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Why We Love China: Reason # 9- Chinese food! There is one thousand delicious dishes I could show here, but I have chosen two famous dishes in our two destinations of Chengdu and Shanghai, the first being the Sichuan hotpot and the second is Shanghai dumpling soup!
My trip with Projects Abroad has been the best experience of my life. The first night in China had me a little worried, as I compared my flat in Chengdu to the luxurious hotel I had previously stayed at in Shanghai, but I soon realized that this trip would be much better. I think that the most important part of Projects Abroad is that I feel less like a tourist and more like a part of Chengdu. Whether I am eating baozi for breakfast, taking the Chinese metro, or conversing with the taxi driver using my skills from the Mandarin Club, I feel immersed in the culture. The places I have visited and sights I have seen have all contributed to my new understanding of Chengdu, both modern and ancient. On my first day, I was taken to the beautiful Wenshu Monastery where I appreciated the temple’s beauty and learned the principles of Daoism. On the weekend, we woke up early to see the adorable pandas at the conservation center. We then went shopping on Chunxi Road, where I got to see Chinese fashion and learned to bargain with local vendors. On the next day, we climbed a mountain to see the world’s largest Buddha, then finished of the weekend with a movie night. I am having so much fun that I hardly realize how much I am learning. The Sichuan Museum was very fun, with exhibits from ancient weapons to traditional wear of ethnic minority groups. I even learned how to make my own dumplings one night! As for Sichuan cuisine, I could write a whole book on how much fun the meals have been. I have had the opportunity to try new things every day, and all of them delicious. We have eaten the famous hotpot, mooncakes, sweet corn, and so much more. One day, my group was feeling so adventurous that we asked for scorpions on a stick!
As for the purpose of my trip, law and ...
Having only been in Chengdu for less than two weeks, I can already tell that the one month I’ll be here won’t be enough. In these 12 days I’ve seen the Wide and Narrow Alleys, which date back to the Qing Dynasty, the newly completed New Century Global Centre, currently being called the world’s largest building (a title I won’t be contesting), the hustle and bustle of the busy city center – Tianfu Square, the very noisy People’s Park, the Sichuanese opera: complete with acrobatics, fire-spitting and face-changing, the pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and have explored the local neighbourhood of Tongzilin where I am living. All of this on top of working nine hoursa day at my placement!
Despite being a city 22 times the size of my own, the pace and lifestyle in Chengdu feels just as comfortable and easy to acclimatize to as it was when I first moved to Boston, and being able to live here (albeit for a short period of time) has provided such an insight into a culture that I may never fully understand. While I may not know the spoken language here, the language spoken by the food is certainly a new favourite; every meal I’ve had has been delicious – whether it’s from the Korean restaurant I visited during my first day at work, the very western pizza from Mike’s, or most excitingly, the traditional Sichuanese cuisine I’ve eaten most days for lunch. I can’t say enough good things about Chengdu – the people, the food, the culture – I had never set foot in China (or even in Asia) before this experience, and now that I’m close to being half-way done with my time in Chengdu, I know for sure that I’ll be back someday.
Having returned home a week ago, I have finally been able to digest the action packed two weeks. I had many preconceptions before going to China. Growing up in the West and listening to the news, I thought of China as this great industrialized and cosmopolitan nation that is funding the economic growth of other nations. However walking out of Chengdu airport, my image of China did not reflect the reality on the ground. I was expecting to see sky scrapers and colossal structures mimicking down-town Manhattan and Dubai, yet I saw buildings resembling a village or a small town. I felt like I was in my parent’s country of origin, Pakistan, rather than strolling through the City of London. However this feeling was quickly replaced by one of fascination and amazement as driving into the city-centre I saw the world’s widest buildings, the global centre and numerous sky scrapers.
I had always found China unique and special, whether it was the political system or how society and businesses operate. I quickly learned that it was the Chinese culture which makes the nationextraordinary; as it acts as the lubricator ensuring that each cog in the system works smoothly. In the workplace, culture dramatically affects how business is done. In England, it is common to go out for a meal to celebrate a successful business deal, whereas in China, the terms of the deal are usually discussed over lunch or dinner. Forming relationships is essential for Chinese people, thus going out for a meal is one of the methods used to form these covenants in order to form bonds of trust which one can always rely on.
As I have an interest in law. I was very intrigued to understand how theinfluence of the ruling party affects the impartiality of the judiciary. When I raised ...
China was een geweldige ervaring. Ik werkte voor het care-project en was hiermee ingedeeld om naar Chengdu te gaan en te zorgen voor autistische kinderen. Het was op het eerste gezicht een schok, omdat de kinderen als ze iets fout deden meteen gestraft werden en bijvoorbeeld geslagen werden. Ik kwam er echter al snel achter dat dit gewoon de cultuur in China is en heb er toen een ander beeld op gekregen. De rest van de tijd dat ik werkte, heb ik, hoewel ik geen mandarijn spreek, een leuke band kunnen creëren met de kinderen. Het meest memorabele was dan ook dat toen ik op een dag naar huis ging; een jongetje zijn moeder meetrok om achter mij aan te rennen om mij nog eens gedag te zeggen.
Het leven buiten het werk was ook geweldig. De andere illigers waren verschrikkelijk aardig en we hebben dan ook zo onze tripjes geplant. Zo ben ik met 4 anderen 3 dagen naar Beijing gegaan en zijn we ook nog naar Mt. Emei, een grote berg een paar uur van Chengdu vandaan, geweest waar we hebben geslapen in een Boeddhistische tempel. De appartementen waren ook aangenaam, ook al lieten sommige (al vertrokken) vrijwilligers erg veel troep achter.
Het contact met de organisatie was rg goed. Als je ziek bent, kun je bijvoorbeeld gewoon een sms'je sturen en wordt er voor gezorgd dat je goed uit kunt zieken. Ook is er elke week een sociale event. Zo gingen we met z'n allen hotpot, allemaal pittige, eten en gingen we een keer karaoke, ktv, zingen met z'n allen.
Al met al was het een zeer geslaagde reisu ik er op terug kijk waren de 3 weken wel veel te kort was gewoonweg geweldig.