While Chinese culture may be completely different, and adjusting to their manners can be extremely difficult, one thing that is comforting to a Southern boy like me is that even though I’m away from home, here in Shanghai , I can find a version of hospitality very similar to that of the South. It’s something I like to call “Southern Hospitality, Zhongguo Style.”
For instance, my phone charger broke the other day, as in the USB thing completely separated from the cord (bummer). I didn’t have time between work and my Chinese lesson to go to the store, and my phone was in desperate need of a recharge. What did my coworker do? She leant me her charger to use that night (another thing I like about China : chargers are usually made by brand type, not specific phone). About a week ago, I needed to get my hair cut, but had no idea how to tell a Chinese how to cut my hair or how short I wanted it. My Chinese friend offered to meet me at the salon and told the hairdresser exactly what I wanted, and then sat next to me to make sure they cut it like I wanted. These are just a couple of examples of the friendliness I have experienced here. And this isn’t just me. The other foreign interns here have had many a similar experience. The Chinese are extremely willing to help you acclimate to their country, and are very interested in learning about your culture and sharing theirs as well. I urge anyone that has ever even slightly wanted to travel to China to do so, right meow!