work at the moment. Eg. Entitlement is not something which is generally accepted nor socially allowed. Therefore, they strive for the best and have their communal standards set.
Something which delineates everything written above is the following: “Whilst not avoiding uncertainty, they do have a long term vision.” Meaning, they do not really have a choice but be flexible whilst actually all having a certain degree of thriving for the future. And though this may be true, they are very good at sticking to certain traditions whilst also living in one of the most convenient metropoles in the world.
And that is how I have experienced Shanghai from my own point of view. It sure has been an eye opener and it has also made me realise that Shanghai is not just a Chinese tier 1 city. It is a combination of the 1st and 2nd world together whilst containing 25 mio people that all have to make a living. For some reason it all works and it isn’t even that stressful to walk around in. Though, the impulses are a completely different story. With all its contradictions and its lifestyle that leaves me dumbfounded, I actually did come to create a certain love for this city which I could call home for a small moment of time in my life.
Every ending is the cornerstone of a new chapter
What an experience… and eye-opener! Nice to read your blogposts!!
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I am glad it gave you a new perspective! Moreover, good to hear you appreciate the content!!
Nice! En ook mooie foto’s. Zeker een fantastische ervaring voor de rest van je leven.
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