Friday, May 15, 2009

Suzhou to Nanjing: By Kogod Undergraduate Student Gabby Kuey

We are starting our three-hour route to Nanjing from Suzhou. These past four days have been filled with memorable moments of historic culture and opportunity. Starting off in Shanghai we experienced a China almost like Manhattan. It was much unexpected, even though China is known for it advancements, towers seemed to reach maximum height; from business building to apartment complexes. Shanghai is more known as a city of opportunity, filled with multiple jobs and a chance for a better life for the Chinese People. Compared to New York or DC the city opened late and closed early, yet people with no cause would walk around the streets at 5am with no destination.

Traffic in Shanghai was the worst of all, businesses that should have taken 20 minutes to reach turned into hours of sitting and pushing through masses of people on motor bikes and cars. It was also entertaining to see the blank faces of locals, as they looked at us in question. One would think that they’ve never seen an American before. With a friendly wave and smile, they would wave back in excitement.

Even though I’ve only been in China for four days the culture of the people is very apparent. From walking on the streets, listening to the business owners and how they function, the pride of their culture is at the forefront. Respect is key here, and it is a most important to understand their culture to get anywhere. Also patience, they are slow but with this pass, I believe it contributes to their success.

Suzhou has been my favorite so far. As soon as we arrived we visited a garden that made you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. More of what I pictured China to be like. The two businesses we visited today also showed the importance of teamwork. Here they don’t seek an individual for just their talents but also to develop those talents in a group setting. This “groupthink” method has definitely been a success. I’ve learned a lot so far; ever time I enter one of these businesses I have a new takeaway.

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