First of all, I personally was really surprised that Shanghai is not as crowed as I thought. Except of going to really famous places at Friday night such as East Nanjing Road or of course to the metro at rush hour, I would say the amount of people at the streets is the same as in other big cities in Europe. However, it’s very interesting to observe what people do at the streets, from sport in the morning and evening to mobile karaoke, everything is possible and sometime you can even join if you want. If you once get into the situation to enter a really crowed metro – and I’m sure you can’t avoid this completely - be aware that if you wanna go out of it, you shouldn’t expect the someone will step away rather you have to fight for path ;)
However, in general the metro is really convenient and you can go nearly everywhere. Furthermore, I really like the variety of food and especially street food. The only issue for me was breakfast, because I’m used to eat some sweets and most of the food in China is savory and even spicy, no matter the time of day. A really nice and also surprising experience in regards to food was a fruit shop at the opposite side of our house, which is opened for actually for 24 hours. Even if I came back late from my incredible travel experiences (I will tell you in another post about it) – a could always get some fresh fruits for the next morning.
Finally, I will actually miss some of the extremely convenient offers in China such as the rental bikes, which you can find all over the country and you can have a lot of fun, by ringing the bell in different rhythms, because everyone is ringing it continuously or AliPay, an App with which you can pay nearly everywhere in China and transfer money to friends within second. I’m sure if our next beer list comes and we need to transfer small amount of money to someone of our batch, we gonna wish to have AliPay.As one of the “newbies” for the Asian culture from this group, I will say I was the most perplexed the first days I started this enriching experience. Now I can realize how naïve I was for underestimating the potential differences that I heard in advance that I could face on my daily life activities once I got here. From some of them I was pretty aware, for example; the long commuting time to get to work. Which after a while, I was also surprised on how other skills improved after traveling for that long, such as time management, concentration (from talking in crowded places) and patience. Especially patience…on the last days I got to the point where I could really say “Oh we are here already!” and that even helped as practice for other trips.