sábado, enero 22, 2011

Hangzhou, China - First Cultural Shocks and Impressions

These are the first impressions after 6 days living in Hangzhou. So far, it has been great, but there's a lot of information to be absorbed at once. Some of it has to be put in denial, but some is worth learning from.

People
- Warm and legit friendly people.
- Willing to help at all times.
- Grateful
- Love to eat in groups
- Hardworkers

Food
- Can't get any fresher than this: alive items can be obtained anywhere.
- Food is kinda greasy. Better not to ask or inspect your food.
- Best answer I've gotten so far when asked how to eat certain item, "Just put it in your mouth and chew it." I laughed, first because she was a smartass with me. Secondly, beacuse I wanted to say, "That's what she said", but no one would understand any way.
- Food is not expensive, but imported items are sold like gold.
- Mexican food from "Los Panchos" is 2 thumbs up!
- Is better not to take a glimpse to the kitchen.
- When you chew something with weird consistence, just swallow and don't ask what it was.



Logding
- Apts have the minimum and most basic things you need to live. No need for luxury items just buy what they need. Very, very modest life.
- Love for patterns and wooden items. Leopards and wooden carved furniture are a plus.
- Hanging clothes out of the balcony is the rule. Not to mention fish and ducks. It's colder outside, anyway.
- Hangzhou real estate market is competetive world-wide. Not your expected Chinese budget. Apt hunting is an experience. Real Estate Agencies' motto: "Keep your expectations low and you won't be dissapointed!", hahaha. True story.



Transportation
- Quite efficient.
- To take taxis, print the instructions and just show it to the driver. Option B, point it on the map.
- Bike lanes available everywhere.

Miscellaneous
- Line cutting is not seen as a bad manner here.
- Spitting is a common practice. Developing a noise blockage against that.
- Still need to master the art of Eastern Toillets.
- They are usually on-time (unexpected)
- Getting a train ticket during Spring Festival (New Year) is a matter of luck. People celebrate when they do get one.
- Mexico? Where is Mexico?
- Internet bandwith actual speed rate is 10% of what is advertised.
- Largest bill available is 100 RMB, equivalent to 15 USD. Chubby wallets.
- ATM only gives you money in sets of 2,500 RMB and charges you for every transaction. Opening a bank here is an area of opportunity.
- From what I've heard, the party starts at midnight and it never ends. This could explain why people arrive here for a year and end up staying 3 or 4.

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