‘Culture Shock’ in Shanghai

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I am from Nanjing, and just got to Shanghai for work. The school I’m working at is quite a nice place, with friendly teachers and, you bet, lovely children. However, the school is situated a bit too deep into Pudong New Area (I would like to call it District, but bus broadcast has it the odd way…), and I have to endure long time of public transportation to get to the downtown area, where, according to a foreign colleague of mine, is not the ‘real’ Shanghai 😛

Public transportation in the big Chinese cities are almost always busy, and I feel rather safe pushing this prejudice over to the IfGoGo readership. The so-called shock came to me when I witnessed three incidents in a row: not offering seats to the old, skipping the queue, and not offering seats to a woman with her baby. For sure, it is just coincidence that I met such incidences at this high frequency, and in Shanghai there are indeed many good-ordered taxi queues, but this day in Shanghai still makes me uncomfortable. Skipping the queue is quite common in China (I saw the taxi queues first so this still comes as a shock); not offering seats to the needed is against basic Chinese culture and morality… But I may be too quick to condemn these people, or Shanghai in general. Even if these are all acceptable behaviour in Shanghai, it might just be evolution of the ethics, and I am a bit slow to catch up. However, I’d rather believe that today’s incidents are lone cases, and Shanghai is still as beautiful as she should be.

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