I am currently in Shenzhen, China and to say the least, I miss home! From the moment I was in line to get through custom, I experienced quite the culture shock. As I am getting pushed from behind by an old lady while standing in line to get my passport and visa checked, I realize that I was about to experience something new.
At first I was thinking, “wow, how rude!” But then I soon realized that this was normal for everyone. They weren’t being rude or impatient, it’s just that their pace of life was quicker than what I am used to. It’s not only how they are right up behind you breathing down your neck as you stood in line, but also how fast they walked, how ridiculously reckless they drove, and quite simply, they cut in line!
They are more concerned with getting to point B then HOW they got there. I definitely had to take a step back before I realized that I shouldn’t take any offense.
Don’t get me wrong… once they got to point B, they are quite similar to what I am used to. Kids playing in the park, old men reading the newspaper underneath the trees, women picking fruit from a local vendor… everyday tasks were, well… normal.
I had the absolute honor of experiencing a local bbq with one of my friend’s cousin and his coworkers and friends. Not only were they friendly, they were hospitable (my plate was never empty), and were curious to learn from me as much as I did from them. As I practiced my Chinese, so did they with their English. We played games and just sat back and talked. The hours flew by and before I knew it… it was time for me to go back to my hotel.
Despite the differences in culture, there were many commonalities that allowed me and the locals to bond. Our respect and curiosity for one another, in addition to the emphasis of hospitality and kindness provided me and my new friends a common platform to join together and interact seamlessly without effort.
Being in this environment definitely made me appreciate home and my family. I miss them so much and I can’t wait to come back to Los Angeles and share with them all the stories from my experiences thus far.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! Please, take a step back and appreciate all that is around you… especially your family.
I will post pictures soon but I wanted to get this out to everyone before I went to bed.