I promised myself that when I had the chance to visit China, I would make it my goal to visit Shanghai. My uncle and aunt are currently living in this futuristic city along the Huangpu River and my cousins, my sister and I agreed that we would visit them together. So, for my last weekend in China, I bought some high-speed train tickets myself and went to visit them.
Shanghai has such a different feeling from Beijing. Even though it had many relics of Chinese culture like the Yu Yuan Park, the city seemed internationally friendly and many tourists were walking around the streets. Locals would speak to me in English, even though I'm Chinese and many of the signs had English translations on them.
One of the famous tourist destinations in Shanghai is the Bund, where the English created a place to stay and built Western style buildings. It was really strange to have a sense of comfort in understanding the culture in Shanghai.
In contrast, Beijing really pushes people to understand the culture and language first before people can actually explore and grow to love the city. Most people in Beijing don’t speak English and will not attempt to try even if you look like a foreigner. Even though studying in Beijing wasn’t the most glamorous of places to study in, I’m thankful that it challenged me to understand their culture further by forcing me to use my Chinese more.