Hello from Shanghai! We have had an interesting day to say the least. Starting off, we had our fair share of getting used to jet lag, as most people woke up extremely early with their body thinking it was time to get up. Our orientation was next, learning the do’s and don’t of the culture.
During the orientation, we learned about the rich and long history of China. Their written records date back 3600 years and it is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Their civilization dates back to more than 6000 years. The first centralized government was founded under the Qin dynasty, 2200 years ago. Before this, China was made up of eight smaller provincial kingdoms. The people of China believe that they are the children of dragons “from heaven.” Among other things, we also learned that Shanghai is the economic center of China, with the city vastly expanding and the cost of buying an apartment is roughly $1.5 million. The greater area of Shanghai does a few culturally different things than the rest of the country, including having its own dialect and having the wife to have more power in a marriage. The rest of the country believes the other way. After our crash course in Chinese and Shanghai culture, we started on our journey.
Once we were trained up on the ways of the Chinese, we had a unique lunch at the local university. This hearty meal included stinky tofu, jellyfish, and pig stomach. After this cultural experience, we headed to the Pearl Tower that overlooks the city. At this point we began seeing Chinese people trying to sneakily snap our pictures. We even encountered a family who requested pictures, took unexpected selfies with us, and followed us around all day. Also, it was very entertaining to see people wearing shirts with random English phrases on them, such as “you are the mystery to my fries” and “lasagna del ray.”
Overall, today set us up for a great trip and a better understanding of Chinese culture! Please tune into the blog tomorrow to hear about our city tour and riverboat cruise.