The past couple of months I have been preparing for arguably the biggest and most exciting trip of my life. It’s not every day that a 20-year-old just up and leaves for several months in Shanghai, but here I find myself, doing just that. Obviously an undertaking like this is going to require some preparation, so my first order of business was to do some research, mostly asking friends and family for literally any firsthand experience of what to expect. Funny enough, it seemed that I couldn’t really get a straight answer from anyone, even to some of my simplest questions.
When I asked, “What’s the weather like in Shanghai?” some would say hot, while others would say cold. And when I asked, “Is it that different from the States?” in response, some said yes, and others said no.
It was all starting to sound like a Katy Perry song, and at this the confusion began to set in. How could Shanghai be so many differing things at once, why couldn’t I get a consistent answer out of anyone? That’s when it dawned on me, of course China was all these different things to people! It’s a country, for goodness sakes! China is dynamic and diverse; no one person is going to have to same experience as the next. I’m excited most of all to find out what version of Shanghai I will discover.