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Published: November 17th 2010
Now comes time for my personal thoughts and opinions on China itself. I have been hear for over 3 years now, and in that time i developed certain thoughts and feelings about the country that adopted me during that time. I admit when i first came to China i knew next to nothing about it. Except from what i learned from the news, and saw in movies. I decided to do a bit of research to try and get a better understanding. There was a couple that lived across the street from me in downtown Toronto that came from Shanghai. I talked to them asking what to expect. First thing they told me was what to avoid talking about, they were politics, religion (it was ok to answer questions about it, but refrain from trying to convert anyone), Tibet and Taiwan (very sensitive topics) and of course Japan. That i was best to remember these points. That it will be apparent that i will be the outsider, to expect people to stare, or approach you and try to strike a conversation with me.
With that in mind, within the week i was boarding the plane bound to my final destination of Wuhan with a layover in Shanghai. When i landed in shanghai it was my first time in a country so different from my own. I gathered my luggage and prepared to go check in at the other flight desk for the remaining leg of my trip. I as only 7 hours away from completing the initial part of my journey. A journey that would eventually last the next three plus years of my life. And take me to two other countries. After i checked my luggage with the flight desk. i went and stepped outside for the first time and saw Shanghai for the very first time. i witnessed a sprawling landscape of high rises and busy people moving back and forth. I admit I went through the stages of culture shock. I find the people rather pleasant, courteous and helpful. It is a vast and beautiful country filled with history which most locals don't know much history of their own city. but they are proud of hosting a lot of international events. Such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Expo, and several other high profile events. For the most part, i feel that the people want to learn, and be better then the position they have in life. They have a high family values which i feel that we in the west have lost over the years.
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