What Davidson Doesn’t Teach

In our little “utopian” bubble, we all live harmoniously (lol).

When there is an issue, we discuss it in an intellectual manner.

We feel comfortable and secure; leaving our belongings in the Union, and our doors unlocked.

There’s no vulgarity:

No hacking up “luggies.”

No pissing on walls.

No bare asses exposed.

And while this is all fine and dandy, Davidson lacks an inexplicable charm that only Shanghai possesses.

Still, I must admit, I did have some trouble adapting initially. The cultural differences were stark. The ostensible lack of politeness and civility was definitely jarring (and still gets on my nerves to this day). Being an ambiguous spectacle wasn’t something took too kindly either.  Yet, regardless of what I had to get used to, my experiences in China has been much more than trivial nuisances.

Learning how to navigate independently around in an unfamiliar city was one of my top delights. Simply being able to walk, take the metro, bus, or taxi is an unbelievably liberating experience. Unlike “downtown” Davidson (consisting of half a block), or even downtown Charlotte (consisting of four buildings), I have the ability to walk fifteen, twenty minutes; or with 2 kuai, take a five-minute bus ride to Wujiaochang and hit the mall.

Which leads me to my MOST pleasurable past time…SHOPPING! As an international mecca for various industries, shopping centers are of course abundant. What I love about Shanghai shopping is that its not limited to your average mall experience you might find in the states. In these three months, I’ve not only improved my Chinese speaking and listening ability (how much so however is debatable), but also became fluent in the language of bargain.

Besides reaping the benefits of cosmopolitan living, I have thoroughly enjoyed and will miss the most, my food families! The Baozi Lady. Roger and his wife, the  Fried Rice/Fried Noodle Couple, and my play boy friend at CoCo’s, I will miss them the most. Although exchanges were minimal due to language barriers, our mutual appreciation for each other goes unobstructed. I visit them so often that they prepare my food before I even get the chance to order. While I’ve never expressed my love and appreciation for them before, I hope they know they and all of Shanghai will always have a place in my heart.

It’s going to be hard to let this all go. :’(